Our recommendations

This is a list of books we recommend. The strength of this recommendation is summarized in the "wrench rating" at the right, which is intended solely as an assessment of the usefulness of the book to a manufacturing professional implementing lean manufacturing. As a result of this narrow perspective, otherwise excellent books may receive less than the top grade. In addition, we only rate other people's books. We are authors too, and  we cannot be objective reviewers of our own works. The meaning of the ratings is shown in the following table:

Must read if you want to understand JIT/lean manufacturing.

Recommended, but with reservations that may be due to the book's age, writing style, or too broad/too narrow coverage of JIT/lean production.

Recommended, but either we have stronger reservations of the same type as above, or some of the ideas are inconsistent with our own experience. 

Not recommended. 

To order the books through our associate Amazon.com, click on the title.

Books by our members and associates

Aisle 1: General books on JIT/lean production/lean manufacturing

Aisle 2: Implementation strategy and tactics

Aisle 3: Manufacturing cells

Aisle 4: Setup time reduction

Aisle 5: Organization and people

Aisle 6: 5S, TPM, and visual management

Aisle 7: Quality

Aisle 8: History

Aisle 9: Performance metrics and management accounting for lean manufacturing

Aisle 10: Product development

Aisle 11: Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Books by MMTI members and associates (not rated)
  • Lean Logistics: The nuts and bolts of delivery materials and goods, Michel Baudin, Productivity Press, New York, NY, ISBN 1-56327-296-2 (2005) 

    • Are your warehouses full while production is stopped by shortages?
    • Do you know what you have, and when the next replenishments will come?
    • Do your customers complain of long lead times and late deliveries?
    • Does the volume of your logistics activities vary erratically?

    This books addresses these issues. It covers both the physical infrastructure of lean logistics and the information flows that compose its nervous system, as well as innovative approaches to supplier relations. Find out how to avoid shortages while maintaining low inventories and take advantage of the increased capacity and flexibility generated through lean manufacturing.

    This book picks up where Lean Assembly left off -- it clearly discusses and illustrates how to deliver parts efficiently to assemblers, and the correct process for finished goods after completion. Lean Logistics completely covers manufacturing logistics, including its interaction with production control.


  • Lean Assembly: The nuts and bolts of making assembly operations flow, Michel Baudin, Productivity Press, New York, NY, ISBN 1-56327-263-6 (2002) 

Lean Assembly is a guided tour of lean manufacturing techniques applied to existing or newly designed assembly facilities. The author aims to illustrate the improvements and provide factory personnel engaged in lean initiatives with ideas, solutions, and analytical tools.

Lean Assembly differs from most other books on lean manufacturing in that it focuses on technical content as a driver for implementation methods. The emphasis is on exactly what should be done. This book should be the "dog-eared" and "penciled-in" resource on every assembly engineer's desk.

"This book is a welcome and much needed study of many cases and techniques for assembly line design." (Target magazine, 3rd Quarter 2003)

"Critical concepts such as takt time, line balancing and assembly cells are presented in great detail... virtually every page contains clear drawings or photographs to help the reader understand the concepts. While many books on lean manufacturing talk in generalities, this one is rich in details and excellent examples." (Quality Progress, November 2003)

"A thoughtful book that Baudin describes as being “about what should be done rather than how to do it.” The book is prescriptive, yet it is not a step-by-step approach to improving assembly operations. Through text, diagrams, drawings, photographs, and graphs, Baudin lays out various aspects of lean production (visual management; one-piece flow) but all in the context of assembly operations. While not all of these examples are automotive-specific, regardless of the industry, the approach transcends particulars.

[...] Lean Assembly ought to be a book that each executive studies with some high level of seriousness because Baudin examines assembly from a variety of perspectives, from line layout to final inspection, to the required data collection methodologies in between. Much of this is common sense. Yet even when something is sensible, it is sometimes hard to implement. [...] Understanding and implementing some of Baudin’s prescriptions will be time well spent. But remember: You have to do it." (Gary Vasilash, in Automotive Design and Production, March 2003)

  • Handbook of Supply Chain Management, James B. Ayers, The St. Lucie Press/APICS Series on Resource Management, New York, NY, ISBN 1-57444-273-2 (2001)

When you invest millions on new systems you don't want yesterday's solutions. You need a global view of end-to-end material, information, and financial flows. Managers today have the same concerns managers had last year, 10 years ago, or 50 years ago: products, markets, people and skills operations, and finance. New supply chain management processes give managers a hierarchy to the tasks they must perform to deal with these issues. Containing hundreds of tips and insights, the Handbook of Supply Chain Management describes the evolution of supply chain management. It explores how the techniques now popular in strategic planning and operations improvement will find new applications in managing supply chains. The author emphasizes changing supply chains rather than merely maintaining them. He uses case studies to illustrate the application of these techniques.

