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The content of the book “LEAN in Action" will meet the interests of different readers. For some, it will satisfy curiosity and answer the question “What is Lean?" Others will find information to compare approaches already adopted with solutions successfully implemented elsewhere, and even in other industries. Third readers with another level of professional experience will accept this book as a useful reference book that offers them sparing but figurative and skilfully accented information on a wide range of Lean topics.

Some of the strong accents in the area of surpluses and losses, which we know from Taiichi Ohno, are present in every production, and Armand Feigenbaum has also pointed them out as something invisible to us, if we keep our eyes “wide closed", staring only at the product we produce. The crisis of resources for production, exacerbated in the last few years, exists now in different degrees and forms and not only in individual countries, but everywhere in the world. Waste and loss are not only illogical, but also harmful and immoral socially. It is no longer enough to “drive the ghost of losses out" of the enterprise. There is a need to adapt thinking and make attacks through selected Lean tools, in order to achieve a state of simplified and predictable management of a production unencumbered by surpluses and losses (the so-called Muda), designed on the basis of processes who add customer value.

“Classical" Lean literature, assuming it already exists, pays reasonable attention to the production and the supporting functions and interfaces. The book “LEAN in Action" is no exception in this regard, but in addition to its main focus, it offers us to look in a different way and embrace the idea that Lean is a widely applicable philosophy, practices and behaviours, valid in life situations, outside the field of industry and services. Thus, the adaptation of thinking finds natural support to achieve a better understanding of the importance and usefulness of everything we do with the expectation of the best results. We will not be surprised to read here observations and advice on attitudes and ways of working in some “things of life" that are only seemingly unrelated to the production of products and services. It turns out that there is a connection and it is such that it offers a different and fresh look, relevant to business activities.

The Lean approach is not aggressive and is not designed to counter or deny the usefulness of other popular approaches to efficiency. On the contrary, Lean was born in a TQM environment. It can be adapted to use elements of Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints, and can serve as a basis for creating their own models for efficiency. In the shared practical experience of many companies from almost all industries, we find just such cases that show the friendly compatibility of Lean tools with the tools of other systems, also oriented to the efficiency.

Is this book different from other Lean books? The reader can give the most accurate answer to this question. The reader will probably pay attention to the fact that the book presents a comparative analysis of models of organization for Lean transformation, while at the same time warning about risks in the introduction of Lean tools, influenced by outdated and dogmatic deviations in the understanding of Lean. Are there guarantees that ensure the proper, tight and effective development of the Lean Initiatives? If there are such guarantees, we will certainly reveal them in the systematic study and borrowing of experience from ideas, projects and solutions of companies advanced towards Lean and successfully conducting Lean transformation. In fact, this idea of shared knowledge was convincingly realized in the Lean clubs founded by the company Alpha Quality, under the manager Anastas Kehayov. They were established as collegial centres for active and open presentation of opinions, experiences and results, not in the conditioned environment of the conference rooms, but directly on the territory of the host companies that openly share their experience with their colleagues.

There is another answer to the question of whether this book is any different. Yes, it is different, because it attracts and holds our attention with a magnetic power with an abundance and variety of illustrative material, with comparisons of good and bad practices, with guidelines leading us along shortcuts to success and with the fact that the story is led by a person who has good personal contacts and who reaches friendship with the managers of several hundred companies. People who know Anastas Kehayov are aware of his strong point: he is the best at explaining and even better at persuading. This is clearly evident when reading this book.

As has already been mentioned, the book “LEAN in Action" is addressed to a wide range of interested people. Curious beginners will receive all the introductory information that will take them one step up. Those who have already worked on applying Lean tools and on Lean transformation will be able to refine their assumptions and correct them if necessary. Lean maniacs and enthusiasts may feel they need more, and more, and it is their chronic infatuation that keeps the fire of interest burning. Interested sceptics will be able to think about and re-evaluate some of their counterpositions.

Have you ever read business literature and felt your attention wandering, melting and blurring? It takes effort to bring you back to the topic and it’s all so tiring, and annoying. In this book we find accessible and understandable language, varied even by proverbs, anecdotes and cases from everyday life. It’s not set out as an end in itself for the entertainment of the reader, but in a relationship that leads us to an easy natural understanding of more serious and therefore somewhat tedious scenarios. Finally, it is also designed for those readers who either do not have time or want to make full use of the time allotted for reading. They will not waste time orienting themselves, but will focus only on individual chapters, pages or paragraphs, according to their interest.

In your hands is a book that may not change your life, but it will certainly further develop and improve your attitude towards man and society, as seen from the position of the manufacturer of products and services.

The book “LEAN in Action" will be one of the milestones on your path to success!

The book “LEAN in Action" successfully combines several completely different, but also complementary roles. It is both an introductory textbook for beginners in the field of Lean and a detailed tutorial for all advanced professionals. It is a handbook and guide for practical implementation of Lean principles and tools, in addition to being a detailed reference almanac for all the approaches, tools, and practices associated with Lean production.

What is the value of this book? It presents the Lean tools both individually and as a connected system. It explains the appropriate Lean tools for identifying and removing different types of Muda. It shows how Lean is related to other approaches to production efficiency and to general business efficiency, such as: Total Quality Management, General Systems Theory, Theory of Constraints, Six Sigma, Industrial Engineering and Industrial Logistics. It shares practical experience from many companies from almost all industries and services. It emphasizes the organisational and human aspects of Lean transformation by showing the differences between Japanese production efficiency systems and American and European business models. It notably shows Lean as a broad philosophy, with a place outside industry and services.

