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1. Cracking the Millionaire Code
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2. Implementing Six Sigma: Smarter
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3. Data Analysis and Decision Making
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4. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating
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5. Factory Physics
6. The Lean Manufacturing Pocket
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7. Workflow Modeling: Tools for Process
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8. Managing Technological Innovation
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9. Occupational Safety and Health
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12. Uptime: Strategies for Excellence
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14. Operations Management: Strategy
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16. The Lean Pocket Guide
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18. LEAN THINKING : Banish Waste and
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19. Practical Lean Accounting: A Proven
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20. Making Common Sense Common Practice

1. Cracking the Millionaire Code : Your Key to Enlightened Wealth
by Mark Victor Hansen, Robert G. Allen
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
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Asin: 1400082943
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: Harmony
Sales Rank: 42
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2. Implementing Six Sigma: Smarter Solutions Using Statistical Methods, Second Edition
by Forrest W. Breyfogle III
list price: $100.00
our price: $87.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471265721
Catlog: Book (2003-03-24)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 20231
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

* Includes new and expanded coverage of Six Sigma infrastructure building and benchmarking.
* Provides plans, checklists, metrics, and pitfalls.
... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars A clear roadmap to successful Six Sigma implementation
Forrest Breyfogle's new text, "Implementing Six Sigma", provides clear and well-defined examples, case studies and guidelines for the justification, design and "smarter" implementation of Six Sigma methodologies in any organization. The practical examples of "Smarter Solutions Using Statistical Methods" show how organizations can enhance the bottom-line benefits of Six Sigma implementation through the innovative application of proven concepts. Breyfogle's real world experience in assisting clients like IBM, Motorola and Dell is evident on every page.

The unique value of the book is in it's multi-tiered approach to each of these issues. Concepts are introduced, discussed and documented in several levels of detail, each suitable to a different reader, from the non-technical senior executive, through the implementing functional manager, to the working quality engineer.

An excellent glossary and extensive reference tables make this book a valuable addition to any professional reference library. Pragmatic "how to" guidelines make it an easy to follow roadmap for successful Six Sigma implementation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for Six Sigma and QE Practitioners
The first edition of Implementing Six Sigma was the best book available for Six Sigma practitioners and quality engineers. The second edition increases the lead over other contenders.

First of all, Six Sigma is defined as a system that improves business performance through cost reduction and revenue growth by improving all business processes and increasing customer satisfaction. It is not just a quality improvement system.

Second, all of the statistical tools are described, explained and illustrated with real world examples. And in addition:
• The Seven Management Tools to analyze "idea data"
• Lean tools to reduce waste as defined by Taichi Ohno
• Theory of Constraints to identify and break bottlenecks
• Project Management and Change Management
• Team effectiveness
• Creativity
are all integrated into "Smarter Six Sigma Solutions" to provide a holistic approach to business improvement.

In other words, if you want to make real improvements in real life business situations, this is the book to show you how to do it. Also, if you want to pass the ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt certification exam, there is no better text.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Very Comprehensive Source
I bought this book directly from the author out of the trunk of his car, so I can tell you that you definitely get a better price from Anyway, this is without a doubt, the most comprehensive book on the subject. Breyfogle has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that he has covered all aspects of Six Sigma in sufficient detail that the reader will be able to apply these methodologies successfully from the start. One of the key ingredients he spends a lot of time on is the idea of focusing and aligning efforts with corporate or organizational goals and metrics. These he refers to as the "satellite level"*. There are lower operational levels (30,000 foot and below) that need to be aligned with the satellite level in order that six sigma projects are driven for most effectiveness to the organization.

Forrest Breyfogle has been a quality leader in our community (Austin, Texas) for a number of years. I knew him since his days at IBM in the early '90s. That doesn't mean that I can't give an unbiased view of this book, however. Note I'm not giving it 5 stars as some have done. I am trying to give it a fair assessment, however. I've seen many technical books of this nature written in a more conversational way that are a little easier to read with better vocabulary, grammar, and organization. But if you want a book that covers it all, there is nothing out there I know of that can beat this one.

This book claims to focus on both product and service quality. However, as with many books that claim to cover the service sector, it is a little weak in that area. There are some books that cover services better than this one, I think, and so if that is your specialty, you may want to use one of those books to supplement the treatment of six sigma in this book. I like "Ultimate Six Sigma" by Keki Bhote. That book uses the concept of NOAC (Next Operation As Customer) to drive interdepartmental process improvement. Bhote is a big fan of Dorian Shainin, the consummate engineer of quality tools, and he is now arrogantly calling some of the Shainin tools "Shainin/Bhote" tools. But I've seen a lot of books that look like advertising brochures for consultants. His and Breyfogle's book both have that fault. But I have to like them simply because they are comprehensive, authoritative, and useful. I think the advertising brochure syndrome is really the fault of publishers that let authors get away with it. I would think a respected technical publisher like Wiley would not accept that kind of tone in any of its books. But like "Coke C2" and low carb bread, we are swamped with advertising from every direction and it only gets worse.

Another good book you might want to consider is "Lean Six Sigma for Service" by Michael L. George. This book specializes in only the service sector and is therefore, a very good book for that kind of work with some excellent case studies.

*Service Mark of Smarter Solutions

2-0 out of 5 stars Hastily Assembled and Poorly Organized
When my wife brought this home from her Six Sigma Green Belt training, I eagerly opened it and spent a couple hours reviewing it's "treasures". I was disappointed.

As a provider of Six Sigma Training and a certifed Black Belt myself, I had expected better from one of the most recognized names in the field. Breyfogle and his team have assembled several meaningful aspects of the Six Sigma art. However, any sense of flow or logical progression were interrupted by commercials for his company's "unique" approach. His team's frequent use of poorly defined vocabulary added to the confusion. Most disturbing, however, was the characterization of the value of the "wisdom of the organization", which could mislead potential implementers of the method to minimize the critical need for empirical data collection and analysis. They seem to promote the the more typical, "Ask Larry, he knows".

Typos, confusing sentence structure, and poor publishing practices lead me to wonder if Dr. B reads his own defect reduction philosophies. The Voice of the Customer in this instance says: el Stinko.

If you buy this book, you will find use in it. It's a good collection of techniques and ideas, and many of the examples are helpful. However, I would suggest looking for something cheaper and more professionally executed. The price may lead you to believe that this is the consumate work of the field. If it is, I guess that's good news for you and me. Without much effort, we could write and publish a better Six Sigma book than this shallow collection of Clip Art, rambling prose, and poorly referenced diagrams.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than Ever
The second edition of Implementing Six Sigma, by Forrest Breyfogle, substantially updates and enriches the original work. In it's current form it may very well be the most comprehensive source of information about the practical application of statistical techniques in Six Sigma work.

Like the previous edition, it is a highly informative book that illustrates how to tightly integrate balanced scorecard metrics with improvement techniques, to include Lean, Six Sigma, and theory of constraints (TOC) tools. Breyfogle's expanded step-by-step project execution roadmap illustrates when Lean/Six Sigma tools can be used to significant effect throughout the define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) improvement cycle in a variety of settings.

Other reviewers in the field have found the new book to be of significant value as well.
Writing in the February 2004 ASQ "Six Sigma Forum Magazine", Roger Hoerl, Manager of the Applied Statistics Laboratory at GE's Global Research Center categorized the work as "an excellent text for a technically oriented course for Black Belts or Master Black Belts...the most complete compilation of Six Sigma tools on the market."

In the same publication, William Parr, Department of Statistics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, stated "This is the best overall reference, providing encyclopedic coverage of statistical and statistically related topics that are of use in Six Sigma work.

