Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From The World's Greatest Manufacturer By Jeffrey Liker

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From The World's Greatest Manufacturer By Jeffrey Liker

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Product Description

How to speed up business processes, improve quality, and cut costs in any industry

In factories around the world, Toyota consistently makes the highest-quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer, while using fewer man-hours, less on-hand inventory, and half the floor space of its competitors. The Toyota Way is the first book for a general audience that explains the management principles and business philosophy behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability.

Complete with profiles of organizations that have successfully adopted Toyota's principles, this book shows managers in every industry how to improve business processes by:

  • Eliminating wasted time and resources
  • Building quality into workplace systems
  • Finding low-cost but reliable alternatives to expensive new technology
  • Producing in small quantities
  • Turning every employee into a quality control inspector
Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #5346 in Books
  • Published on: 2003-12-17
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 1.23" h x 6.34" w x 9.42" l, 1.44 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 330 pages


  • The Toyota Way
  • English
  • First Edition
  • Hardcover
  • gelatine plate paper
Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the Institute for Industrial Engineer's Book-of-the-Year award and the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence

From the Back Cover

"This book will give you an understanding of what has made Toyota successful and some practical ideas that you can use to develop your own approach to business."--Gary Convis, Managing Office of Toyota

Fewer man-hours. Less inventory. The highest quality cars with the fewest defects of any competing manufacturer. In factories around the globe, Toyota consistently raises the bar for manufacturing, product development, and process excellence. The result is an amazing business success story: steadily taking market share from price-cutting competitors, earning far more profit than any other automaker, and winning the praise of business leaders worldwide.

The Toyota Way reveals the management principles behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability. Dr. Jeffrey Liker, a renowned authority on Toyota's Lean methods, explains how you can adopt these principles--known as the "Toyota Production System" or "Lean Production"--to improve the speed of your business processes, improve product and service quality, and cut costs, no matter what your industry.

Drawing on his extensive research on Toyota, Dr. Liker shares his insights into the foundational principles at work in the Toyota culture. He explains how the Toyota Production System evolved as a new paradigm of manufacturing excellence, transforming businesses across industries. You'll learn how Toyota fosters employee involvement at all levels, discover the difference between traditional process improvement and Toyota's Lean improvement, and learn why companies often think they are Lean--but aren't.

The fourteen management principles of the Toyota Way create the ideal environment for implementing Lean techniques and tools. Dr. Liker explains each key principle with detailed, examples from Toyota and other Lean companies on how to:

  • Foster an atmosphere of continuous improvement and learning
  • Create continuous process "flow" to unearth problems
  • Satisfy customers (and eliminate waste at the same time)
  • Grow your leaders rather than purchase them
  • Get quality right the first time
  • Grow together with your suppliers and partners for mutual benefit

Dr. Liker shows the Toyota Way in action, then outlines how to apply the Toyota Way in your organization, with examples of how other companies have rebuilt their culture to create a Lean, learning enterprise. The Toyota Way is an inspiring guide to taking the steps necessary to emulate Toyota's remarkable success.

What can your business learn from Toyota?
  • How to double or triple the speed of any business process
  • How to build quality into workplace systems
  • How to eliminate the huge costs of hidden waste
  • How to turn every employee into a quality control inspector
  • How to dramatically improve your products and services!

With a market capitalization greater than the value of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler combined, Toyota is also, (by far), the world's most profitable automaker. Toyota's secret weapon is Lean production--the revolutionary approach to business processes that it invented in the 1950's and has spent decades perfecting. Today businesses around the world are implementing Toyota's radical system for speeding up processes, reducing waste, and improving quality.

The Toyota Way, explain's Toyota's unique approach to Lean--the 14 management principles and philosophy that drive Toyota's quality and efficiency-obsessed culture. You'll gain valuable insights that can be applied to any organization and any business process, whether in services or manufacturing. Professor Jeffrey Liker has been studying Toyota for twenty years, and was given unprecedented access to Toyota executives, employees and factories, both in Japan and the United States, for this landmark work. The book is full of examples of the 14 fundamental principles at work in the Toyota culture, and how these principles create a culture of continuous learning and improvement. You'll discover how the right combination of long-term philosophy, process, people, and problem solving can transform your organization into a Lean, learning enterprise--the Toyota Way.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is a professor of industrial and operations engineering at the University of Michigan and cofounder and director of the Japan Technology Management Program at the University of Michigan.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful.
5Clearly shows you why so many fail to copy them
By M and G
I've read this book a few times, and got our factory excited by it as well. We read it 2 chapters a week as a group, with a volunteer facilitator reviewing the content of the chapters in a weekly session. Suggest you start with this one and then read "Creating a Lean Culture" by David Mann and then "The Toyota Way Fieldbook" by Jeffrey Liker. A must read for those interested in Lean Manufacturing or Self-Directed Workteams.