  • Supply Chain Project Management, James B. Ayers, The St. Lucie Press/APICS Series on Resource Management, New York, NY, ISBN 1-57444-350-X (2004)

In the supply chain world, managers face the choice between the "business as usual" single company approach or exploiting innovations in supply chain and project management. As the first book to take a project management approach to supply chain management, it explains a four-stage progression toward world class supply chain project management. This easy-to-use guide will boost readers' efforts to implement supply chain improvement by detailing the keys to a supply chain strategy, slashing costs, and generating more revenue.

The author provides a template of the stages encountered when moving to competitive supply chains, delineates the project management processes that organizations must implement if they are to advance from one stage to the next, and describes best practices on how to get there. He supplies structured approaches for project management and supply chain analysis and documentation , and illustrates the concepts with examples from the trenches.

  • Developing products in half the time, Preston G. Smith and Donald G. Reinertsen., J. Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012, ISBN 0-471-29252-4 (1998) 

In 1991, the original edition of this book became an instant hit as the leading guide to reducing product development cycle time. The expanded set of tools in this new edition meets the needs of today's more demanding times. The book's premise remains solid: time is worth money, and if you quantify this value you can buy time wisely, often to enormous advantage. Rather than pursing development speed at any price, the authors emphasize subjecting time-to-market decisions to the same hard-nosed business logic used for other management decision. Developing Products in Half the Time, 2/E is unique in providing tools for trading off schedule against other business objectives. It integrates powerful methods to manage risk and use resources effectively with proven techniques to accelerate product development. Smith and Reinertsen discuss hundreds of practical tools for reducing cycle time, describing each one's application and limitations. Countless examples including Black & Decker, Hewlett-Packard, Honda, Motorola, and other illustrate how real companies use the tools. With six more years of implementation experience and responses from readers of the original 60,000 copies, the authors have sharpened the original tools and added new ones.

  • Proactive risk management, Preston G. Smith  and Guy M. Merritt, Productivity Press, New York, NY, ISBN 1-56327-265-2 (2002)

Proactive Risk Management provides product development teams and managers with a step-by-step process for managing innovation risk in an effective cross-functional manner. In addition to providing a formula, this book illuminates the rationale of managing project risks allowing project and product development managers to successfully adapt the process to their organizations and projects.

General on JIT/lean production/lean manufacturing

  • The new manufacturing challenge, Kiyoshi Suzaki, The Free Press, New York, NY, ISBN 0-02-932040-2 (1987) 

    Suzaki's book, like the other introductory texts, describes the operations of factories practicing JIT/lean production, but not how to convert a traditional plant. It describes the destination but not the way to get there. This is appropriate for readers who are new to the subject, and Suzaki writes well enough to retain a manager's attention during air travel.  

  • KANBAN Just-In-Time at Toyota, Edited by JMA, translated by David Lu, Productivity Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA, ISBN 0-915299-48-8 (1985) 

    This book covers much of the same ground as Suzaki's and is a suitable alternative. It does, however, suffer from two drawbacks. First, having been written by a group, it lacks a strong authorial voice. Second, it is a translation, and the English is in places awkward and unclear. As a result, it is both less entertaining and more difficult to understand.  

  • Zero Inventories, Robert W. Hall, Dow Jones Irwin, Homewood, IL, ISBN 0-870940461-4 (1983) 

    While the above two books were written by consultants, this one is the work of a professor of Operations Management at Indiana University. Hall's book is longer, more detailed, and more technical. You would not typically read it cover to cover but rather use it as a reference. The title is a bit misleading: JIT/lean production is done with low inventories, but the level is not zero. 

On implementation strategy and tactics

In the 2/92 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Robert Shaffer wrote an article entitled "Successful change programs begin with results." This title is a thumbnail summary of the author's philosophy. In the book, he explains the difference between results-driven and activity-centered programs, the role of pilot projects and the means of expanding the scope of change to encompass the entire organization. 