With this well-deserved professional recognition, Breyfogle firmly positions himself as a world-class authority in the application of successful techniques to the implementation of Six Sigma - and his latest work as the "how to" guide to success. ... Read more

3. Data Analysis and Decision Making with Microsoft Excel (with InfoTrac and CD-ROM)
by S. Christian Albright, Wayne Winston, Christopher Zappe
list price: $127.95
our price: $98.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 053438367X
Catlog: Book (2002-07-15)
Publisher: Duxbury Press
Sales Rank: 64683
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The emphasis of the text is on data analysis, modeling, and spreadsheet use in statistics and management science. This text contains professional Excel software add-ins. The authors maintain the elements that have made this text a market leader in its first edition: clarity of writing, a teach-by-example approach, and complete Excel integration. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Title: Intro to Statistics using Excel Add-ins
On the positive side, this book has many excellent case studies and examples. It is well written and interesting. However, I was disappointed, as I was expecting use of Excel to rigorously solve decision making and data analysis problems. The focus of the book is mostly traditional statistics solved using a group of commercial add-ins for Excel. If this is what you want, then the book would get five stars. However, for data analysis and decision making, I think a more thorough treatment using Excel without relying so much on the add-ins would have been appropriate.

4-0 out of 5 stars Serious Excel 2000 Problem
The text book is great. I have many of Winston's other books and they are all great. The Palisade stuff works just fine. However, the StatPro Addin that accompanies this text does not work with MS Excel 2000. I contacted the IT guy that the authors directed me to--he was stumped. He just gave up and suggested I return my book for a refund because he could not figure out it out. Again, the book is great but the StatPro Addin sucks!

5-0 out of 5 stars No trouble with Excel
I find the text and software a useful set of tools. It assumes familiarity with basic statistics and Excel, and builds on them to develop a powerfull ability to analize data and make decisions from it. I experienced no trouble with the software install or operation.

4-0 out of 5 stars MS Office 2000 compatability problems!!
Just purchased the book as a tool for MBA classes. However, after installing the accompanying CD ROM add-ons I had problems accessing MS Office programs. A critical .DLL file was modified by the program during my installation. I think the program was made to run with MS Excel 97. Another suggestion for the author is to include an answers CD ROM for the problems contained in the text so that students and professionals can check their work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent MBA - level textbook and software.
Finally MBA probability/statistics course and MS Excel have been unified in one textbook. The accompanying software is great, especially Decision Tree (probably the only Excel-based software for decision making). Students like business-oriented excersises in the book. Highly recommended. ... Read more

4. The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action
by Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
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Asin: 0875846513
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Sales Rank: 4039
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here is the book--by the recognized architects of the Balanced Scorecard--that shows how managers can use this revolutionary tool to mobilize their people to fulfill the company's mission.More than just a measurement system, the Balanced Scorecard is a management system that can channel the energies, abilities, and specific knowledge held by people throughout the organization toward achieving long-term strategic goals.

Kaplan and Norton demonstrate how senior executives in industries such as banking, oil, insurance, and retailing are using the Balanced Scorecard both to guide current performance and to target future performance.They show how to use measures in four categories-financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth-to align individual, organizational, and cross-departmental initiatives and to identify entirely new processes for meeting customer and shareholder objectives.

The authors also reveal how to use the Balanced Scorecard as a robust learning system for testing, gaining feedback on, and updating the organization's strategy.Finally, they walk through the steps that managers in any company can use to build their own Balanced Scorecard.

The Balanced Scorecard provides the management system for companies to invest in the long term-in customers, in employees, in new product development, and in systems-rather than managing the bottom line to pump up short-term earnings.It will change the way you measure and manage your business.

... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Overcome Poor Communications and Bureaucracy for New Actions
The Balanced Scorecard looks at the important issues of alignment, coordination, and effective implementation. Most business thinkers like to start with the big picture, and end there. As a result, most ideas for going in a new direction are quickly diluted by misunderstanding, falling back on old habits, and lethargy. Since Peter Drucker first popularized the idea of business strategy, there have been vastly more strategies conceived than there have been strategies successfully implemented as a result. Much attention has been paid to devising better strategies in the last four decades, and little to implementing strategies. The big pay-off is in the implementation, and The Balanced Scorecard is one of handful of books that provide important and valuable guidance to explain what needs to be done to successfully execute strategy. You must have more measures, and different measures than the accounting system provides. You also need to link measures and compensation to the key tasks that each person must perform. This book is simply the Rosetta Stone of communicating and managing strategy. The Balanced Scorecard is the beginning of the practical period of maturity in the field of business strategy. Read this book today to enjoy much more prosperity! I also recommend that you read The Fifth Discipline, The Fifth Discipline Handbook, and The Dance of Change to understand more about the context in which you are trying to make positive change. These four books are excellent companions for each other.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book that spawned a core business approach
This book is a seminal work that has significantly affected the way businesses frame and execute strategy.

In a nutshell, the authors show you how to view your business strategy, drivers and key indicators in four dimensions - financial, external (customer satisfaction), internal (processes) and learning/growth. They then show you how to link these to your strategies and develop and execute plan for transforming them into action and results.

The good and the bad. First, the good - before Kaplan and Norton published this book there was no standardized method for framing and measuring what's important. This book rectifies that. Also, the ideas first introduced have been embraced and extended to the point that a book search of similar titles returns over 2600 hits, and a google search using 'balanced scorecard' as a keyword returns ten time that many. This is a clear indication of how influential this book is and remains eight years after publication. But those are simple statistics. What's important about this book is many of the other resources that have sprang from it assume that you are familiar with the concepts and approach in this book.

The bad - the writing style, as noted by others is ponderous. That does not diminish the concepts and approach. It is also showing its age, but only because of the body of work that this book has inspired, which has greatly extended and refined the basic ideas. You will still need to read this book to get the most out of the body of work that is based upon it. Also note that even Kaplan and Norton, the authors, have extended this work into strategy maps and a 'strategy-focused organization' paradigm.

Overall this book has - and will continue to - influence thinking. The ideas set forth are still evolving and have been embraced by some of the largest (and smallest) companies on the planet. If you are new to this material I recommend visiting Balanced Scorecard Institute (ASIN B00006CKQ2) for introductory information, and Balanced Scorecard Online (ASIN B00006DBZ5) for more detailed material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Be a Top Performer
If you want to rise to the top in your business and career you need to have a great system for managing results. The management cycle involves defining objectives, assigning responsibilities, developing performance standards, evaluating results, and developing improvements where necessary.

There may be many layers or hierarchies of organizational objectives, such as Corporate, Branch, Department, Team, and Individual. A good management system will capture all of the organizational objectives, and all will be linked to the overall business strategy. One helpful tool for capturing organizational objectives is the Balanced Scorecard. This system
uses measures in four major categories:





The actual measures selected are highly dependent upon the type of business and should be carefully developed to ensure proper
results are obtained. The goal is to select measures that best relate to the overall company strategy. As such, each scorecard will be unique. I have used a Balanced Scorecard and highly recommend them to help organize the complex assemblage of organizational objectives into a unitary whole. This fantastic book tells you everything you need to know. Highly recommended!

3-0 out of 5 stars Once a 5 star essential, but now slightly outdated
Kaplan and Norton are the visionaries behind the Balanced Scorecard (BSc), and this is their first book on the subject. BSc as Kaplan and Norton conceived of it was focused on measurement, specifically measuring variables that had some linkage to corporate financial results so that the direction of the organization could be determined prior to the occurrence of a bad quarter or two. THE MEASURES OF ANY MANAGEMENT CONCEPT ARE ITS ADOPTION AND ITS STAYING POWER, AND KAPLAN AND NORTON'S BSc IS AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS.

