A LITTLE BUYS A LOT
Steve pointed out to the production area, with neat rows of workers smoothly assembling a complex product. Each product required many steps and many people. There were parts bins everywhere on the line. Then Steve pointed out the key: Some bins were yellow, and some were clear plastic. The answer: They were shifting to see-through bins to help their replenishment folks see what to fill next!
No instructions, no checklists, no reports, no conversation, no nothing. Simple: Never have an empty bin. Look and do.
Steve’s business depends on innovation and constantly improving ways to do everything. The bins were way more convincing than any speech.
What Steve’s innovating organization produces is speed. He’s found the secret: small steps, easy to teach, easy to learn, easy to do……steps that speed throughput and cut mistakes. And yes, that cut waste, too.
There was no conversation about “work pace”. Instead, Steve found a better way to deliver speed:
- Be sure workers have what they need to do their jobs
- Use production flow to help folks want to “keep up”
Essential: Get your people to find their version of see-through bins, and do it.
Sometimes reporting throughput and recognizing little improvements is all it takes.
What’s your version of See-Through Bins?
Send me yours, and I’ll try to publish it. Please tell me what it is, how it helped, and the result you got.
© Jim Grew 2014
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