"Lean Solutions" and "The Gold Mine," two books by Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) authors, have won 2006 Shingo Research prizes.

"Lean Solutions," by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, and "The Gold Mine," by Freddy Balle and Michael Balle, will receive prizes during the 18th annual Shingo Prize Conference, April 3-7, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Covington, Ky.

The Shingo Research Prize recognizes research and writing on new knowledge and understanding of lean manufacturing. The Shingo Prize program has been administered by the College of Business at Utah State University since 1988.

"Lean Solutions": The result of three years of research, this groundbreaking book describes the fundamentally new ideas of lean provision and lean consumption as critical complements to lean production and the next leap for lean thinkers.

"Lean Solutions" provides compelling examples from a variety of industries, including computer technical support, retailing, healthcare, manufacturing, air travel, and others, of how to make processes more efficient while providing more value to customers. Managers at every level will benefit from the innovative ideas in "Lean Solutions" by learning to see consumption as a process - a series of linked goods and services, all of which must occur seamlessly for the consumer to be satisfied.

Womack is founder and chairman of LEI. Jones is founder and chairman of the LEI affiliate, Lean Enterprise Academy in the UK. Lean Solutions is published by Free Press.

"The Gold Mine": This novel about the lean transformation of a company deftly weaves together the technical and human pieces of implementing lean manufacturing in an engaging story that is both compelling and instructive. Authors Freddy and Michael Balle have produced the first integrated and systematic approach to a set of ideas that have maximized value and minimized waste worldwide.

"The Gold Mine" presents all the key lean principles, ranging from well-known ideas such as pull and flow, to lesser-known yet equally important principles such as jidoka and heijunka. The book also reveals lean as a system - using a realistic story to show how the principles are interrelated and how they connect to specific tools.

Freddy Balle is a former executive at Renault and major European auto suppliers. Michael Balle is associate professor (adjunct) at the American University of Paris and co-founder of the Project Lean Entreprise. He is Freddy's son. "The Gold Mine" is published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.