BUT companies that enacted BSc's started to tie them to corporate strategies, making them strategic management tools and not just measurement tools. One of the advancements was to tie define measures that measured the success of strategic intent as defined by specific objectives and goals. Another was to create cause and effect maps of the objectives, called "strategy maps."

Measurement is, of course, still an important part of the BSc, but the process of determining what to measure begins higher up the strategic ladder. KAPLAN AND NORTON THEMSELVES CHRONICLE THE GROWTH OF BSc INTO A STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT TOOL IN THEIR SUBSEQUENT WORK.

So, this book is a bit outdated, though it is still a useful introduction. However, I recommend that you try:
* Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes by Kaplan and Norton

* The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment, also by Kaplan and Norton

* Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results by Paul R. Niven

And a good introductory article to the idea of strategy mapping is "Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System", a Harvard Business Review article by Kaplan and Norton that is also available on Amazon.

2-0 out of 5 stars OK
The book is somewhat helpful, but given the current conditions, it is no longer applicable. I would rather go for the new book Six Sigma Business Scorecard, which is a surprisingly good modification and has a new revolutionary theme to it. ... Read more

5. Factory Physics
by WallaceHopp, MarkSpearman
list price: $123.75
our price: $123.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0256247951
Catlog: Book (2000-04-04)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 64084
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Comprehensive Introduction to Manufacturing Management text covering the behavior laws at work in factories. Examines operating policies and strategic objectives. Hopp presents the concepts of manufacturing processes and controls within a "physics" or "laws of nature" analogy--a novel approach.There is enough quantitative material for an engineer's course, as well as narrative that a management major can understand and apply. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, in-depth book for Ops Engineers.
This was a required text for my Production and Mgmt course during my undergrad studies as an Industrial and Ops Engineer at the U of Michigan in 2000. Priot to taking the course, I had very little knowledge of how ops research/optiimization tied in with real world settings. Lucky for me, the course was taught by an wonderful, demanding professor who unfortunately had to leave and now is at the U of Cinnatti. Anyway, I was able to gain tremendous understanding of how statistics, queueing theories, game thoeries, and factory mgmt all got tied into one. It was this book that tied all the pieces together and push me forward toward my career path. I continue to use this book as reference and interesting reads in my continued involvement in the Supply Chain areas and optimization areas in the tech industry. This book WILL build a firm foundation for anyone who gives an effort and has an interest in the subject. What you do with the knowledge, is up to you in the future, since many of these concepts take time and experience to apply in the real world.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of 2 best books for both academia and practitioner
Hopp and Spearman wrote the classic issues, manufacturing system, in elegant format. The fundamental of manufacturing systems is deliberately compiled in a single textbook. If you like Askin and Standridge book (1994), you will love this book as well. One thing that forbids me to put 5 stars is this book doesn't have the "material flow/facilities design" issue, which I believe it is the foundation of manufacturing management too. I thought the facilities planning would be included in 2nd edition- but nope :( May be in 3rd edition... maybe... :(

5-0 out of 5 stars When science and manufacturing management finally meet !!!
This book is a reference in Manufacturing Management. All the basic and complex tools of manufacturing are explained and the historical context of their creation is introduced. More interesting is the global understanding of manufacturing issues and the explanations to go beyond the principles of "zero defect", "zero inventory", ... I learned a lot.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great reference book for the manufacturing professional
As a supply chain consultant, oftentimes the quality of my work is directly impacted by the reference aids in my own personal library. "Factory Physics" is such a reference aid that has my work has benefitted from several times.

The book covers all of the traditional manufacturing topics you would expect in sufficient detail: inventory control, JIT, production scheduling, capacity planning, shop floor control, etc. But given that you can buy any number of other suitable, standard P&IC textbooks on these topics, that's not where the value is.

The value in "Factory Physics" lies in the unique content which presents manufacturing management in a "scientific" context. For example, there are chapters on 'Basic Factory Dynamics,' 'Variability Basics,' and 'The Corrupting Influence on Variability.' These chapters demonstrate how manufacturing managers and engineers can move away from the rule-of-thumb, heuristics-based approach to operations planning and control (which is so often is either a guessing game or not based on empirical data) to a more formal, rule- and data-driven approach.

For example, I have been in many factories where management had only a SWAG approach to modeling equipment reliabilities, cycle times and throughput volumes, which drive queues and thus impact shop floor inventory. This book gives you the tools to properly understand these dynamics, if these are important issues to you.

The content in the book on the corrupting influence of variability is a welcome harkening back to the ideas of Edward Deming, who consistently preached about the damage that variation can do when introduced into stable production environments. In my opinion, this is another example of the unique and rare content offered by "Factory Physics."

Other value-adding content includes discussions sprinkled throughout the book on the fallacies and disadvantages of age-old planning and control methodologies, such as MRP or EOQ. In a world where 99% of textbooks believe their only duty to the reader is to simply present laundry lists of all the planning techniques known to humankind, these critical commentaries are a breath of fresh air.

I don't recommend this book lightly, or to individuals who are only loosely associated with operations planning and control positions. Rather, I highly, highly recommend it to serious, mature manufacturing professionals who are not timid of higher level mathematics, statistics and probability theory. If not, the reader would probably not be able to realize the true value of the book and it would go unused.

A former client of mine, who was nice guy but a novice when it came to manufacturing issues, asked me if he should buy "Factory Physics" for his own use. My response to him was this: "If you wanted to learn more about physics you probably wouldn't order reprints of papers by Einstein, Hawking, Bohr, etc. You would go and buy something like 'Physics for Dummies' and start there. I suggest you do the same for manufacturing content."

3-0 out of 5 stars It depends on what are you expecting to learn
This definetely is a good book, the language and the examples used are very illustrative and the content shows that the authors are very experienced and know what they are talking about. However, I believe that this book should not be used as an introduction to production planning and control, this is more something to read after some introduction to those techniques has been acquired, and you are seeking to sharpen your ability to use them. They offer good buy few, very few examples, and the questions and proposed exercises in the back do not have answers. Not good for an introductory class on the subject, a must for those who have already some knowledge about the subject. ... Read more

6. The Lean Manufacturing Pocket Handbook
by Kenneth Dailey
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974722103
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: DW Publishing
Sales Rank: 7531
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just What I was Looking For
Good balance of theory and application.
Uses straight-forward, common sense approach.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and Sweet
The book is a great primer for the beginner.
Simple organization and straight to the point. ... Read more

7. Workflow Modeling: Tools for Process Improvement and Application Development
by Alec Sharp, Patrick McDermott
list price: $85.00
our price: $85.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580530214
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Artech House Publishers
Sales Rank: 25990
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Limited to Swimlane Diagrams
To me, the chapters on data modeling and use case modeling are the most valuable because I now see them in the context of process modeling. I am wondering if W. H. Inmon's book on the operational data store would help complete this "big picture." Readers of this book benefit from the very extensive experiences of the authors. The authors have seen it all and warn readers which roads are dead ends. This book includes both theory and prescriptions as to how teams can design and document processes and contribute to the alignment of technology with the needs of the organization.

3-0 out of 5 stars Swimlane Diagramming For Analysts Doing Requirements
This book nicely sets forth a detailed methodology for doing swimlane diagramming for workflow business processing. This book is for analysts; the discussion is about the nature of business processes that have workflow as a key characteristic. It is not about the architecture of computer solutions for such processes. If you follow the methodology in this book and flesh out the diagrams with use cases (just briefly touched on here), you will have captured most of the requirements for a business workflow process.

