Ludicrous Speed

Ludicrous Speed

Mel Brooks fans will remember Spaceballs, his jocular jibe at the Star Wars epic. In pursuit of a rebel ship, evil Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) orders his crew to accelerate their craft beyond the speed of light to “ludicrous speed.” While time travel remains science fiction, our ability to process and transmit data has … Continue reading

True North Pole

True North Pole

Many years ago a small expedition to the North Pole was funded by several American toy manufacturers, anxious to better understand how Santa’s workshop achieved such incredible productivity and just-in-time delivery. “How can Santa produce all those toys in such a short time?” one manager questioned in disbelief as the small group of managers furtively … Continue reading

Mistake-Proofing Mistakes

Mistake-Proofing Mistakes

There is a popular lore provided by Shigeo Shingo, that the original name for mistake-proofing (Poka-Yoke) was “fool-proofing” (Baka-Yoke). Shingo chided managers at Panasonic for using the latter term, as it was disrespectful to workers, essentially calling them fools. Shingo substituted the word “mistake” for “fool”, because, as he aptly noted, making mistakes is part … Continue reading

Lazy Lean Guy

Lazy Lean Guy

Why not make the job easier? Shigeo Shingo, in his book Non-stock Production, went further stating that the order of improvement must be easier, better, faster and then cheaper, in that order! He was adamant. Easier comes first. Continue reading

Burning Platform

Burning Platform

A favorite Twilight Zone episode that played Labor Day weekend put me in mind of the stressful push production environment that many organizations still endure today. In a technical sense, push production refers to launching orders into production before customer requirements are known and then pushing them along, some faster than others as requirements become … Continue reading

Putting The Pieces Together

Putting The Pieces Together

Summer’s here, and that means a family vacation to the beach, the boardwalk and the Hamilton’s favorite Pizza place.   We all agree that Manco’s pizza is the best anywhere, but we differ on the reason why. My brother, Geoff, thinks it’s the cheese: aged white cheddar in place of mozzarella. My son, Ben, says it’s … Continue reading