Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, owner of Liker Lean Advisors, LLC, Partner in The Toyota Way Academy, and Partner in Lean Leadership Institute. Dr. Liker has authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters and eleven books.
He is author of the international best-seller, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer, McGraw-Hill, 2004 which speaks to the underlying philosophy and principles that drive Toyota’s quality and efficiency-obsessed culture. The companion (with David Meier) The Toyota Way Fieldbook, McGraw Hill, 2005 details how companies can learn from the Toyota Way principles. His book with Jim Morgan, The Toyota Product Development System, Productivity Press, 2006, is the first that details the product development side of Toyota. Additional books in The Toyota Way Series are (with David Meier), Toyota Talent: Developing exceptional people the Toyota Way (May, 2007), (with Michael Hoseus) Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way (January, 2008), (with Gary Convis) The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership (2012), (with James Franz) The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement (2012), (with Tim Ogden) Toyota Under Fire (2012), and (with George Trachilis) Developing Lean Leaders The Toyota Way (2014). His articles and books have won eleven Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence and The Toyota Way also won the 2005 Institute of Industrial Engineers Book of the Year Award and 2007 Sloan Industry Studies Book of the Year.
In 2012 he was inducted into the Association of Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame. He is a frequent keynote speaker and consultant. Recent clients include Caterpillar, Applied Materials, Siemens, Dover Industries, Kraft-Oscar Meyer, Alcatel-Lucent, Hertz, Solar Turbine, Art Van Furniture and Henry Ford Health Systems.
Jim is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer on a mission to keep the world adventurous. He also serves as senior advisor of the Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) initiative at the Lean Enterprise Institute. The LPPD initiative is building a community of practice and research to expand the application and understanding of LPPD.
Before joining Rivian and LEI Jim spent more than ten years at Ford Motor Company, serving the last eight and a half years as Director, Global Body and SBU Engineering where he and his team contributed to the company’s historic, product led revitalization under then CEO, Alan Mulally. Prior to Ford, Jim worked fifteen years at Troy Design and Manufacturing (TDM), the last eight, as Vice President. TDM is a tier one, global automotive supplier of engineering services, prototypes tools and low volume parts and subassemblies.
Jim holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Michigan where his original research into Product Development won two Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence. In addition he co-authored (with Dr. Jeffrey Liker) the award-winning book The Toyota Product Development System (2006) and Designing the Future (2018). He has also authored or coauthored book chapters as well as articles on product development for the Sloan Management Review, The Engineering Management Journal and other publications. Jim has developed and taught graduate courses on lean manufacturing and product development.