The book is nicely bound and well written. The authors have been around a while and the vocabulary and approach fit nicely with older concepts like business process reengineering. The authors are not unaware of the latest developments and "UML" crops up here and there but not in the index. The diagramming is very simple compared to UML activity diagrams.

This is good reading for the domain experts on a team working on the requirements document and a nice primer for geeks who are forced for the first time to talk to the business side of an enterprise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, fresh and, yes, exciting
Rarely do I get excited about books on workflow modeling. I have a few good books on the subject, all of which provide solid approaches and most of which are well written. This book stands out because it goes beyond merely "solid" or "well written" by giving one of the most comprehensive approaches to workflow modeling I've had the pleasure of reading.

First, like most books on the topic, none of the components of the approach are new. What makes the approach refreshing is the way the authors take standard techniques and tie them together into a coherent process. Second, this book can be used as a workbook during a workflow modeling project, and is well suited to this because of the numerous checklists and diagrams that will prove invaluable every step of the way. Finally, this is the first book of its kind that incorporates use cases, making it invaluable to project teams that have standardized on UML (Unified Modeling Language)or wish to integrate an object-oriented approach into a workflow modeling project. If you're not familiar with use cases I strongly recommend Writing Effective Use Cases by Alistar Cockburn (the best book on the subject in my opinion); UML Distilled by Fowler and Scott is an excellent introduction to that subject if it's new to you.

The approach is straightforward: frame the process and define its scope, understand the existing process (if there is one), design the "to-be" process and develop use case scenarios. I wish to offer one caveat at this point: if you are reengineering a process that is seriously broken you might consider skipping the "as-is" process. Understanding the existing process is useful if your goal is incremental improvement. Reengineering efforts usually radically transform existing processes, making efforts to understand them both moot and wasted.

Some of the highlights of this book include the authors' clear definitions and way of decomposing complex systems into discrete steps and components. For example, they use a five tier view of processes that ensures you have a complete view of all issues and factors. The views are: (1) mission, strategy and goals (I personally extend goals further into Goal-Question-Metric), (2)business processes, (3) presentation, (4) application logic and (5) data. Note that the last three align nicely to a 3-tier client/server architecture. This observation clearly shows how coherent the authors' approach is and how it can foster alignment of technology to business requirements.

I also like how the authors clarify the key issues in process design by pointing out six enablers that you need to account for during the analysis and design phase: (1)workflow, (2) technology, (3) human resources, (4) motivations and measurements, (5) policies and rules and (6) environmental constraints (facilities, external process capabilities, etc.). There is one minor point of disagreement I have between their workflow modeling technique and the one I use. The authors use swimlane diagrams (also called Rummler-Brache diagrams), while I use deployment diagrams. The difference? Swimlane diagrams do not capture phases or cycles. I always place workflows into the context of Entry Criteria-Task-Validation-Exit Criteria (ETVX), which is nearly identical to the TQM Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. I insist on ETVX because it allows me to spot missing validation points in an existing workflow, and ensures that I clearly define entry and exit criteria, as well as validation points in a "to-be" workflow. Of course I am stating personal preferences - following the authors' approach verbatim will definitely result in a workflow design that is not only "bulletproof", but will align information systems and business process almost perfectly.

This book is a gem. It's readable, full of ideas and, with the incorporation of use cases into the approach, completely up-to-date with respect to IS/IT methodologies. If you want a fresh, modern approach to workflow design this book is the only one that will provide it.

3-0 out of 5 stars The best book on applicacation development modeling to date.
If you've ever asked the question: Is there a great book that teaches an excellent methodology for analyzing real world workflow, and then designing the application that will implement that workflow into an application? I've found the book that answers that question.

Workflow Modeling is the book. It is the best book on the subject that I have read to date, and I've read dozens. It teaches you how to build visual models that illustrate the workflow process, and shows how to implement the model into an application. Superb! But it before it goes out of print. ... Read more

8. Managing Technological Innovation : Competitive Advantage from Change
by FrederickBetz
list price: $120.00
our price: $109.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471225630
Catlog: Book (2003-06-20)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 586487
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written by technology management pioneer Fredrick Betz, this updated edition introduces technology management and illustrates the importance of managing information technologies, as well as how MOT is carried out with todays physical technologies. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Verbose, dull, and utterly uninspiring
This textbook was a requirement for a graduate-level course taught by (guess who?) Dr. Betz. I had read the entire book before the class even started (thank god for coffee), and I re-read every chapter as the semester progressed. I received an 'A' on every assignment, which is good, considering that I was bored out of my mind with the material. The book has a few interesting anecdotes, and a lot of page-filler anecdotes. It is more concerned with scientifically correct vocabulary than giving context to concept in plain English (e.g. endless ranting about physical morphologies, schematic logic, and different flavors of paradigms -- YAAAWN). Overall, this forgettable piece of work is reflective of an uninspiring academic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Big Picture on Management of Technology
Betz's book qualifies as a "seminal work" on the subject of the Management of Technology. The book is concise and well-written.
It gives the needed historical perspective on technology issues.

To give you an idea of the scope and clarity of Betz's vision I note that he aptly summarizes the technological history of the world in a few paragraphs of his introduction. These most pithy sentences present a Big Picture that will serve as the backdrop to his cogent exploration of contemporary management of technology issues (a sample):

"The gun ended the ancient dominance of the feudal warrior, and the printing press secularized knowledge. The combination of the rise of the mercantile class and the secularization of knowledge are hallmarks of modern societies."

Betz brings together a lot of good research and presents it in a concise and stimulating format. He doesn't present the research as if the thinking had already been done. He ends each chapter with some questions for reflection.

Having written myself on the subject of intellectual property law [in the International Media Encyclopedia Academic Press 2002, 2003], I was amazed to find illuminating case studies on the subject that I had overlooked. For example, Betz explains that the drug Penacillin was not developed commercially until WWII because companies did not want to undertake development costs without a patent.

I highly recommend Betz's book both for Managers of Technology and for classroom use in Undergraduate and Graduate Business schools and perhaps even in Econ departments. While not an economics textbook it serves as a good introduction to technology issues for economists as well. Economists of course need to read the original papers by Schumpeter and Kondratieff, Sah and Stiglitz, but they will find important clues to the significance of those works here. I recommend the reader follow up this book by reading Hal Varian's Internet Economics or Paula Samuelson's publications on Intellectual Property along with Eric Reymond's
The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

I find the book's case studies well written and very thought provoking. I literally couldn't put the book down. At the first reading I skipped the main text to read the case studies on Apple, RCA and Ford.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too simple and too much introductory -not for grad student
This book is too simple to use as a textbook. It's a nice book for undergrad class in business school or introductory class of management in engineering fields. Again, this is not the book that can be used as a textbook at all. Too simple and spend half book just for "roughly talking". Reader can found more reviews in "Interfaces, Vol.29, (2), 1999", in Book review section. The economic of technology is the more important is ignored in this book. Not recommend. ... Read more

9. Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists, Engineers, and Managers (5th Edition)
by David L. Goetsch
list price: $108.60
our price: $108.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131137646
Catlog: Book (2004-02-06)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 507402
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tremendous book
The above reviewer will obviously have occupational health issues, because smoking weed while writing reviews will cause one to be disoriented, lose their balance, and possibly fall off a 100 story construction site beam.

