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3 Books Lean Manufacturers Are Reading | MachineMetrics

Christina Gay
August 07, 2015

Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town by Beth Macy

Many lean manufacturers deal with the pricing pressures from Chinese manufacturers on a daily basis. Beth Macy's New York Times bestselling book chronicles how John Bassett III, a third-generation factory man and chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co with sales of more than $90 million, fought to keep furniture manufacturing in Virginia in the face of low-cost Chinese imports. Lean manufacturers will be particularly interested in the factory efficiencies chronicled in FACTORY MAN.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

The majority of business headlines and news coverage tend to focus on billion-dollar software entrepreneurs and companies. While he earned his initial fortune in software (PayPal), Musk has done something that most young companies today aren't doing -- designing, building and manufacturing very complex mechanical devices - electric cars and rockets. Vance's new biography chronicles Musk's incredible business journey from his South African childhood. Lean manufacturers will be interested in the details about the Tesla and SpaceX factories and design/manufacturing processes that Musk oversees in excruciating detail. 

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From the World's Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey Liker 

While Toyota, the iconic automobile company, may have stumbled in recent years, it's worth studying Toyota's rise to global success based on lean manufacturing principles. Not a new book, The Toyota Way is now a classic tome on lean manufacturing and should be required reading for most small and medium-sized machine shop operators. The Toyota Way won The Institute for Industrial Engineer’s Book-of-the-Year award and the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence.

The Toyota Way reveals the management principles behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability. Dr. Jeffrey Liker, a renowned authority on Toyota's Lean methods, explains how you can adopt these principles--known as the "Toyota Production System" or "Lean Production"-- to improve the speed of your business processes, improve product and service quality, and cut costs, no matter what your industry.

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