I’m trying to keep up with my lean thinking, and with that comes lean reading. This stuff can be dry sometimes, but I always come away with some nugget of gold from each book I read on the subject.
Lonnie Wilson’s book, “How to Implement Lean Manufacturing” is a great one to add to the library. Like most good teachers, Wilson adds loads of practical advice and actual examples.
Frankly, I get really tired of all the theoretical lean experts and gurus out there throwing around names like Deming and Ohno, how they all were good buddies, but you get this sense that these guys maybe went to some convention and heard one of these innovators speak.
Like most manufacturing workers, I am interested in the meat and potatoes information. I don’t have time to read a bunch of pontificating and I want to know how lean can be applied to MY job (well, to be honest, I used to want this stuff. Now, I read about lean to keep up with modern advances and best practices, so I can continue to advise others and promote our quality lean materials).
Back to the book.
Wilson, like all lean authors, takes a bit of time defining what lean is – just in case some neophyte didn’t do their internet homework already.
But where Wilson’s book shines is its practical applications and call to make changes before lean changes can be made. He focuses on changing culture in your plant, in informing management and workers alike, in evaluating value streams and implement things like cellular manufacturing layouts, he calls importance to kaizen and listening to the workers at the gemba.
These are things you need to do. They are integral to the core of lean, and you can’t run unless you tie your shoestrings, so to speak.
The book is 300 some pages, and you’ll constantly be referring back to it more than other books on your shelf. I can almost guarantee it.
Here are some other relevant books we carry at Creative Safety Supply:
- Lean Hospitals by Mark Graban
- The Idea Generator by Norman Bodek and Bunji Tozawa
- Kaizen Revolution by Michael D. Regan
- Lean Manufacturing Across the U.S.: From Salt Lake to Toledo
- Lean Manufacturing for the Monkeys?
- Lean and kaizen are not meant to eliminate people — they're meant for improvement
- 3 Tips to Help Develop a Strong Lean Culture in Your Workplace
- Lean Posters