This is an amazing book. While covering all of the topics in depth, this book is also easy to read, presenting the material in a fashion that allows the reader to recieve a complete understanding of the topic. This too was an assigned book for my class, and I'll be lucky if I get to take a Goetsch class again.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written
This is one of the most poorly written textbooks I've read. The author, who is apparently a Phd, writes with the style of a 7th or 8th grader; he uses poor grammar, is painfully repetitive, uses jargon from differing areas of specialty (such as medical terms that require a medical dictionary to understand), leaves out information that should be there (based on the topics covered in my construction safety class), includes irrelevant information, and is flat out wrong about some topics (UL and ASTM would be interested to know "any relationship between a fire rating and the reality of fire resistance may be little more than coincidental".) This is especially frustrating considering this is the fourth edition. There is some evidence that the author has substantial knowledge about the topic. However, he is out of date in some areas and, in general, he presents that knowledge poorly. Also, judging from the breadth of topics this author had written about it appears the old cliche is true: "Jack of all trades. Master of none." While there is some decent information in this book, it is a chore to read. This was a required text for my class. If you have a choice in the matter choose something (anything) else. ... Read more

10. Lean Manufacturing Implementation: A Complete Execution Manual for Any Size Manufacturer
by Dennis P. Hobbs
list price: $49.95
our price: $49.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932159142
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing, Inc.
Sales Rank: 41334
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent How-To Guide
I have been looking long and hard for a simple, step-by-step guide to implementing Lean methodologies in my facility and I have finally found it. Most of the Lean books I've seen up to this point discuss high-level concepts, without detailing the steps and tools needed to put the strategy into practice. However, this book (more of a "how-to" manual, really) outlines all the tasks needed to move from a traditional batch manufacturing system to a Lean environment.

It covers everything from project scoping to line design to Kanban materials movement systems. Not only that, the author provides all the tools (formulas, charts, project management tips, etc.) to guide you through the process. He's also provided methods, like the daily resource planning tool, that help you manage the line after the Lean processes are up and running.

I'm using the guide now for my line reconfiguration, and have gotten it for everyone on my implementation team. This book is good for any manufacturer that is planning to implement Lean, but doesn't have a plan for how to go about it.

Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally! A Pragmatic Approach to Lean Manufacturing!
This is the first book that I have read on Lean Manufacturing that was not a reflection of the author's ego masquerading behind a plethora of platitudes and hedonism. Mr. Hobbs uses a lexicon of terms and applications anybody can understand, making this not only a useful implementation tool, but also a dynamic resource and training tool. As proof, we assembled an implementation team of personnel from all areas of our factory, and were successful in converting two of our product lines in less than twelve weeks simply by following Mr. Hobbs' book. We plan on completing the other seven by the end of Q2. If you want to reap the rewards and benefits as a Lean Manufacturer, I highly recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended "get-things-done" guide
In Lean Manufacturing Implementation: A Complete Execution Manual For Any Size Manufacturer, business consultant Dennis P. Hobbs draws upon his more than thirty years of experience in the manufacturing sector to present a no-nonsense, go-getter business guide offering a project management approach guided by a "how-to" sequence in order to make manufacturing processes lean and efficient. Emphasizing how to make a factory conversion to "Lean Manufacturing" without hiring expensive consultants -- as well as offering practical information concerning resource identification, line design, operational definition, pull chains, pull sequences, replenishment time and more, Lean Manufacturing Implementation is a highly recommended "get-things-done" guide that specifically focuses upon what is needed and necessary to get results. ... Read more

11. Logistics
by David J. Bloomberg, Stephen B. LeMay, Joe B. Hanna, Stephen Lemay
list price: $107.20
our price: $107.20
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Asin: 013010194X
Catlog: Book (2001-07-06)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 151657
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Book Description

This concise and well written book integrates logistics into a supply chain management context. Current events, along with new theory and practice make it a valuable reference for industry practitioners, and compliment material on the basics in warehousing, transportation, inventory, and packaging and material handling. More in-depth coverage includes service response logistics, logistics accounting, and reverse logistics. Also featured, are important chapters on service response logistics, logistics accounting, and reverse logistics. For logistics analysts and managers, distribution analysts, warehouse managers, transportation analysts, supply chain management managers, and purchasing managers.

... Read more

12. Uptime: Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management (Step-By-Step Approach to TPM Implementation)
by John Dixon Campbell
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563270536
Catlog: Book (1995-01-01)
Publisher: Productivity Press Inc
Sales Rank: 234470
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Campbell outlines a blueprint for a world class maintenanceprogram by examining, piece by piece, its essential elements -leadership (strategy and management), control (data management,measures, tactics, planning and scheduling), continuous improvement(RCM and TPM), and quantum leaps (process reengineering). He explainseach element in detail, using simple language and practical examplesfrom a wide range of industries. This book is for every manager whoneeds to see the "big picture" of maintenance management. In additionto maintenance, engineering, and manufacturing managers, all businessmanagers will benefit from this comprehensive and realistic approach toimproving asset performance. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Uptime is tops for understanding Maintenance Management.
A must read for anyone in or about to enter the vast realm of Maintenance Management. John Campbell takes you through the strategies with easy to understand terms and concepts. All the buzz words are there TPM, RCM, CMMS, .. etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you need a maintenance big picture, it is the book
This book is a very good introduction in order to know what the maintenance meaning ... Read more

13. Product Strategy for High Technology Companies
by Michael E. McGrath
list price: $49.95
our price: $32.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071362460
Catlog: Book (2000-10-12)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 39611
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of the key determinants of success for today’s high-technology companies is product strategy—and this guide continues to be the only book on product strategy written specifically for the 21st century high-tech industry. More than 250 examples from technological leaders including IBM, Compaq, and Apple—plus a new focus on growth strategies and on Internet businesses—define how high-tech companies can use product strategy and product platform strategy for competitiveness, profitability, and growth in the Internet age. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars targeted for core products at large companies
I love this book: the concept of a "vector" for product
development is a terrific way to think about competition.
IMHO, this book is a must-read for all product managers,
product marketers and people involved in strategic decisions,
i.e. all senior executives.

That said, speaking as a five-time startup engineer, the advice
and examples in this book seem geared towards the core product
lines in larger companies, where you can credibly talk about
"two years from now" as opposed to wondering if you'll even be
in business, which is also the problem for new product lines at
large companies. The experience for the book comes from the
PRTM consulting firm, which was made famous for their work with
parallel product development at Intel. We hired them in the
early days at Inktomi, and found mixed success with their
process because we were terrified of immediate failure, and
they wanted to talk about version 3. Obviously, there's a
successful middle ground because Inktomi was a huge success in
the short term, but ultimately lost its strategic direction.

4-0 out of 5 stars watch out cost to implement in ur office before do it
For example, author addressed the benefits to have a product platform strategy are focusing managemnet on key decision at the right time;enabling products to be deployed rapidly and consistently; encouraging a longer-term view of product strategy; leveraging significant operational efficiencies; helping management anticipate replacing a major product platform.

However, he may forget to remind readers that these require cost before enjoying the benefits, such as you need to hire a new tier of middle management if you company is too small to afford before; to establish the new channel capabilities to justify the investment on the platform bcz to access new markets; the IT system to calculate operation efficiencies such as engineering head count, material cost, and supply chain cost is also not cheap if you only have the option to use turn-key solution.....

It may be reasonable to equip product platform strategy only when benefits are greater than costs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unmatched User Guide to High Tech Product Strategy
In his richly illustrated Product Strategy for High Technology Companies, Michael E. McGrath rightly describes product strategy as a management process. Like any process, product strategy defines structure, timing, responsibilities, and skills. The process architecture reproduced on page 359 provides a practical framework starting with the definition of core strategic vision. Core strategic vision requires answering three questions: 1. Where do we want to go? 2. How will we get there? 3. And most critical Why will we be successful? Core strategic vision determines the criteria used for reaching a strategic balance in the product development process: Focus vs. diversification, short-term vs. long-term, current product platform vs. new product platform, business Alpha vs. business Beta, research vs. development, and high risk vs. low risk. Available resources influence the outlook of strategic balance.

