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The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production-- Toyota's Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry (English Edition) par [Womack, James P., Jones, Daniel T.]
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The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production-- Toyota's Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry (English Edition) Format Kindle

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Descriptions du produit


Chapter 1


Forty years ago Peter Drucker dubbed it "the industry of industries." Today, automobile manufacturing is still the world's largest manufacturing activity, with nearly 50 million new vehicles produced each year.

Most of us own one, many of us own several, and, although we may be unaware of it, these cars and trucks are an important part of our everyday lives.

Yet the auto industry is even more important to us than it appears. Twice in this century it has changed our most fundamental ideas of how we make things. And how we make things dictates not only how we work but what we buy, how we think, and the way we live.

After World War I, Henry Ford and General Motors' Alfred Sloan moved world manufacture from centuries of craft production -- led by European firms -- into the age of mass production. Largely as a result, the United States soon dominated the global economy.

After World War II, Eiji Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno at the Toyota Motor Company in Japan pioneered the concept of lean production. The rise of Japan to its current economic preeminence quickly followed, as other Japanese companies and industries copied this remarkable system.

Manufacturers around the world are now trying to embrace lean production, but they're finding the going rough. The companies that first mastered this system were all headquartered in one country -- Japan. As lean production has spread to North America and Western Europe under their aegis, trade wars and growing resistance to foreign investment have followed.

Today, we hear constantly that the world faces a massive overcapacity crisis -- estimated by some industry executives at more than 8 million units in excess of current world sales of about 50 million units. This is, in fact, a misnomer. The world has an acute shortage of competitive lean-production capacity and a vast glut of uncompetitive mass-production capacity. The crisis is caused by the former threatening the latter.

Many Western companies now understand lean production, and at least one is well along the path to introducing it. However, superimposing lean-production methods on existing mass-production systems causes great pain and dislocation. In the absence of a crisis threatening the very survival of the company, only limited progress seems to be possible.

General Motors is the most striking example. This gigantic company is still the world's largest industrial concern and was without doubt the best at mass production, a system it helped to create. Now, in the age of lean production, it finds itself with too many managers, too many workers, and too many plants. Yet GM has not yet faced a life-or-death crisis, as the Ford Motor Company did in the early 1980s, and thus it has not been able to change.

This book is an effort to ease the necessary transition from mass production to lean. By focusing on the global auto industry, we explain in simple, concrete terms what lean production is, where it came from, how it really works, and how it can spread to all corners of the globe for everyone's mutual benefit.

But why should we care if world manufacturers jettison decades of mass production to embrace lean production? Because the adoption of lean production, as it inevitably spreads beyond the auto industry, will change everything in almost every industry -- choices for consumers, the nature of work, the fortune of companies, and, ultimately, the fate of nations.

What is lean production? Perhaps the best way to describe this innovative production system is to contrast it with craft production and mass production, the two other methods humans have devised to make things.

The craft producer uses highly skilled workers and simple but flexible tools to make exactly what the consumer asks for -- one item at a time. Custom furniture, works of decorative art, and a few exotic sports cars provide current-day examples. We all love the idea of craft production, but the problem with it is obvious: Goods produced by the craft method -- as automobiles once were exclusively -- cost too much for most of us to afford. So mass production was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century as an alternative.

The mass-producer uses narrowly skilled professionals to design products made by unskilled or semiskilled workers tending expensive, single-purpose machines. These churn out standardized products in very high volume. Because the machinery costs so much and is so intolerant of disruption, the mass-producer adds many buffers -- extra supplies, extra workers, and extra space -- to assure smooth production. Because changing over to a new product costs even more, the mass-producer keeps standard designs in production for as long as possible. The result: The consumer gets lower costs but at the expense of variety and by means of work methods that most employees find boring and dispiriting.

The lean producer, by contrast, combines the advantages of craft and mass production, while avoiding the high cost of the former and the rigidity of the latter. Toward this end, lean producers employ teams of multiskilled workers at all levels of the organization and use highly flexible, increasingly automated machines to produce volumes of products in enormous variety.

Lean production (a term coined by IMVP researcher John Krafcik) is "lean" because it uses less of everything compared with mass production half the human effort in the factory, half the manufacturing space, half the investment in tools, half the engineering hours to develop a new product in half the time. Also, it requires keeping far less than half the needed inventory on site, results in many fewer defects, and produces a greater and ever growing variety of products.

Perhaps the most striking difference between mass production and lean production lies in their ultimate objectives. Mass-producers set a limited goal for themselves -- "good enough," which translates into an acceptable number of defects, a maximum acceptable level of inventories, a narrow range of standardized products. To do better, they argue, would cost too much or exceed inherent human capabilities.

