Sunday, September 23, 2012

SMED for home

One of my very first posts was on the simplicity of SMED, this post is another example that SMED should be simple. 
When doing a SMED exercise with clients one are we consistently find takes longer than it should is fiddling with equipment to get the right setting. This example only has 2 settings, the rightway up or upside down and I was getting it wrong as often as I'd get it right.  This little problem was plugging my phone in at night to charge.  I'd grab the cable and try my luck:
Black on black, while maybe looking good did not give me much of a chance to always get it right.
Now with a white do on black I get it right every time.  Chance is out of the game, I don't need to guess.  The second advantage is that I tend to plug the phone in last thing at night and the white does makes the cable easier to see, saving me needing to turn the lights on in the entrance hall.  So the white dot in fact removes two steps from the simple task of plugging in a phone to charge. 
In truth the saving is minimal each night, but added up savings like this are what make Lean and SMED/QCO's work.

The white dot I found made life that little easier so I repeated it.  I can now tell which way is up on all my USB, HDMI and assorted cables.   A critical part of Lean is the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle.  And this is last step is what ACT is about, when you find a solution that works, standardize it.  Ask "how do I make xx part of our standard work and where else can I use xx?".
The white stuff is call sugru and has almost endless uses.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Over production

Beautiful picture from Magnum Photos via

YEREVAN, Armenia—Packaging bottles, 1972.
© Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos