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Made-to-Order Lean: Excelling in a High-Mix, Low-Volume Environment Paperback – August 17, 2007
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About the Author
Greg Lane has owned and successfully transformed his own company, along with supporting others in leadership improvements in 32 countries, with diverse types of organizations. He has effectively led change while holding management and executive positions at General Motors and Delphi Automotive.
His 25 years of worldwide experience was strongly influenced while working for Toyota in the late 1980s, when he was one of a handful selected to be developed as a Toyota Key Person, through a year of specialized training in Japan. This included working with Toyota's top trainers, and then returning to train others within Toyota at their U.S. sites.
Today, Greg is internationally recognized as a coach in creating organizational change, and has been invited to speak on five continents about these successes. Also a recognized author, he has written the following:
- Culturally On Plan--A Pragmatic Guide for Aligning Organizational Culture with a Strategic Plan and Transforming Management to Leadership (Strategic-Leaders.com, 2013)
- Mr. Lean Buys & Transforms a Manufacturing Company--The True Story of Profitably Growing an Organization with Lean Principals (CRC Press, New York: 2010)
- Chapter 9 of Toyota by Toyota--Reflections from the Inside Leaders on the Techniques That Revolutionized the Industry (CRC Press, New York: 2012)
Greg and his associates provide cost effective support for improvements and transformations. He can be contacted at glane@Lean-Enterprise.com or more information can be found at: LowVolumeLean.com
Top customer reviews
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It is not a complete compendium of all lean tools. It refers you out to Duggan's Book (Mixed Models) and others for deeper dives into particular tools.
What is does do is give you a frame work to apply known tools to the low-volume problem. Traditional pull is ineffective if you make once or once or twice a year. Pull is still good, but the application of the tool is different because the circumstance is different.
The big learning out of this for traditional lean guys is; the tools still work, how and when to apply them changes. The skill in the practioner is learning the new how and when.
Quick overview in lo-volume: Traditional product families will be harder. Value stream maps are less important. Employee contribution and understand are much more critical. Focus on flow through the system. Focus on visual management of the team/cell, train the managers how to manage in that environment. Pull what you can pull... flow the rest. Mix kanban and MRP. Mix pull and push/flow. Focus on what works.
I would have liked a more definitive answer, but as the author wrote, the different circumstances of company's varies so much at this end of the spectrum, what is right for the 4 a day guy may not be for the 4 a month or 4 a year. Principles hold.... tools and applciations change.
A few of the concepts I found to be the most "enlightening" were: how to get the biggest impact from visual controls; the combination kanban, work order, & FIFO boards; pushing at the first operation and flowing through the rest; handling shared resources; using work diaries to aid in office kaizen; using FIFO boards in office processes; and making improvements in the shop & office when you have excess capacity.
The book is stuffed with examples using pictures, charts, & drawings that make the concepts even easier to understand and apply. Many of the concepts include some commentary on the order to implement them in to achieve the greatest chances of success. The author does refer to several other books for more detailed information on a few topics. These include: A Revolution in Manufacturing: the SMED System by Shigeo Shingo, Creating Mixed Model Value Streams by Kevin J Duggan, Learning to See by Rother & Shook, and Integrating Kanban with MRP II by Raymond Lewis.
Would have liked a more consistent stlye to the book. It ranges from digital photos to cartoonish sketches to Excel charts when giving examples.