Suzaki, Kiyoshi. The New Manufacturing Challenge: Techniques for Continuous Improvement. New York: Free Press, 1987.
Suzaki’s 1987 volume manages to tie all the elements of lean thinking together at the operational level – TQC, TPS, TPM – and link them to the broader business system. A manufacturing consultant, Suzaki has produced a mature and articulate summary of the lean thought process from the standpoint of the building block techniques. Some things will seem a bit strange to those familiar with Learning to See and other LEI publications – the use of the term “cycle time” to refer to what most of us now call “takt time” – but the basics are all there in a highly readable form. Take Suzaki along on your next plane trip and make sure you completely understand all of the techniques described by this engineer turned consultant. This exercise will either fill in a few missing links or, if you get a perfect score, give you a satisfying feeling of mastery!