The Toyota Way - Book Review

By: Jeffrey K. Liker (2004)

ISBN 0-07-139231-9

Book Price: $39.95

Lean manufacturing and product development

Jeffrey K. Liker, Ph.D., is Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, and cofounder and Director of the Japan Technology Management Program and the Lean Manufacturing and Lean Product Development Certificate Programs at the university. He is a winner of 4 Shingo Prizes for excellence.

The world's greatest manufacturer

Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker explores 14 management principles from the world's greatest manufacturer. He shares, How Toyota became the world's best (Ch. 2); building a culture of stopping to fix problems (Ch. 11); continuous improvement and employee empowerment (Ch. 12); develop exceptional people (Ch. 16), and so much more!

Clues for great business success

Dr. Liker's style is comprehensive and well researched, as in his interview with Toyota President, Fujio Cho, who states, "The key to the Toyota Way... is not any of the individual elements... But what is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner-not in spurts."

Jeffrey introduces key concepts; he announces that the 14 management principles are divided into four sections: "Long-Term Philosophy... The Right Process Will Produce the Right Results... Add Value to the Organization by Developing Your People and Partners... Continuously Solving Root Problems Drives Organizational Learning."

Relaying key principles in a succinct fashion gives value to Jeffrey Liker's work. This is seen in the description of Toyota's principles, as, "Principle 1: Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals." Toyota's attention to principles and process are vital to their success!

Historical data pinpoints success keys. Liker reveals, "... Toyota Motor Company started small with few resources. Everyone had to chip in on every activity and do what was necessary to engineer and build a car."

Liker points to problems to inspire solutions, stating, "... workers in technical and service organizations are so immersed in doing their jobs it is difficult for them to see the flow in their work." Show workers where they fit!

Mechanisms and heart

Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker explains the mechanisms and heart that have propelled TOYOTA Motor Company to the top.

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