Lean producers, on the other hand, set their sights explicitly on perfection: continually declining costs, zero defects, zero inventories, and endless product variety. Of course, no lean producer has ever reached this promised land -- and perhaps none ever will, but the endless quest for perfection continues to generate surprising twists.

For one, lean production changes how people work but not always in the way we think. Most people -- including so-called blue-collar workers -- will find their jobs more challenging as lean production spreads. And they will certainly become more productive. At the same time, they may find their work more stressful, because a key objective of lean production is to push responsibility far down the organizational ladder. Responsibility means freedom to control one's work -- a big plus -- but it also raises anxiety about making costly mistakes.

Similarly, lean production changes the meaning of professional careers. In the West, we are accustomed to think of careers as a continual progression to ever higher levels of technical know-how and proficiency in an ever narrower area of specialization as well as responsibility for ever larger numbers of subordinates -- director of accounting, chief production engineer, and so on.

Lean production calls for learning far more professional skills and applying these creatively in a team setting rather than in a rigid hierarchy. The paradox is that the better you are at teamwork, the less you may know about a specific, narrow specialty that you can take with you to another company or to start a new business. What's more, many employees may find the lack of a steep career ladder with ever more elaborate titles and job descriptions both disappointing and disconcerting.

If employees are to prosper in this environment, companies must offer them a continuing variety of challenges. That way, they will feel they are honing their skills and are valued for the many kinds of expertise they have attained. Without these continual challenges, workers may feel they have reached a dead end at an early point in their career. The result: They hold back their know-how and commitment, and the main advantage of lean production disappears.

This sketch of lean production and its effects is highly simplified, of course. Where did this new idea come from and precisely how does it work in practice? Why will it result in such profound political and economic changes throughout the world? In this book we provide the answers.

In "The Origins of Lean Production," we trace the evolution of lean production. We then look in "The Elements of Lean Production" at how lean production works in factory operations, product development, supply-system coordination, customer relations and as a total lean enterprise.

Finally, in "Diffusing Lean Production," we examine how lean production is spreading across the world and to other industries and, in the process, is revolutionizing how we live and work. As we'll also see, however, lean production isn't spreading everywhere at a uniform rate. So we'll look at the barriers that are preventing companies and countries from becoming lean. And we'll suggest creative ways leanness can be achieved.

Copyright © 1990 by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roos, and Donna Sammons Carpenter

From Library Journal

This provocative and highly readable book summarizes five years of research by the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) at MIT into the role of the autmobile industry in the world economy. The authors, all directors of the IMVP, recommend that Western automobile makers adopt the concept of lean production in all phases of automobile production. A thorough and persuasive explanation of the benefits of lean production, along with numerous examples, mainly from Japanese industry, support their recommendations. This important book offers informed insight into the auto industry; for all public and academic libraries.
- Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad. Lib., West Point, N.Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2132 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 354 pages
  • Editeur : Free Press; Édition : Reprint (13 mars 2007)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001D1SRRS
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Format: Broché
Une belle leçon de management sur un fond d'épopée automobile.

A lire absolument pour toute personne qui souhaite démarrer le changement dans son entreprise.
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Lecture indispensable pour appréhender un sujet toujours d'actualité. . . . . . . . . . . .pour faire lean
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5 125 commentaires
68 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent Business Book 22 février 2000
Par J. G. Heiser - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I read this book while working for a major software firm--it was fascinating to me that Toyota could update their automobiles faster than we could bring out a new operating system.
This study of the world automotive industry by a group of MIT academics reaches the radical conclusion that the much vaunted Mercedes technicians are actually a throwback to the pre-industrial age, while Toyota is far ahead in costs and quality by building the automobiles correctly the first time. The lesson that it cost more to fix it than to build it correctly should be applicable to a lot of industries--not just manufacturing. The description of the marketing information system that Toyota uses was very enlightening. They involve the entire company in generating marketing feedback. Even dealer sales staff spend time working on the new product teams. Trust me, very few high-tech firms methodically collect feedback from their customers, and none have a system this comprehensive.
This is not just a book about lean production--this is guidance in understanding how your business operates and delivering good products that your customers want.
32 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Really good book 15 avril 2008
Par W. Defilippis - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I have read a lot of the so called quality books, and have a master's degree in the field, and I have found few books that had this kind of relevance to how things are produced and why they work or don't work. More importantly, this is one of the few 'academic studies' (I recall this one came out of MIT) that is actually clearly written and straightforward.

Yes, Toyota is much of the focus in this book and it can sometimes seem to border on the PR level, but that doesn't take away from the information in this book. Having had access to most of the auto manufacturers when this study was done, and seeing the nuts and bolts, it is what people do wrong at other places that is as important as what Toyota had been doing right (a trend, I might add, that in recent years has dimmed, Toyota has had embarassing quality faults recently). The book does mention that what Toyota "pioneered" was not entirely homegrown, many of the techniques existed, but Toyota was unique in the auto world in the number of things they chose to adopt (as a counterpoint, when the 70's hit and the US auto makers started having real competition, they hired Dr. Edwards Demming as a consultant, he told them many of the things that this book points out and they basically paid the check, used it for PR about how they were serious, and ignored him).

