Monthly Archives: July 2011

Please Batch My Fries

I have to admit this post is partly a rant and partly an example when single piece flow might have been taken too far.

This past weekend I was McDonald’s with my family.  We all ordered burgers and fries. We were the only ones in restaurant in line.  Of course, the register furthest from the fry bin was where we placed our order.  After our burgers were made and put on the try the worker went to get our fries.  I was glad he waited until the burgers were finished because it took a few minutes.  I thought he was trying to keep our fries nice and warm.

Then it happened.  I get hit with single piece flow.

The worker walked slowly over to the fry bin.  I mean slowly.  Filled ONE small bag of fries and then slowly walked back to the counter and placed it on the tray.  Then he walked slowly back to the fry bin.  Of course, there was someone from the drive-thru filling fries so he waited.  Then he filled ONE small bag of fries and slowly walked back to the counter and placed the fries on the tray.  He did this two more times.  Each time waiting for the drive-thru worker to fill 2 or 3 fries.

I think I needed a clamp to shut my mouth it was open so wide in shock.

By the time I got all the fries and got back to the table the first two bag of fries were cold.  There was no way I was going back up to ask for more.

There is a time for single piece flow and there is a time for a batch.  The worker had a confirmed order and it was paid for.  At that point, batching could be an acceptable solution to move the work through the process.

As much as I push for single piece flow, always be aware of the process and situation and understand what is best to meet the customers’ needs.

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Happy Independence Day

Today is Independence Day in the U.S.  The day we declared our independence from Britain.  It took a few brave men to convince 13 colonies they would be better off creating a separate country united as one yet keeping the rights of the states.

These men had persuade their peers to take a risk on something that was better.  It wouldn’t be easy and blood shed was inevitable.  But, on the other side would be such a great reward that we would be foolish not to die trying.  John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin were leaders.  Leaders that looked at the world through a different lens.

Does any of this sound familiar?

As lean leaders, we look at business and processes with a different set of lenses.  Trying to show others how profitable it can be when the waste is eliminated from the business.  We are foolish for letting the waste exist in our process for as long as it has already.

Our struggles are definitely not anything compared to their struggles, but they are a source of inspiration for all of us was we try to set free our organizations from the waste holding them back.

Happy Independence Day!!!!

Football Cops

This post has absolutely nothing to do with lean.  I thought since it is a Friday before a nice long holiday weekend in the U.S. I would post something fun.

I am a huge Indianapolis Colts fan.  I have been since the Gary Hogeboom days.  I saw this last week and thought I would share it.  It is a clip of Peyton Manning and Eli Manning as Football cops.  They throw footballs instead of shooting guns.  It is so ridiculous it made me laugh.

Have a great weekend!