The only reason not to give this book the maximum four-wrench rating is that it is not specifically about lean manufacturing. In addition, while his criticism of activity-centered programs is valid, there are parts of lean manufacturing, such as 5S and TPM, that cannot be implemented any other way.

  • The Kaizen Blitz, Anthony Laraia et al., John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, ISBN 0-471-24648-4 (1999) 

This book presents the "Kaizen Blitz" -- also known as "Kaizen event," "Accelerated Improvement Workshop" and other names -- as created around 1994 by a group of executives from American manufacturing companies that were frustrated with the slow pace of progress achieved through small group activity by team of volunteer operators. It goes on to give an informative account of how to set up and run a Kaizen Blitz, based on case studies from such companies as Wiremold and Lantech. 

It has two shortcomings:

  1. The Kaizen event is presented as the implementation tool, to the exclusion of any other approach. This is widely held but mistaken belief, and it should be presented as one tool in a box that contains many others. There is more to implementing lean manufacturing than running hundreds of Kaizen events.
  2. There is no reference in the book to the experience of Toyota's "jishuken" (autonomous study groups), developed since 1976 and looking very much like Kaizen events. Jishuken is the term used to described rapid improvement workshops at Toyota in the US and in the UK. All the documents in English about Jishuken are from the UK. 
  • The Idea Generator, Bunji Tozawa & Norman Bodek., PCS Press, Vancouver, WA, ISBN 0-9712436-9-7 (2001) 

Bunji Tozawa has written a two-volume series about Kaizen, which represent the generally accepted meaning of the term in Japanese. "Kaizen Blitz," by contrast, in a Japanese-German oxymoron meaning literally "lightning strike of continuous improvement." As Tozawa and Bodek use the term, Kaizen designates small changes in work methods implemented by the people who do the work. It about things like  wrapping foil around the feet of a welding fixture to make it easier to clean, not about cellularizing a process. Kaizen in fact addresses the kind of issues that are likely to be ignored in the rush of a Kaizen Blitz. 

Where the authors perhaps err is in asserting that Kaizen is "quick and easy." They convey the impression that all you have to do is open the flood gates to employees' creativity. The creativity is there, but putting it to good use, further growing it in the process, and sustaining that effort year after year is anything but easy.

  • Kaizen, Masaaki Imai, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, ISBN 0-07-554332-X, (1986) 

This book is mostly of historical interest. It introduced the word "kaizen" into the English language, with the meaning of continuous, incremental improvement, but it is otherwise dated both in content and in tone, systematically opposing Japanese to "Westerners," with the universal conclusion that everything Japanese is better.  

  • Gemba Kaizen, Masaaki Imai, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, ISBN 0--07-031446-2, (1997)  

As the title indicates this book is more focused on the shop floor. Half the book is in the form of case studies, many of which are from American and European companies. The nationalistic undertone of the previous book is gone. Whether this is due to the author having gained more perspective in 11 years   or to the dismal performance of the Japanese industry in the 90's may never be known, but it is in any case a welcome development.

On manufacturing cells

  • One-piece flow, Cell Design for Transforming the Production Process, Kenichi Sekine, Productivity Press, Portland, OR, ISBN 0-915299-33-X 

    This is a book on an essential topic for JIT/lean production written for American audiences by an experienced Japanese consultant, and loaded with case studies from industries ranging from sheet metal to fishing rods. So it is a priori a prime candidate for a four-wrench rating. While it is a very useful book, it doesn't quite make that grade. The first part of the book, on "Basics" is substantive but awkwardly structured. One key concept is "process razing," but it is referred to forty pages before it is defined, and then the expression "process razing" is used in its own definition. If you can ignore this type of issues, you will find practical ideas and analytical tools sprinkled throughout. The second part of the book is a collection of in-depth case studies that can be read independently and provide not only technical but project management insights. In our own experience of implementing one-piece flow through cells and quick setups, several issues repeatedly come up that are not covered in this book: 

    • What to do with operators who are removed from a line as a result of improving productivity.  
    • How to integrate deburring, degreasing, and other secondary operations into U-shaped cells. 
    • How to deal with shared resources such as heat treatment or painting facilities.  

On setup time reduction

On organization and people
  • Team Toyota: Transplanting the Toyota culture to the Camry plant in Kentucky, Terry L. Besser, SUNY, New York, ISBN 0-7914-3145-2, (1996) 

    Skip chapters 1 and 2, unless you want to check out the author's background and his methodology. If you are willing to trust him, start from Chapter 3 and get not only details about shift patterns and team structure but also the results of interviews of employees on their experience of the Toyota production system day after day. 

