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Showing posts from December 1, 2018

Just Call Me One-Piece Flo

Having touched on Lean practices at work, I now want to focus on one particular method.

Have you ever had a job to do that entailed multiple steps, like an assembly-line process? Stuffing and addressing envelopes is a classic example. You take your pile of envelopes and cards, stuff each envelope, then seal each one, address each one, stamp each one, then take the whole mess out and dump it in the mail, right?

Well, if that's how you would do it, you're doing it wrong. That's called the Batch method.

The right way is to take envelope #1, stuff it, seal it, address it, stamp it and then make a pile of finished product.

No way, you say. Really?

Really, in spite of being incredibly counter-intuitive.

I became a true believer in this method one afternoon when I stopped in at a national sandwich chain. There were about 5 people ahead on me in a line, all waiting to tell the server what bread, type of sandwich, vegetables and condiments they wanted, and then to pay and leave.