-Shows the commitment of Toyota to their methods and philosophies. By commitment they mean a willingness to pursue your transformation for at least 10 years, which is why I think so many fail... lack of commitment.
-Provides building blocks upon which to apply lean tools or lean toolkit
-Philosophy is quite detailed for a few hundred pages, appears thorough and complete so if you want to, you can create a similar systems-based approach

-Not a recipe for you to copy... no shortcuts or cutting corners here.

-Not much detail on "tools" which is out of scope for the content of this book

Bottom line: I think that this book is true to the philosophies of Toyota as I've directly observed from the 4 or 5 different senseis (former Toyota executives turned consultants) I have had the chance to work with. I only recommend a few books, this is one of them. Pairs well with "Creating a Lean Culture," by David Mann as a way to extend the lessons learned in The Toyota Way.

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful.
5Highly Recommended!
By Rolf Dobelli
This book is like a Toyota vehicle: not necessarily fancy, but extraordinarily capable of getting you from point "A" to point "B." Author Jeffrey K. Liker's thorough insight into the continual improvement method known as "The Toyota Way" reflects his experience with the Toyota Production System (TPS) and his knowledge of its guiding philosophies and its technical applications. He explains why Toyota has become a global symbol of passionate commitment to continual improvement and efficiency. Toyota's success as the world's most profitable automaker is no accident and now, thanks to this book, it's no mystery, either. Liker drills down to the underlying principles and behaviors that will set your company on the Toyota Way. The book reflects years of studying Toyota's philosophy: it is well mapped out, straightforward and exceedingly although not daringly innovative. We highly recommend it to anyone striving to improve their organization's operational efficiency.

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful.
4Good insights on the thinking of Toyota management
By Michel Baudin
This book puts Toyota back where it belongs: front and center in the world of the lean enterprise. The idea that Toyota just originated lean and that others have since taken it further is a fallacy that has lately been creeping into publications and conference presentations. The reality is that Toyota is still far ahead and that the vast majority of companies that claim to be lean are only "kinda, sorta" lean, with managements that simply have not understood the approach.

The book has a visible structure that the reader can use to zoom in on topics of interest. Fourteen principles are stated upfront, and then a chapter is devoted to each of these principles. The writing is clear, and many outside sources are acknowledged with a thoroughness that is uncommon in business books. In particular, 28 Toyota executives are acknowledged or quoted, which gives the book the flavor of an authorized rendition of the company's philosophy.

The book's greatest strength, the closeness of the author to the company's management, is also its main limitation. As an academic, the author could have assumed a less worshipful stance. For example, rather than taking management statements about wanting to do right for society as a whole at face value, he might have pointed out that they sound like obligatory recitations of Confucian values, and that it is arguable that flooding the world with cars is in the best interest of the human race. Also, without attacking the company, he could have made its portrayal more nuanced and vivid by including more points of view, such as those of line workers and former employees who may have a different perspective than current top managers.

The executives quoted in the book clearly feel that the philosophy is more important than the technical tools of the production system. This insight, however, has come to them as a result of using the tools intensively for many years, and the reader should not be misled into thinking that it is possible to bypass the tools and go straight to the philosophy.

I also have a few minor quibbles with the way the book is produced. The fourteen chapters covering the fourteen principles have numbers that don't match those of the principles, so that, for example, Principle 6 is covered in Chapter 12. This is confusing when looking up cross references. The subject of this book also calls for abundant illustrations, but there is only one for every seven pages, and no photographs. Finally, I think that the use of long words where short ones would do should be identified as the 9th category of waste. We don't need to hear about a "paradigm," As Tom Wolfe's hero in "A man in full" points out, the only thing it ever does is shift. Saying "non-value-added waste" where "waste" would suffice also strangely suggests that there might be an opposite called "value-added waste."

All this being said, this book is a good read based on intimate knowledge. I recommend it to anyone involved with lean, and particularly to managers and engineers in the auto parts industry who want to sell their products to Toyota.


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