Tagged with 5S

Space Junk

Space Junk

Last weekend in the Nantucket ferry terminal, I passed a defunct phone booth, the ornate wooden kiosk kind that was used twenty years ago to frame a payphone, provide a modicum of privacy, and hold a phone book.   It appeared that this particular phone booth had been re-purposed to hold a suggestion box; or maybe … Continue reading

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

Many moons ago when I was just getting started on my lean journey, I visited a large automotive supplier to benchmark pull systems.  My own factory had started a pilot kanban between two work centers and I was hoping to gain some insight from a more experienced source.  To my disappointment, when I was escorted … Continue reading

It’s a Small World After All

It’s a Small World After All

[Many thanks to Gerry Cronin and Julieanne Brandolini for passing along the following story about sharing between industry and healthcare.   Gerry manages the Lean Program at the Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM), the Biomedical Research division at the Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the largest programs of its kind in the US.  CCM has been … Continue reading

Labor Dazed

A century after the first Labor Day celebration, during a factory re-organization, I discovered firsthand the meaning of “territorial imperative.” Removing organizational boundaries within the shop is one thing, but when you venture into the ‘professional’ parts of the company that’s challenging the natural order!  One office manager, call him Tom, adamantly opposed the idea … Continue reading

WYSIWYG

Computer geeks over the age over 40 will recall that once upon a time, the images of text and graphics that appeared on computer screens bore little relation to the product outputted from the printer. There was a bit of an art involved using special ‘markup tags’ to control the printing font and format.  Prior … Continue reading

Signs

Signs

Do you remember a post-hippie era song called Signs?  The song’s refrain came to mind recently during a workplace walkthrough: “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Both office and factory were heavily invested in workplace organization, striving to create … Continue reading

Cost Subtraction

Cost Subtraction

Last week, a drive-by a 99 Cent Store (see photo) reminded me of my first real job in an industrial marketing department.  In the 1970’s, one function of this department was to set prices, a task simplified in the early going by the market’s acceptance of whatever surcharges we added each year.   In some years … Continue reading