And these are not new issues and continue to plague companies, fallacies like:

1)"It is the fault of the labor force"..while the UAW has not exactly been cutting edge, what this book points out is something known in quality circles for years, that most of the problems are using your labor force badly, not listening to them, and just plain bad management.

2)"The secret is robotics"..GM under good ole Roger Smith spent umpteen billions of dollars on robots, and their cars were still crap (and even better, when GM and Toyota did a joint factory in California in around 1980, they discovered that the most hi tech thing in the plant was a secretary's typewriter)

3)"Cheap Labor"....nuff said about that

4)"We could build as good a car as them (meaning Toyota, Nissan, etc) if we built only a few models". Problem? Toyota had more product lines then any of the big 3 at the time.

5)"We have team labor".....on the surface, yes, but when looked at you find the same old hierarchical management and decisions made by beancounters.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned in this book, and some surprises (anyone wanna know why Benz bought Chrysler? Benz production capability is one of the lousiest in the world as written about in this book, and I hear it isn't much better today).

One of the things that this book teaches is that a lot of the cost of vehicles is based in bad design, poor management and in an attitude that problems, no matter how small, can be overlooked. People are asking how developed countries can compete with third world labor, this tells how.
39 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The world has changed 28 décembre 2001
Par B.Sudhakar Shenoy - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This book is a classic on the advantages of being lean - Product Design, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management - the entire gamut from concept to delivery in the Automobile industry.
What Ford's mass production did to craft production and its profound effects on the developed economies in the first half of the last century is an old but interesting story. With the advent of Ford's manufacturing techniques, there was a consolidation in the Auto industry. Within a couple of decades the number of automobile manufacturers fell from over a hundred to less than twenty and the big three cornering over ninety percent of the market share. Detroit became the center of pilgrimage for the rest of the world trying to emulate and replicate this success story in other continents.
Silently, the Japanese led by Toyota were working on a different concept of putting the automobile in the hands of the customer, at better quality, lesser costs, shorter development times and with the ability to offer a wider choice. The statistics collected from these "lean systems" is mind boggling. The competitive advantage that Japan enjoyed over the American system was neither due to lower wages in Japan nor due to higher levels of automation as widely believed. It was primarily the lean machine that was conquering the mass machine.
This book is based on the research done in the 1980's and published around 1990. The authors while acclaiming lean manufacturing as the panacea for the ills of manufacturing systems globally had at the time of the research and the publication of this work, probably ignored the next major change that would sweep across continents. Cars ride on highways, but today's businesses are quickly shifting gear and using a super fast highway for collaborating and for managing their global presence. Thanks to the Internet, the economics of information is transforming the economics of things. Dell is probably a good example of the new business model that could not have been imagined in the 80's. The tearing down of artificial walls across countries and continents also happened in the last decade.
We are badly in need of a repeat research study of the kind done in this book, in the face of the new realities. Global companies run by global citizens serving a global market and using a global currency will probably happen sooner than we expect.
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The truth about Detroit 17 décembre 2008
Par D. C. Palter - Publié sur
Format: Broché
If you want to understand why GM, Ford, and Chrysler are doomed and have been doomed for two decades, this is the book.

I've worked both for GM (twice) and in Japan for a Japanese automotive supplier, and I can attest that this book really got it right.

Unfortunately, while everyone in Detroit has read this book, they have never followed any of its advice or conclusions. All the talk about restructuring the US automobile manufacturers is simply about reducing costs and not about making better products by working cooperatively with employees, suppliers, dealers, and customers. Instead, Detroit continues to beat up suppliers on price and wonders why their quality is poor, push employees on wages and wonders why employees care little if the company is successful, haggle with their dealer network to push unwanted cars onto unreceptive customers.

We can bail out the industry financially, but until they learn to compete with the Japanese, they are doomed to decreasing relevance and increasing losses.

This book isn't exciting to read, but nearly 20 years since its original publication, it remains as relevant as ever.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Concepts, but Lean Thinking was Better 24 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This book introduces quite a few concepts, but unfortunately all of the examples are from the auto industry. If the reader can overcome this, and think of how the information would apply to their own industry, the book is of great value. The author's view of the future of the auto industry is quite interesting. I personally believe most cars will be bought over the Net as people generally hate dealing with car dealerships.
Good book, but if you're truly interested in this subject read Lean Thinking instead (same authors, better examples although many are also auto industry based).
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