  • Work, Mobility, and Participation, A Comparative Study of American and Japanese Industry, Robert E. Cole, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, ISBN 0-520-04204-2, (1979) 

    Although based on research conducted in the 1970's, this book remains the most valuable reference we have found on personnel practices within the Toyota production system. It contains a detailed analysis of operator evaluation and career pathing at Toyota Auto Body, along with case studies of improvement projects. What keeps you turning the pages in Cole's book is his sober, critical look at the subject, which is a welcome relief from the cheerleading tone of most business bestsellers.  

  • Rivethead, Ben Hamper, Warner Books, New York, NY, ISBN 0-446-39400-9, (1991)  

    This is about what is wrong with mass production, as seen through the eyes of the operators. Ben Hamper describes his 11-year experience on a car assembly line with the wit of a Tom Wolfe or a Michael Lewis.  

  •  Just another car factory, James Rhinehart et al., Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, ISBN 0-8014-8407-3, (1997)  

    This book criticizes lean production at CAMI as a major disappointment to the work force and is a useful cautionary tale for implementers of lean production. Based on this book, the major problem with lean production at CAMI appears to be that it did not live up to its advance billing. The initial training generated expectations of work life that the experience of assembling cars could not fulfill, leading the workers to the conclusion that CAMI was "just another car factory." 

  • Reengineering the corporation, M. Hammer & J. Champy, Harper Business, New York, NY, ISBN 0-88730-640-3, (1993) 

    Having sold over 6 million copies, this book needs no introduction. And it's not about JIT/lean production, so why recommend it? Although the authors do not acknowledge it, business process reengineering looks like JIT/lean production applied to white collar activities. This and the influence of this book on American business today are strong enough reasons to make it a must-read. In addition, for a business best seller, it is unusually clear-headed, concise and to the point. This being said, for balance's sake, let us list a few shortcomings: 

    • The authors did not anticipate how extensively "vocabulary engineering" -- that is, attaching new labels to old structures, would thwart implementation of their ideas. Executives have titles like "VP of order fulfillment" and managers refer to themselves as "process owners," but behind this facade, it is largely business as usual. 
    • The "process" model does not do justice to the full complexity of business organization. Not everything can or should be organized as a process. The contrast between functional departments and processes is relevant and useful, but not sufficient.  
    • Toyota, the company that created JIT/lean production, is not systematically organized around business processes, but with functional departments supplemented by cross-functional committees at the top management level and a variety of structures at lower levels. 
  • Strategic Compensation, Joseph J. Martocchio, Prentice Hall/Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, ISBN 0-13-028030-5 (2001)
On 5S, TPM, and Visual Management
  • Training for TPM, Edited by Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation, Productivity Press, Cambridge, MA, ISBN 0-915299-34-8 (1990) 

On quality

"Pokayoke," or mistake-proofing production processes through small equipment retrofits, is the most innovative concept in quality of the past 20 years. Where, as is the case is most mechanical and electronics assembly operations, most defects are caused by human error, pokayoke can get your reject rate from 0.5% to 20 ppm. This book contains little theory but 240 actual examples from a variety of Japanese factories. It's not a book you read cover to cover. You can search is multiple indexes for an example relevant to a problem you are trying to solve, or you pick it up when you have a few minutes of spare time and read through a few examples. Its only limitation is a focus on conventional equipment. There is nothing about mistake-proofing computer-controlled systems. (See "The design of everyday things" below.) 

Shigeo Shingo will be remembered as the inventor both of quick changeover methods (SMED) and mistake-proofing (Poka-Yoke). This book is useful mostly for the examples of Poka-Yoke. It also contains a classification of inspection activities in which the best kind is called "source inspection," and is synonymous with mistake-proofing. It starts in a more philosophical tone, with comments that are guaranteed to make statistically trained quality professionals bristle. Shingo clearly thinks that mistake-proofing is superior to statistical methods, but fails to specify the conditions for this to be true. 

Our view is that the applicable tools for quality improvement depend on what the quality problems are. If they are primarily human error, then mistake-proofing will work. On the other hand, if they are due to insufficient process capabilities, then process characterization through statistical design of experiments will be much more help than mistake-proofing.

