Going Lean

How the Best Companies Apply Lean Manufacturing Principles to Shatter Uncertainty, Drive Innovation, and Maximize Profits

 Going Lean

Author: Stephen A. Ruffa
Pub Date: June 2008
Print Edition: $34.95
Print ISBN: 9780814439531
Page Count: 288
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814410622

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New AMACOM Book Shows How the Best Companies Apply Lean Manufacturing Principles to Shatter Uncertainty, Drive Innovation, and Maximize Profits

We have all heard that the business world is in a state of crisis. Increasing competition, shifting customer expectations, and disruptive world events have shattered the marketplace and undermined once-straightforward management techniques. Despite these ever-changing circumstances, most companies continue doing business as usual, often using the same model year after year, much to their detriment. However, in this time of uncertainty, there are companies who are continuing to thrive. In January of 2008, Toyota knocked Ford from its number 2 spot in the US for the first time in 75 years and is vying to become the world’s biggest automobile manufacturer; Southwest continues to with strong earnings while its competitors struggle or fail; and Wal-Mart has expanded to offer $4 prescription drugs and even in-store health clinics. The secret to their exceptional success lies in Lean Dynamics.

Stephen Ruffa is the originator of the concept of “Lean Dynamics,” which combines the traditional improvement techniques of Lean and Six-Sigma with strategic analysis of the interrelationships of decisions over time and across business functions. He is an expert in cost control with more than 18 years experience in the design, manufacture, test, and in-service support of complex aerospace vehicles. In GOING LEAN: How the Best Companies Apply Lean Manufacturing Principles to Shatter Uncertainty, Drive Innovation, and Maximize Profits (AMACOM 2008) he sets aside the notion that efficient operations and powerful innovations are only possible when business is steady and demand is growing. Instead, companies must learn that sudden shifts or unpredictable conditions need not undermine their results. Led by a new breed of companies –Toyota, Wal-Mart, and Southwest Airlines—a powerful, yet unexpected mindset is reshaping the rules for business competitiveness. GOING LEAN tells their story in the context of their response to dramatic events, from September 11th to more recent crises – showing how they consistently thrive amid extreme circumstances that have captured the public eye. In doing so, it brings a brand new perspective to “lean production” – one of the hottest topics in business management today. And it puts this all into an actionable context that will help corporations finally maximize the value from the enormous investments in technology and other business improvements so many have already made.

In GOING LEAN, readers will learn how to:

• Rethink business right down to the very goals of the organization

• Become effective in creating and sustaining value

• Set a critical foundation for achieving sustained excellence

• Describe the underlying techniques to maintain steady and predictable flow

• Deliver industry-leading returns

About the Author:

Stephen A. Ruffa is an engineer who worked for the American Defense Department and researched lean manufacturing across seventeen large aerospace producers. His previous book, Breaking the Cost Barrier: A Proven Approach to Managing and Implementing Lean Manufacturing was awarded the 2001 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research. He lives in Oak Hill, Virginia.

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