Core strategic vision, strategic balance, core competencies, and competitive strategy are together the foundations on which the often-ignored product platform strategy is built. Product platform strategy is the lowest common denominator of relevant technology in a set of products or a product line. Product failures in high-tech companies frequently can be traced to an incomplete product platform strategy according to McGrath. Strategic balance, product platform strategy, and competitive strategy are together the foundations of product line strategy. Product line strategy is where specific product offerings are defined.

Core strategic vision also influences the competitive strategy that high technology companies must define. McGrath provides an in-depth, practical review of differentiation strategy, pricing strategy, and supporting strategies. Supporting strategies are first-to-market and fast-follower strategies, cannibalization, and global product strategy. McGrath's examination of both time-based strategies and cannibalization is particularly interesting because both subjects are rarely covered in such a luxury of detail. McGrath finally examines the optional expansion strategy and innovation strategy. High technology companies only need them if they want to invest in expansion or innovation.

To summarize, Product Strategy for High Technology Companies is a practical guide to a management process from which even product managers from outside the high tech industry can draw useful lessons and more importantly apply them to their own product strategy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Strategic Toolkit Ever Written
There are countless strategy books out there. Each one has an overriding framework that the entire book is based on, that often warrants only a 15-page article. This book is loaded with practical frameworks that together provide a thinking and creativity-channeling approach. Better yet, every framework has been proven in practice at dozens of companies by the author's implementation-based consulting firm. Each chapter is filled with examples from a broad range of technology-based companies. When applying these frameworks outside of technology-based industries and large companies just use common sense to strip them down to their essence and don't worry about the fancy techno-speak. You can also use most chapters as stand-alone strategy tools. I personally like "vectors of differentiation" and wonder how so many companies blow it when it seems like common sense. But then again if common sense were common, books like this wouldn't be needed. And then there's the issue of actually implementing what you come up with...

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Just Read It, Do it!
After founding a leading market research firm and teaching New Product Development at Harvard, I found this book so compelling that our firm has completed a review of our entire new web research product strategy, and come to some startling and highly productive insights on how to proceed and succeed. It is by far the most practical, in-depth guide to achieving competitive new product development strategies I have ever read.

The book shows clearly how to answer the critical questions: 1) Where do we want to go, 2) How will we get there, and 3) Why will we be successful. It shows how to create a Core Strategic Vision that is the foundation for new product success. And it shows how to use that vision to create highly competitive and profitable product lines, particularly in high technology.

Having tested new product ideas for hundreds of companies over the last 25 years, it is difficult to think of more than a handful who couldn't have benefited from not only reading this book, but doing what it recommends. ... Read more

14. Operations Management: Strategy and Analysis (6th Edition)
by Lee J. Krajewski, Larry P. Ritzman
list price: $128.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201615452
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 48478
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This highly respected book presents strategic and managerial issues in order to emphasize that the decisions made by operations managers should be consistent with a corporate strategy shared by managers in all functional areas. It presents the operations tools and techniques for solving problems in the context of achieving a firm's overall goals and strategies, and provides a balanced treatment of manufacturing and services throughout.The book blends the latest in strategic issues with proven analytic techniques, and offers a wealth of interesting examples to engage readers and bring Operations Management to life. This sixth addition adds an increased emphasis on processes, to provide linkage between operational issues, as well as new problem-solving software and a website with innovative Internet resources. Other coverage includes operations as a competitive weapon, operations strategy, managing technology, total quality management, statistical process control, capacity, location, layout, supply-chain management, forecasting, inventory management, aggregate planning, resource planning, lean systems, and scheduling.For operations managers in a variety of fields. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars mental tools to help tame complexity
I used this book during my MBA studies. It was okay, but I found it got a little detailed and too wordy at times. A more succinct writing style may have helped. Otherwise, the coverage was top-notch, since I really liked the material. The various inventory, forecasting and queuing models were nicely presented, as was linear programming. This book makes you appreciate how complex things are in the real world. Further, it offers you some mental tools to help tame that complexity, like SPC, six-sigma indices, and decision tree analysis.

The companion disk had some very useful things on it: MS Project, a simulation program, and a process-mapping program. I did not use the author's Excel program, though, as we were forced to develop our own during the class.

1-0 out of 5 stars 6th Edition Lacking
We used this book for an MBA course and found it to have numerous errors throughout. Additionally, many of the sections are written to an audience of imbeciles, as the concepts of "repeatability" and "globalization" are explained in extreme detail. The text needs to be updated, especially the section on ERP (no longer in infancy stage). Nothing against Coach K, but the editors for this book have dropped the ball.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior text on Operations Management
I used this book in my MBA studies and found it to be one of the best texts in any subject. As the subtitle suggests, it covers both strategic and analytical (or tactical) aspects of ops mgmt.
The book is a well rounded presentation of of the subject using text, graphics, equations, examples, and cases.

The most striking part of the book is in Aggregate Planning. For anyone who has worked in industry, we all know about strategic plans. How often though are other working plans created that are well linked to a strategy? Chapter 14 is the first time I have encountered a treatise on how to approach this. In addressing the types of plans, levels of plans, and their inter- relationships, the student is given the tools needed to actually implement a grand strategy, linked to workable sets of more detailed plans for each function.


5-0 out of 5 stars a great book!
found the book quite educative. I think it covers the main topics of operations management very well and in depth.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good book to students and professionals
I used this book at FEI , where I studied Industrial Engineering , and it was a very rewarding experience. The book is very well written and easy to understand, combining strategic and operational issues in a excellent way. The charts, graphics and pictures are also very helpfull to visualize the problems and makes the book neat to read. My only complains goes to the little chapter on operations research and also the MRP chapter should be more extensive. ... Read more

15. Strategic Supply Chain Management
by Shoshanah Cohen, Joseph Roussel
list price: $39.95
our price: $27.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071432175
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 68230
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Book Description

Agile, strategic supply chain management is a key competitive necessity in today’s no-room-for-error business arena. And few organizations have acquired more knowledge—and demonstrated better results—than the team at global management consultancy Pittiglio, Rabin, Todd, and McGrath (PRTM). In the breakthrough reference Strategic Supply Chain Management, two of PRTM’s leading consultants in this practice explain everything that corporate decision-makers need to know to create value and competitive advantage from their supply chains.

... Read more

16. The Lean Pocket Guide
by Donald M. Tapping
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972572805
Catlog: Book (2003-01-10)
Publisher: MCS Media, Inc.
Sales Rank: 16771
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Book Description

The Lean Pocket Guide is designed for use as a convenient, quick reference as you learn and implement lean manufacturing tools and techniques. It provides valuable insight into the nuances of lean from a team of lean sensi's throughout the world.

You can put your finger on any entry or lean concept, term, tool, or technique within a matter of seconds! With the simply, clear illustrations, this is definitely meant for use on the shop floor.

Also, included is this Pocket Guide is a ready-to-submit Suggestion Form to get those ideas into action, NOW! ... Read more

17. Lean Production Simplified: A Plain-Language Guide to the World's Most Powerful Production System
by Pascal Dennis, John Shook
list price: $30.00
our price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563272628
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Productivity Press Inc
Sales Rank: 103235
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


A Plain-Language Guide to the World’s Most Powerful
Production System
Pascal Dennis

The author is a professional engineer, and educator with 20 years experience in manufacturing, public service, and consulting engineering. He developed his lean thinking skills on the shop floor of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, and working with lean masters in Japan and North America.