The only reason this book does not rate four wrenches is that it isn't directly about manufacturing. Many of the ideas in it, however, are directly applicable on the shop floor. It is about how to design objects so that people can use them effectively with little or no training. Norman's objects of study range from door knobs and faucets to computer screens and control rooms in nuclear power plants. This book is based on experimentation, but infers from the results general principles that can be applied in a variety of domains, including the mistake-proofing of operator interfaces to automatic systems on the shop floor. This makes it complementary to Poka-Yoke: Improving product quality by preventing defects (See above). 

Although the title does not say so, this book is about the Taguchi methods for statistical design of experiments, and it is in fact the best book we have found on the subject. It focuses on tools and techniques and is free of the Confucian mumbo-jumbo about the good of society at large that encumbers other books about these techniques.

As presented by Phadke, the methods are a subset of statistical design of experiments, refined and focused on a particular kind of objective functions called "signal-to-noise ratios." The approach is to make the processes first precise, and then accurate. 

On history

A fascinating read about a man who has been thoroughly and unfairly vilified for 80 years. Taylor did not invent the assembly line, many of his ideas were abandoned, and others altered beyond recognition. But Taylor was an engineers' engineer, fascinated since childhood by how things are made, who not only founded the discipline of industrial engineering but also invented high-speed steel tooling. 

(Michel Baudin's rave review of this book is on the Amazon site)

Isaac Newton was history's first industrial engineer! The only reason this otherwise excellent biography doesn't rate more than two wrenches is that most of the book is devoted to what Newton is better known for. Chapter 11 describes how, in 1696, after 30 years in academia, Newton took the job of "Warden of the London mint" and proceeded to improve the efficiency of its operations through time-and-motion studies (p. 261), a full 200 years before Taylor. Since it is doubtful that usable stopwatches existed before 1696, it is unlikely that anyone had tried before. 

While this is an excellent book, it only rates two wrenches because it's not about manufacturing. The kind of risk Bernstein is mostly interested in is not that of making or failing to detect bad parts but that of misreading the stock market. A manufacturing professional might want to skip the later part of the book and focus on the accounts of the origins of statistics in population studies for the purpose of taxation and insurance underwriting, of probability theory in gambling, and how the two came together to produce the tools we use to manage all sorts of risks. 

On performance metrics and management accounting for lean manufacturing

This is a collection of case studies of Shingo Prize winners, not all of which are about the impact of lean manufacturing. Two of them, Wilson Sporting Goods and Gates Rubber are in fact discussions of TQM instead. The case studies cover both the changes made to the services provided by management accounting and improvements made to the internal operations of the accounting department. 

  • Management accounting, Anthony A.Atkinson et al., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, ISBN 0-13-016809-2 (1995) 

This is a college textbook, printed in large type, with many color photographs, key term lists, review questions and exercises with each chapter. It is useful either if you want to become a professional management accountant or as a reference on the subject. Oddly, it does not contain an intelligible definition of the word "cost."

  • Measures for manufacturing performance, Ed. Robert Kaplan, Harvard Business School Series on Accounting and Control, Cambridge, MA, ISBN 0-87584-229-1 (1990) 

    Includes a case study of National Semiconductor by Mike Harrison, Chuck Holloway and Jim Patell 

  • Keeping score, Mark Graham Brown, Amacom, NY, ISBN 0-8144-0327-1 (1996) 

This is a collection of articles, dominated by the theme of Activity-Based Costing. Two of the articles, however, relate to lean manufacturing. The main one is "Cost Accounting and Cost Management in a JIT Environment," by George Foster and Charles T. Horngren on pp. 34-43. It makes the case that lean manufacturing simplifies cost accounting, and describes backflush costing as an approach to product costing that simplifies bookkeeping and works in a quick turnaround environment. The other article, by editor Mark Young, on pp. 311-322, is entitled "A framework for successful adoption and performance of Japanese manufacturing practices in the United States." First published in 1992, it is a bit dated, and is not specifically about the financial side of lean manufacturing.

  • The visible hand, Alfred D. Chandler, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-94052-0 (1977)

Although the way American industry has moved since the publication of this book is not what the author anticipated, it is a detailed and vivid history of the emergence of current management accounting practices in response to the different needs of small textile mills in the 1840's, railroads in the second half of the 19th century, and diversified, vertically integrated enterprises in the 20th. Where Chandler's story stops, he sees the "visible hand" of management continuing to replace the invisible hand of the markets in allocating resources and directing industry. The 25 years since then, however, have seen a move away from vertical integration and a renewed reliance on market mechanisms.

