Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review|Lonnie Wilson|How to Implement Lean Manufacturing

I will spend some time reviewing Lonnie Wilson’s book “HOW TO IMPLEMENT LEAN MANUFACTURING”, in general I do not like books that claim to be able to help a company implement something as complex as lean.

When anyone asks me if they should buy a book, I usually say “NO”. Especially if the reason for buying the book is to become an overnight so called expert in the subject after spending their evening reading the idiots guide on how to xyz…

No book can show you how to implement lean manufacturing specific for your own company, your processes, your situation is very different to anyone else’s. The concepts of lean have to be applied specifically to your own situation, which book can do this, this book can’t and neither can any other book.

Don’t buy this book or any other if you expect it to somehow transform you into the expert that your company really needs. You will not be doing yourself or your company any favours. Lean manufacturing is not something that you can learn from a book!

This book cannot teach you everything that you need to know to be able to implement lean manufacturing, you need help! You need someone that has been there, seen it, and is now wearing the t-shirt as they say! I will speak at length in a later post about the selection of lean manufacturing consultants to help you with how to implement lean manufacturing.

You may get the idea that I am negative about the book, I am if you think it will help you go from scratch to being able to implement lean and make business improvements! If you want it as a guide and some examples of how to implement specific ideas then it can help, but you will need an expert, the best of books are no replacement for someone with experience.

Don’t buy the book unless you want it as a reference, a repository of ideas on how to implement the various techniques, an alternative to compare what your consultant is doing against, but not as the answer to all of your problems! The book will give you some ideas about what techniques are available and some good examples of how they can be applied.

Lonnie Wilson’s book “How to Implement Lean Manufacturing” is not the answer, but it is close! With the right help and experience it can be helpful, but don’t expect that reading a book will turn your business around!

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