I wish to recommend to all service industry executives the new book The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: LeanTransformation in Service Organizations by Jeffrey K. Liker and Karyn Ross. Building on Jeff Liker's earlier award-winning book, The Toyota Way, the Liker and Ross book is a brilliant and eminently readable account of how to apply Toyota's principles of operational excellence to service industries. At long last, The Toyota Way to Service Excellence provides leaders of service organizations a comprehensive guide to the thinking and practices underlying Toyota's revolutionary and world-changing approach to lean operations management.
From the Inside Flap
organizations have used it to achieve impressive
short-term results. Toyota was the original model
for lean, but as the lean message has spread it has
become distorted, much like a game of telephone
in which the message whispered to the last person
barely resembles the original. Toyota's holistic system
that drives high value to each customer has been
reinterpreted as a tool kit for short-term efficiency.
By viewing lean simply as a set of tools with a rigid
application, many companies have failed to achieve
the cultural change necessary to strive for service
The Toyota Way to Service Excellence dispels the
common and simplistic notion that lean is just a program
of tools for taking waste out of an organization's
processes. Previously, in the groundbreaking The Toyota
Way, Jeff Liker revolutionized how lean was viewed
and implemented within manufacturing companies and
cemented his position as the world's foremost expert on
the topic. Now, he and Karyn Ross clarify exactly what
lean is and demonstrate how to successfully apply the
4P model of the Toyota Way to service organizations.
As the authors explain, the Toyota Way is no mere tool
kit, but rather a management and business philosophy
that engages people at all levels to continually
improve the way they add value to customers. By
practicing the 4Ps deliberately and with discipline,
this philosophy will lead to dramatic improvement in
virtually any company.