This book starts out covering the same historical ground as "The visible hand" with fewer details, but takes the story 10 years further, into the 1980's, when, according to the authors, the management accounting systems that had served industry well for 60 years lost their relevance. 

On product development

This is an excellent book, and the only reason not to give it the maximum four wrenches is that it is not particularly about lean production. 

MMTI author

This is not a treatise on how to develop products but a journalist's account of the development of the MV-8000 computer at Data General in 1980. The company had been caught by surprise by DEC's introduction of the VAX in 1978 and needed a response. The book has all the elements of a thriller: an inept corporate bureaucracy squandering millions on a luxurious research facility for no return, while a small band of rebels in the cellar of an old building succeed against the odds in developing the product that gave the company a new lease on life. 


  • Car, Mary Walton, W W Norton & Co; ISBN: 0393040801 (June 1997) 

Like, "The soul of a new machine," this is a product development case study - if the 1996 Taurus at Ford - by a journalist who was invited to follow it from start to finish. The most interesting aspect of this case is that, while the development project was technically successful, the resulting product did not keep its promises in the market. 


Reviewed by Preston Smith: "A classic account of how time is used to gain competitive advantage in business today, in product development as well as in other areas." 


Click here for Preston Smith's review of this book.


Reviewed by Preston Smith: "Rapid development requires a well articulated product strategy as well as product line and technology plans. For additional coverage on these topics, see Chapters 2-4 of Wheelwright and Clark. However, note that it has little focus on development speed." 

Reviewed by Preston Smith: "Includes a thorough treatment of QFD, but being a mainline book on the subject, it is not oriented towards speed." 

Reviewed by Preston Smith: "Reaching agreement on a specification by several parties is essentially a process of negotiation, and skill in negotiating win-win agreements speeds up the process. Fisher and Ury's supports our suggestion of concentrating on benefits. These authors emphasize that it is more productive to understand each party's underlying interests than just to state positions, which then tend to become inflexible." 

Reviewed by Preston Smith: "An excellent, compact book on this important subject. It stems from the customer visit training he has conducted at Hewlett Packard. However, McQuarrie has a traditional market research tendency that needs to be turbocharged a bit to accelerate the process." 

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

When you invest millions on new systems you don't want yesterday's solutions. You need a global view of end-to-end material, information, and financial flows. Managers today have the same concerns managers had last year, 10 years ago, or 50 years ago: products, markets, people and skills operations, and finance. New supply chain management processes give managers a hierarchy to the tasks they must perform to deal with these issues. Containing hundreds of tips and insights, the Handbook of Supply Chain Management describes the evolution of supply chain management. It explores how the techniques now popular in strategic planning and operations improvement will find new applications in managing supply chains. The author emphasizes changing supply chains rather than merely maintaining them. He uses case studies to illustrate the application of these techniques.

MMTI author

This is a well focused, well written book that we have found a source of useful ideas on analyzing warehouse operations and on designing warehouses. Our only reservation about it is that it does not specifically address the lean manufacturing approach to the subject. For example, there is no discussion of milk runs, shop floor supermarkets, or visible controls. 

This book expands on Frazelle's World Class Warehousing book, still without addressing the lean approach in any depth. Unlike Frazelle's previous book, this one shows signs of having been produced in haste, including the following:

  • Examples lifted verbatim from "World Class Warehousing" without attribution. 
  • There are contradictions, such as stating in one chapter that inventory carrying cost dominate. logistics costs, and awarding the same distinction to transportation costs in another. 
  • Some illustrations have captions that are too small to read.  
  • Numerous affirmations of the author's religious beliefs, that are irrelevant to logistics.

This being said, we have still found it a source of ideas. 

This is the only book in this aisle that explicitly refers to lean anything in its title. As the subtitle suggests, however, the focus of the content is on cost management through collaborative supplier-customer relations, involving in particular target and kaizen costing. It includes case studies of nine Japanese companies. Unlike most other books in this list, it includes a bibliography.

  • Logistics, David J. Bloomberg et al., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ ISBN 0-13-010194-X (2002)
  • Supply Chain Optimization, Charles C. Poirier & Stephen E. Reiter, Berret Kohler Publishers, San Francisco, CA, ISBN 1-881052-93-1 (1996)

396 Shasta Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94306-4541, Tel:(650)856-8928, FAX:(650)858-1873, e-mail: Michel.Baudin@mmt-inst.com