• Bill Greider

The 8 Wastes and the Island of Misfit Toys

Quick rundown on the 8 wastes: Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Motion, Over-processing, Inventory, Transport, Un-used employee brainpower. There might be a reason people usually cite defects first when you quiz them. 

Defects cause more of the other wastes. When we screw things up, we usually need to transport them somewhere using people's motion, creating sleeping money (inventory). Then we need to re-make something while our customer is waiting. Ouch, none of that is free.

Which brings me to the situation that is going on right now with the Island of Misfit Toys. The phone is ringing non-stop off the hook because of the screw-ups. Don't even get me started, but if this Santa guy would only go to gemba more than once a year, maybe he would have a better handle on what his customers want and definitely don't want. Some recent examples:

Charlie-In-the-Box-is this some marketing idea gone bad? Do we ever check in with our customers, or just deliver them Charlie instead of Jack? Or did the new guy in labelling have a liquid lunch again?An elephant with spots-probably not a bad idea, but I think measles is what jumps in my head when I see this abomination of a toy. Was this a joke? Or, when we did the changeover from stuffed leopards to stuffed elephants did we forget the dooflicker again?A choo-choo train with square wheels on the caboose-no need to write this one up. Our VP of Purchasing saved us $0.07 per wheel for these square numbers. Did we bother to test them out before shipping? And the last one, which I saved for last because if it wasn't so dangerous, it might be funny. Of course I'm referring to the squirt gun that squirts not water, but jelly. How many kids are going to get punched in the face when they decide they're going to squirt grape jelly in someone's face? 

The real issue is the fact that Santa and his employees think it is perfectly ok for their customers (usually children aged 0-12 years of age) to be their quality inspectors. The other issue is that for the 40000 year in a row, there will be no raises nor any bonuses paid out due to the shipping costs and the rented warehouse space called the Island of Misfit Toys. 

Love to get the fat man's ear about a concept called quality at the source. The cost of quality is cheapest when defects are caught way early in the process, and wicked expensive when your customer does the catching. QATs is composed of 3, visual control and checklist documentation (no reports to fill out, that's over-processing).

Anyway, Merry Christmas. For those of you who ended up with a spotted elephant, our apologies and better luck next year.

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