Monthly Archives: September 2014

Trader Joe’s Printing Error

Sweet_Potato_FritesThe picture above is one my daughter took after cutting out the error to show me.

“Sweet potato Frites”

I’m not sure what frites are but sweet potato fries were in the packaging.

Errors do happen, but seeing this one makes me think about the processes that allowed this to happen.  There was artwork that was created for the printing.  Then the printing tooling.  In production, the operator had to place the tooling on the press and in most printing processes there are audits and checks.  Then the bags were filled with fries, sealed and shipped.  Employees at the Trader Joe’s stores had to take the bags out of boxes and put into the freezer in the store.

That is the long way to say there were a lot of people that had to touch this process as someone adding value or as an inspection and this wasn’t caught.

I wonder how many bags got sent to stores and bought by customers?  I wonder if it has been caught and changed? I wonder what in the process allowed this not to be discovered?

 

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Visual Board for Production Standards

I have been working with one group on how to make there work more visual.  Show production goals versus actual production.  Make safety standards clear.  Highlight any problems to help them improve.

The supervisor of the area was on person leave when I was helping the area.  Upon her return, she liked what we had done.  In fact, she liked the idea so much that she made a visual board for another area where she is the supervisor.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

What was the problem she was trying to solve?  Employees were always asking what their goal for the day was.  Employees would leave their work station and abandon their work to find the supervisor just to ask what the goal was.  The supervisor posted this board in the work area.

This reminds of Gwendolyn Galsworth’s book Visual Workplace Visual Thinking.  One of the questions of the visual workplace is “What do I need to share?”.  Goals and standards were something this supervisor needed to share with her team.

The board is simple and effective.

What have you made visual? What do you need to share?