LEAN PRODUCTION SIMPLIFIED is a plain language guide to the lean production system. The book is organized around a central image: the "house of lean production", which will help the reader grasp the system and the factors that animate it. Additionally, the book provides an insider’s view of Toyota, and how this company continues to succeed.

Features and Benefits:
· connects directly to Toyota
· first book on lean production written for the operator level
· emphasizes the lean process as a common-sense approach
· perfect book to keep on the floor as a quick reference guide ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for beginner
This is a very good introductory book. All components of lean manufacturing system have been explained. More importantly, the language is very simple and easy to understand. The sample templates are great. One aspect, I would like to see is the cost concept. Particularly, how an established factory can be transformed to lean system with respect to cell concept and layout change. The author has written about the cost benefit of lean system, however, no supporting evidence has been provided. But overall, this book is great. ... Read more

18. LEAN THINKING : Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation
by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones
list price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684810352
Catlog: Book (1996-09-09)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 61959
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In their landmark book The Machine That Changed the World, James Womack and Daniel Jones, two of the top industrial analysts in the world, explained how companies can dramatically improve their performance through the "lean production" approach pioneered by Toyota. Lean Thinking extends these ideas to provide a rallying cry for today's corporate leaders.

After a decade of downsizing and reengineering, most companies in North America, Europe, and Japan are still stuck, searching for a formula for sustainable growth and success. The problem, as Womack and Jones explain in Lean Thinking, is that managers have lost sight of value for the customer and how to create it. By focusing on their existing organizations and outdated definitions of value, managers create waste, and the economies of the advanced countries continue to stagnate.

What's needed instead is lean thinking to help managers clearly specify value, to line up all the value-creating activities for a specific product along a value stream, and to make value flow smoothly at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection. The first part of the book describes each of these concepts and makes them come alive with striking examples.

As Lean Thinking clearly demonstrates, these simple ideas can breathe new life into any company in any industry, routinely doubling both productivity and sales while stabilizing employment. But most managers will need guidance on how to make the lean leap in their firm. Part II provides a step-by-step action plan, based on in-depth studies of fifty lean companies in a wide range of industries across the world -- including Pratt & Whitney, Porsche, and Toyota.

Even those readers who believe they have embraced lean thinking will discover in Part III that another dramatic leap is possible by creating a lean enterprise for each of their product families that tightly links all value-creating activities from concept to product launch, from order to delivery, and from raw materials into the arms of the consumer. This new concept takes the best features from the American, German, and Japanese industrial traditions and recombines them in a way that can be applied to every economic activity, from long-distance travel to construction to health care.

Lean Thinking does not provide a new management "program" for the one-minute manager. Instead, it offers a new way of thinking, being, and doing for the serious manager -- one that will change the world. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Conceptual Overview of Eliminating Waste in Producing
Unlike most cost-reduction books, Lean Thinking has a strong conceptual underpinning for thinking about improving your operations. The authors move beyond the narrowest application of the lean manufacturing model (the original Toyota system) to explore key concepts like value (what do the customers want? as opposed to what do they choose from the limited options we give them?), flow (continuous production is faster and more efficient than batch processing), pull (letting immediate demand determine what is produced rather than sales projections), and perfection (thinking through the ideal way to do things, rather than just improving from where you are today somewhat). Providing this conceptual framework makes it easier to understand the benefits of operating a lean enterprise. People who did not understand the message in Direct from Dell would find Lean Thinking to be a useful framework.

One of the strengths of this book is that it is deliberately full of examples of companies which took traditional methods in existing plants and converted them into lean operations. I know of no other set of case histories half as useful on this subject.

The key limitation of this book is that most people new to lean manufacturing would not be able to implement solely using the book as a guide. The conceptual perspective, while being uniquely valuable, leaves the inexperienced person with few guideposts. Some of the key requirements are simply described as "get the knowledge" and so forth. As a follow-up, I suggest that the authors team with those who have done this work and write a hands-on guide. Much more benefit will follow.

If you are interested in understanding how a new business model of how to provide your products and/or services might work and what the benefits might be, Lean Thinking is a good place to start. Most executives and operations managers have never seriously considered going from batch to cell-based production. This will open your eyes to the potential.

Based on my many years of experience with improving business processes, you will actually need to go visit some of the companies cited to fully understand the issues and what must be done. I know that visits to Pratt & Whitney can be arranged and are very insightful. You might try to start with that one.

One area may turn you off. The cited examples moved forward pretty ruthlessly. That may not be your cup of tea. You may be reminded of some of the early reengineering. My own experience is that such changes can be done in a more positive and constructive way. Stay open to that possibility as you read the cases. They basically all use command and control to create more flexibility. You can also use other methods like those encouraged in The Soul at Work and The Living Company to create these kinds of results. Keep that in mind.

I recommend that everyone who uses batch and sequential operation methods read this book. It will open your eyes to great potential to grow faster and more profitably.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the business bible!
As a strategic planning consultant, I recommend 'Lean Thinking' to all of my clients. Some mistakenly view this book as a 'how to' for manufacturing companies. While it is, it is also much more. It is an attitude about business strategy. Waste, in any type of company, drains profits in one of two ways: as direct costs that they can see today, and as indirect costs when waste discourages repeat business. For any business manager worth his or her six figure income, this book is a must read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great, if you like stories about business.
I'm not sure who the audience is for Lean Thinking. Call me naïve, but I assumed it was written by Womack and Jones to help organizations analyze their business processes and eliminate muda (Japanese for "waste"), thereby improving overall performance. However, after reading almost 250 pages of anecdotal success stories, the chapter entitled "Action Plan," where one would assume resides the punch-line of the text, I was met by the profound advice to "Get the knowledge" by hiring one of the numerous experts in North America, Europe or Japan, and read some of the "vast literature" available on lean techniques. Reminds me of the Steve Martin joke where he tells you how to be a millionaire. "First, get a million dollars."

After reading Lean Thinking, I'm struck by the irony that while the authors recommend removing waste from the manner by which your products are delivered to the end customer, they don't take their own advice. The text could have been distilled from 384 pages down to five or six, since there's no real substantive instruction on how to implement lean principles. Then again, maybe I completely misinterpreted the intent of the authors as to their audience and it really was written for the business historian who enjoys reading about how Pratt & Whitney started in 1855. That must be it, because after I ponder the title, I realize that Lean Thinking is for just that, thinking. What I really wanted was a book entitled Lean Doing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Roadmap for Efficient Value Creation
Would you like to double productivity, cut development time by 60%, reduce inventory by 65%, reduce throughput time by 95%, reduce capital investment while doubling sales? Pre-existing assets, technologies, practices, organizations and concepts often cause enormous waste, i.e. activity which does not create value. This exciting book is about a way to do more and more with less and less - to create value instead of waste.

Lean Principles
1. Accurately understand VALUE (needs and preferences) from the customer's perspective.

2. Perform VALUE STREAM analysis. This will reveal three types of actions: 1) those that create value, 2) those that do not create value but are unavoidable in the present situation and 3) those that don't create value and are immediately avoidable.

3. After eliminating avoidable waste activities, make the remaining activities continuously FLOW. This requires the elimination of departmentalized "high speed" batch-and-queue "efficiency". It requires quick changeovers, "right-sizing" and close coupling of operations without buffers. The authors state that the results are always a dramatic reduction of effort and improvement in throughput.

