Whenever asked to increase the throughput, what did the Production Manager say?
“We Don’t have capacity! We need more capacity, more people, more machines, more space, …” A hallmark statement of the firefighting zone of production.
This is where the improvement initiatives radical or small start in an organization.
Incidentally, two days back I accompanied my kids Krishna and Kavya to Rang Shankara, the iconic theater of performing arts in Bangalore to watch a play on Mulla Naseeruddin. Mulla is a legend of folklore for his witty ideas. Here is how the play goes.
One day a lady comes to Mulla complaining about her home being too crowded with all the relatives, kids and elders. And then, she requests him for a solid advice to get additional space to improve their living conditions.
Not ever refusing anybody an advice in real need, Mulla asks her if she has any pets at home. Upon knowing that she has a dozen chickens in the poultry, he advices to let all the chickens live inside her home. Surprised by his advice, the lady goes home and lets all the chickens inside her home.
Next day the lady returns with a grim face complaining how difficult was the past 24 hours due to tantrums of chickens. Then, upon knowing that she owns a couple of goats, Mulla advices her to bring in the goats inside home. The disgruntled lady with all the faith in the legacy of Mulla’s intelligence, returns home and lets the goats inside home.
The following day, she again returns to Mulla and starts complaining how difficult life has become since past two days. Mulla hears patiently and then asks her if she owns any other pets. Upon knowing about her owning two horses, he advices to let the horses live inside home. Disbelievingly, the lady returns home having faith in the legacy of Mulla and against all wishes of her family members lets the horses inside the home.
Twenty four hours later, she returns to Mulla all weary and exhausted. Mulla looks at her and says that her problem is just about to evaporate. He advices, “Go back home and drive out all pets from home”. She goes back and at once drives out all the pets from home.
Early morning the following day, she returns to Mulla and thanks him profusely with gleaming face. She starts describing how good the home has become, how spacious it is with so much place to move around and so much air to breath. Everybody could sleep soundly. The house somehow looks bigger.
Moral of the Story : No matter what the current capacity of your office, factory or plant is, huge capacity is hidden just around there. And, there is always an opportunity to quickly improve it substantially!
Actually, a lot of capacity (with ‘throughput’ being the real measure) is hidden inside factories, plants and offices. It requires a belief in people who work there that they can reveal the hidden capacity (additional throughput). Once we have this belief then there are uncountable numbers of tools available to identify and reveal hidden capacity.
Capacity Hunt Program is one such program that helps organizations in systematically identifying and revealing hidden capacity. It helps organizations in identifying ‘one thing’ or ‘just the few things’ that prevent it from making more throughput (‘money’). And, most importantly, such significant improvement in capacity can be obtained in surprisingly shorter time, often in one lead time without resorting to costly investment.
Check the details here: Capacity Hunt Program
31 March 2014