How is this book different? It identifies new application fields for almost all Lean tools – fields outside their usual application fields. For many Lean tools, it provides algorithmic instructions for practical implementation. At the same time, the book warns of the hidden risks at introducing Lean tools. Particularly interesting and useful is the comparative analysis of the different organisational models for Lean transformation. This is one of the few books in which we see a strong emphasis on the organisational and human aspects of Lean transformation: how to “sell" the Lean idea; how to achieve group consensus among divergent people; how to overcome resistance to changes and innovations; how to turn Lean opponents into convinced supporters; and how to involve people in the process of constant improvement. In some places in the book, the rigid, narrow minded or misunderstood views of Lean are challenged whit clear and irrefutable arguments. With almost poetic pathos, the book proclaims the benefit of studying and borrowing the ideas and experience of successful companies in the field of Lean.

How does the book hold the reader’s attention? By comparing the bad with the good Lean practices, the book outlines the shortcuts to success, but also shows the hidden pitfalls that can burden Lean endeavours. To make it easier for the reader, the book is richly illustrated with schematics, diagrams, tables, graphs, photos, drawings, cartoons… Again to facilitate the reader, the book explains the complex sometimes matter of Lean using the understandable language of proverbs and anecdotes and with a number of curious examples from everyday life and sports. A special merit of the book is that it is written in such a way that advanced readers of Lean can read only individual chapters, and in random order, according to their specific interests. To provide a faster and better understanding of the subject matter, the book contains a significant number of practice-oriented exercises and a self-assessment questionnaire.

Who is this book useful to? It is useful for beginners – it provides them with all the introductory knowledge of Lean in one place, and in the most accessible language. It is also useful for advanced readers – it challenges them to further enrich their knowledge and “synchronise their clocks". It will be useful for enthusiasts – it gives them another incentive through the numerous and impressive examples of successful implementations. It will be useful even for the sceptics – it convinces them that there are no insurmountable obstacles in the way of Lean transformation.

Who should read this book? This book should be read by managers of all levels and all leading specialists, both the already convinced adepts and the people who are only now timidly approaching Lean.

How will this book be useful to readers outside Bulgaria? It will be useful in presenting the Bulgarian experience in at least three areas. The first of these is how to implement the Lean ideas for working with low stocks in conditions of fragmented and clogged logistics chains. The second is how to achieve broadly cooperation of production in an economy operating in the conditions of deficits and monopolies. The third is how to balance rationalist and behaviourist models of corporate governance against the freedom-loving national folk-psychology of the non-law and non-rule abiding southern peoples.

I highly recommend the book “LEAN in Action" to all curious readers from all over the world.

In today’s competitive business landscape, continuous improvement and efficiency have become the keys to success. The book, “LEAN in Action”, authored by the highly experienced Prof. Anastas Kehayov, provides a comprehensive and insightful guide to implementing LEAN practices in any organization. I am delighted to share in this short review my personal impressions of this outstanding book, which not only highlights the author’s expertise but also serves as a valuable resource for both beginners and professionals.

It is clear that this book is the result of years of research, practical experience, and a true passion of its author for LEAN methodology.

" LEAN in Action" stands out not only for its comprehensive coverage of LEAN principles, tools, and techniques, but it also emphasizes the importance of people engagement, leadership approach and skills development. The book takes readers on a journey, starting with the fundamentals and gradually delving into more advanced concepts. Prof. Kehayov masterfully breaks down complex ideas into easily digestible chapters, making it accessible to readers from various backgrounds.

One of the book’s notable strengths is its focus on practical application. Throughout the pages, the author provides real-world examples, case studies from various industries and companies, and practical tips to help readers understand how to implement LEAN practices effectively. This approach creates a bridge between theory and practice, ensuring that readers can seamlessly translate the concepts learned into tangible results within their own organizations.

Prof. Kehayov brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, making this book the perfect guide for exploring the world of LEAN. With an impressive background in the field, the author’s expertise shines through in every chapter.

Furthermore, I must commend the author’s engaging writing style. The prose is not only informative but also inspiring, making it a pleasure to read and absorb simultaneously the wisdom and the incomparable sense of humor of its author – you may find yourself burst out laughing while reading.  

In addition to its educational value, " LEAN in Action" benefits greatly also from Prof. Kehayov’s warm and approachable tone. It’s evident that he genuinely cares about his readers’ understanding and success in implementing LEAN practices. That is why you will find a lot of questions, examples, even jokes, topics for discussions, homework, practical tasks and exercises in each chapter. This personal touch makes the book feel like a conversation with a trusted mentor rather than a dry instructional manual.

In conclusion, " LEAN in Action" is an exceptional book that deserves high praise. The author’s extensive expertise, coupled with the book’s comprehensive approach and engaging and humorous writing style, make it an invaluable resource for a wide range of readers – practically anyone interested in LEAN. Whether you are a novice, a student or a seasoned professional, this book will undoubtedly enhance your understanding and application of LEAN principles.

I highly recommend " LEAN in Action" to all business professionals who aspire to achieve sustainable growth.