To help her understand how work can be done more efficiently, Kim Landreth, a member of the lean team, brought a Mr. Potato Head to Ms. Jordan’s store and sprinkled the ears, nose, lips and other accessories across several tables.
Using a stop watch, Ms. Landreth timed how long it took Ms. Jordan to assemble the toy and place it in its box. It took more than a minute. Ms. Landreth asked her to think about how she could complete the task faster. Moving items closer together shaved time, as did altering the order of assembly. Over two hours, Ms. Jordan amended the task. Her final time: about 16 seconds. “That really opened my eyes,” she says.
Starbucks is slow. And not “artisinal” slow but incompetently slow. No wonder McDonald’s and Dunkin’ are grabbin’ share. Though, I pity the poor managers who have to dismember and recombine a Mr. Potato Head for hours on end under stopwatch. I think that was in the final chapter of 1985, the sequel to 1984.