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The Machine That Changed the World

The Machine That Changed the World

The Story of Lean Production-- Toyota's Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry

When The Machine That Changed the World was first published in 1990, Toyota was half the size of General Motors. Today Toyota is passing GM as the world's largest auto maker and is the most consistently successful global enterprise of the past fifty years. This management classic was the first book to reveal Toyota's lean production system that is the basis for its enduring success.

Now reissued with a new Foreword and Afterword, Machine contrasts two fundamentally different business systems -- lean versus mass, two very different ways of thinking about how humans work together to create value. Based on the largest and most thorough study ever undertaken of any industry -- MIT's five-year, fourteen-country International Motor Vehicle Program -- this book describes the entire managerial system of lean production.

Nearly twenty years ago, Womack, Jones, and Roos provided a comprehensive description of the entire lean system. They exhaustively documented its advantages over the mass production model pioneered by General Motors and predicted that lean production would eventually triumph. Indeed, they argued that it would triumph not just in manufacturing but in every value-creating activity from health care to retail to distribution.

Today The Machine That Changed the World provides enduring and essential guidance to managers and leaders in every industry seeking to transform traditional enterprises into exemplars of lean success.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416554523 | 
  • March 2007
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

THE INDUSTRY OF INDUSTRIES IN TRANSITION

Forty years ago Peter Drucker dubbed it "the industry of industries." Today, automobile manufacturing is still the world's largest manufacturing activity, with nearly 50 million new vehicles produced each year.

Most of us own one, many of us own several, and, although we may be unaware of it, these cars and trucks are an important part of our everyday lives.

Yet the auto industry is even more important to us than it appears. Twice in this century it has changed our most fundamental ideas of how we make things. And how we make things dictates not only how we work... see more

About the Authors

James P. Womack
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James P. Womack

James P. Womack is the president and founder of the Lean Enterprise Institute (www.lean.org), a nonprofit education and research organization based in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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Daniel T. Jones
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Daniel T. Jones

Daniel T. Jones is the chairman and founder of the Lean Enterprise Academy (www.leanuk.org), a nonprofit education and research organization based in the UK.

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