Quick Assembly of Pre-Fab Shelving Unit

A few weeks ago, I bought a shelving unit from Target.  The kind that comes needing a bunch of assembly and most people dread putting together because the instructions aren’t written very well.  I have done plenty of them and look at it as LEGO for big boys!

One reason people hate the assembly kits so much is the big bag of screws, washers, Dow rods, etc… that is always a nightmare to sift through to find parts for each step.  Well, not this time.  Apparently, the manufacturer must have had some customer feedback about how much of a hassle it is because this time all the hardware was pre-sorted for each step.  The front shows the hardware separated for each step and the back of the packaging tells what step the hardware is for.

All I had to do each for each step was open the appropriate compartment and use the hardware.  It was sorted and counted out properly.  This provided visual queues as whether or not if I forgot something.  If all the pieces were used, I should be alright and if there was a component still on the floor then I missed something.

I compare this to how some companies use material handlers to do the non-value added work to present parts to the value added operator so less time is taken by the value added operator to assemble the finished product.

The manufacturer took the non-value added task of sorting the hardware needed for each step and packaged it together.  This meant me, the value added operator, didn’t have to spend the time looking for the right hardware during each step.  I took less time to assemble this shelving unit than I have for any other unit in the last 10 years.  It was great.

One last thought on the manufacturer.  I would imagine they fought conventional thinking to do this, because it would be easier to package all Hardware A together and all Hardware B together in their silos and then throw that in the box.  Instead they probably had to get all the components into a common area before separating them.  Plus, the packaging I would assume cost more than a plastic bag that is heat sealed.

Over all, I liked this convenience.  It definitely added value for me.

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Posted on January 17, 2011, in Customer Focus, Error Proofing, Manufacturing, Waste and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This is the first I’ve ever seen of a manfacturer doing this and I think it’s fantastic! Just using a little basic lean thinking and look at all of the hassle they saved their customers. I’m one of those who always dreads those “assemble at home” items because of the hardware all thrown in a mass and unclear instructions, which in my opinion are often written “for engineers, by engineers.” Who was the manufacturer, Matt? I’d like to give them my business some day!

  2. Hi! This is a total shot in the dark, but I just received the same bookcase in the mail and it arrived with no assembly instructions. Do you possibly still have them or know where I could download them?

    Thanks so much!
    Brad

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