4. Because of the radical reduction achieved in throughput time, you now are capable of Just In Time operations. You can now let the customer PULL the product.

5. Finally search for PERFECTION. Perfection is, of course, impossible. But the effort compels progress.

"Just Do It"
The lean approach is to "just do it" with dedicated cross functional product teams which often include suppliers and customers.

The beauty of this system is that it won't work at all unless everything works properly all the time. Thus 100% performance becomes an absolute requirement.

The authors present a number of very interesting case studies in which dramatic results were obtained. They conclude with advice as to how to get started - including a list of available resources. This book is especially well-suited to operations managers, but will also benefit any executive in a company that relies upon operational excellence as a part of their strategy.

(Robert Bradford is CEO of Center for Simplified Strategic Planning and co-author of Simplified Strategic Planning)

5-0 out of 5 stars Russian edition of Lean thinking
This book was translated and published in Russia in January 2004. We find that it will be interesting and usefull for russian managers and companies. ... Read more

19. Practical Lean Accounting: A Proven System for Measuring and Managing the Lean Enterprise
by Brian H. Maskell, Bruce Baggaley
list price: $50.00
our price: $50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563272431
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Productivity Press Inc
Sales Rank: 30438
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Practical Lean Accounting: A Proven System for Measuring and Managing the Lean Enterprise Brian Maskell and Bruce Baggaley

As companies move ahead with the implementation of lean production, financial functions often lag behind. When this happens, not only do they fail to actively support the effort, but they can actually hinder it.

In Practical Lean Accounting: A Proven System for Measuring and Managing the Lean Enterprise, authors Brian Maskell and Bruce Baggaley present a step-by-step method for transforming a manufacturing company's financial functions to support lean manufacturing. This step-by-step method transforms the accounting system to follow the company's pathway through lean implementation covering what needs to be done at each stage to support lean.

A case study runs throughout the text illustrating the lean accounting transformation within the context of the whole lean enterprise. A CD-ROM is included containing detailed forms, charts, and diagrams supporting the transformation to lean accounting.

Practical Lean Accounting is a valuable tool for CFOs, Controllers, accounting staff, and general managers that use key financial information to control their processes and support lean implementation. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Tool for the Lean Enterprise
This book is right on target for the emerging practice of Lean accounting. It gets into the brass tacks of what you really need to do to report results that really mean something to the folks that can take action to improve the business. The entire concept of Value Stream Costing makes so much sense it's a wonder we haven't been using it for decades.
We have asked manufacturing to change, change, change in order to improve results and compete in this global market yet we have ignored the need to provide the necessary support from the accounting area. This book shows, step by step, how accounting must partner with manufacturing as well as engineering to provide actionable information in a timely manner. The old conventions of standard costing and variance analysis lead to poor decisions and this book will explain why.
A must read if you are serious about Lean manufacturing!

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting the "Dough" to Flow
Based on the tenets of lean thinking, Mr. Maskell & Mr Baggaley present a powerful & practical implementation methodology that is applicable to lean accounting and all lean business practices. By integrating lean accounting with the transition to lean systems thinking, organizations now have the measurement and analysis tools to make robust business decisions at any level.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Guide to Lean Operations Worth Its Weight in Diamonds!
I cannot recall ever seeing a guide to putting in a new control and measurement process of any kind that is as good as this one.

Although its title suggests that it is about accounting only, the authors deal almost as much with how to manage perceptions, progress and processes in establishing lean operations to create a lean enterprise. In addition, the book is designed to allow you to apply its wisdom regardless of where you are in putting in learn manufacturing or services. You simply turn to chapter 18 to run a diagnostic to determine what you should be working on first . . . and what follows.

The book is like a finished diamond . . . each chapter exposes the beauty of another facet of lean accounting. While this creates a little redundancy, its necessary if readers are to be able to use this book by beginning at whatever stage is appropriate for them.

The book is also enhanced by a CD with templates of the formats discussed in the book.

I was particularly impressed with the in-depth continuing example that covers all of the subjects in the book. It made the concepts much easier to understand.

The writing is clear, crisp, and practical.

I have seldom seen lean manufacturing proceed unless it had strong support and direction from the accounting and financial staffs. Yet most such staffs are not yet trained in how to play those roles. With this book, they can.

A key early problem is that traditional accounting will show a REDUCTION in profits when lean manufacturing is first begin. This is because inventories will be reduced, so burden on the reduced production will be higher. That's the opposite of the economic reality, where costs are actually being reduced while inventories become smaller. Many programs are killed at that point without understanding that the effects are temporary. With this guide, you can prepare the organization to anticipate and understand these effects.

The book goes on to give you a good way to decide when various accounting steps can either be dropped or simplified as lean manufacturing reaches the stage of being properly in control of your processes.

I particularly liked the way the book describes how the financial staff can shift its focus to identifying opportunities to enhance profits and cash flow further through lean manufacturing. There's also a good process for how all of the functions should work together to make more progress in this way.

The book is also illustrated with many photographs of actual measurements and controls in place for lean manufacturing. Although the reproduction of these images is often not very good, I think you will get the idea.

Bravo for Mr. Maskell and Mr. Baggaley! They've written a classic.

As I finished the book, I began to think about how many other processes in companies would benefit from this kind of careful measurement and redesign. New product development should be a prime example. Perhaps the authors will take on another such subject in a future book. I hope they will.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Lean Organizations
This book provides a roadmap for and firms transitioning themselves into lean or as it was known in the 1990's, "just-in-time", organizations. As they make the journey, they often find their accounting and measurements systems are an obstacle to success.

It is a practitioners' book. It focuses on creating customer value, which is the key principle of lean thinking. The book can be read in the traditional fashion - front to back. The authors tell us, however, that is not how it was written. Their starting point is their "Lean Accounting Diagnostic," found in the appendix. It assesses your company's progress with Lean Accounting and helps develop a plan to implement change.

A case study runs throughout the book. It illustrates the conversion of the financial functions required at each step to support the endeavor.

The book is well-written and comprehensive. For those looking to support lean processes, it is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading for manufacturing CEO's and CFO's
This book outlines the process for moderninzing manufacturing companies' accounting and control systems. U.S. manufacturing is facing stiff competition from low cost overseas companies, and Practical Lean Accounting explains how U.S. manufacturers must tranform their business to remain competitive. The book is written in easy to understand language that any manufacturing person will find easy to follow. If you work for a Lean Manufacturer, this is required reading! ... Read more

20. Making Common Sense Common Practice : Models for Manufacturing Excellence
by Ron Moore
list price: $37.95
our price: $37.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0750678216
Catlog: Book (2004-05-07)
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann
Sales Rank: 152628
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Book Description

Presenting the best practices of the best manufacturing companies in the world, this book presents proven models for achieving world-class performance. Using a case study of a fictional company called Beta International, Moore illustrates how to increase uptime, lower costs, increase market share, maximize asset utilization, apply benchmarks and best practices, and improve many other aspects that ultimately raise your company's performance to the level of world-class. 'Making Common Sense Common Practice' takes a good, hard look at plant design, procurement, parts management, installation and maintenance, training, and implementing a computerized maintenance management system. In discussing the successes and failures of the world's premier manufacturers, Moore outlines a stable path of growth for almost any manufacturing company. In today's tough competitive markets, 'Making Common Sense Common Practice' greatly enhances your company's chance to succeed - and profit.

* Third edition features updating plus new sections on innovation, change management, and leadership
* Presents proven models for achieving world-class performance based on real-life case histories
* Highly readable, concrete style brings the key points to life through a case study of a fictitious organization, Beta International, which runs throughout the book, based on real case histories
... Read more

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