Henry Ford's Lean Vision: Enduring Principles from the First Ford Motor Plant, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Henry Ford's Lean Vision

Enduring Principles from the First Ford Motor Plant, 1st Edition

By William A. Levinson

Productivity Press

398 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781563272608
pub: 2002-09-10

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Praise from Industry Week, January 2003

"…In Henry Ford's Lean Vision…Levinson shows how the father of American mass production toiled to eliminate waste, instituted just-in-time delivery of inventory, and applied many other tools now identified with lean…"

Japanese manufacturers have made concepts like kaizen (continuous improvement), poka-yoke (error-proofing), and just-in-time famous. When the Japanese began to adopt these techniques from the Ford Motor Company during the early twentieth century, they knew exactly what they were getting: proven methods for mass-producing any product or delivering any service cheaply but well.

Henry Ford's methods, however, went well beyond the synergistic and mutually supporting techniques that constitute what we now call lean manufacturing. They included the "soft sciences," the organizational psychology that makes every employee a partner in the drive for success.

In Henry Ford's Lean Vision, William A. Levinson draws from Henry Ford's writings, the procedures in his factories, and historical anecdotes about the birth of lean in Japan to show that the philosophy that revolutionized Japanese manufacturing was the same philosophy that grew the Ford Motor Company into a global powerhouse -- and made the United States the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. Levinson reveals how Ford was ahead of other modern visionaries and discusses why the very ideas that made his company such a success were abandoned in his own country, and why they finally found acceptance in Japan.

Henry Ford's Lean Vision is a hands-on reference that provides the reader with proven principles and methods that can be applied in any business or service enterprise. It covers all aspects of building and running a successful enterprise, including Ford's principles for human relationships and the management of physical resources.


"Henry Ford's Lean Vision could have been written about the Theory of Constraints (TOC) as much as about Lean! To understand better TOC's concepts of Throughput World, satisfying all of the stakeholders, creating value, managing the supply chain and the constraint, the reader need only look into the fundamentals and principles of Henry Ford in Mr. Levinson's book. The book captures the idea that sustainable success must come from an integrated approach of leadership, methodology, culture and organizational alignment. Anyone who is trying to implement Theory of Constraints or Lean or other improvement methodologies should read and reread this book. Its historical analogies and numerous references to the more modern gurus make it an interesting and enjoyable read!"

Dee Jacob, Partner, The Goldratt Institute 06/01/04

Table of Contents


What to Expect from this Book

Background Resources

Chapter by Chapter Overview

Chapter 1: Brave New World: Changing How the World Works

The Bottom Line: Ford's Results Speak for Themselves

Defining Lean Enterprise

Ford's Basic Principles

Chapter 2: Ford's Principles: The Foundation

Natural Law

Ford and Eastern Philosophy: The Japanese Connection

Continuous Improvement: Kaizen

Bringing Win-Win to the Workplace


Chapter 3: Ford on Labor Relations

Management and Labor as Partners

No Free Lunch: A Key Concept

Human Resource Practices

Employee Housing and Stores

Chapter 4: Principles for Organizational and Personal Success



Breaking Down Organizational Barriers

Corporate Culture at the Ford Motor Company

How the Ford Motor Company Lost Its Culture

Chapter 5: Perceiving Genuine Value

A Warning to the United States

Everything Must Add Value

Middlemen Do Not Add Value

Advertising as Waste

No Free Lunch

Chapter 6: Ford on Economics, Government, and Health Care

Business Cycles

The Stock Market Should Be Irrelevant to National Prosperity

The Role of Inexpensive Energy

The Role of Government

Health Care

Chapter 7: Eliminate Waste

"Everything But the Squeal"

ISO 14000 Is Free

Chapter 8: Ford's Factory

The Factory and the Worker

Continuous Improvement: Kaizen

Lean Manufacturing


Just-In-Time (JIT) Manufacturing and Inventory Reduction

Design for Manufacture and Design for Assembly

Process Simplification and Improvement

Packaging and Delivery

Point-of-Use Assembly

Occupational Safety

Quality Control

Chapter 9: Customer and Supplier Relationships

Identifying Markets and Creating Demand

Pricing Strategy

Supply Chain Management

Chapter 10: Frederick Winslow Taylor and Scientific Management

Did Taylor Influence Ford?

Scientific Management, Lean Manufacturing, and Kaizen Blitz

Taylor and Motion Efficiency

The Truth Behind Taylorism

Principles for Change Management

An Experimental Design Tragedy

Chapter 11: The Influence of Benjamin Franklin

Franklin on Waste

Franklin on Initiative, Self-Reliance, and Persistence

Franklin on Money



About the Originator

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control