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Thursday, June 27, 2013

PM Humor - Innovative Engineering

A toothpaste factory sometimes shipped empty toothpaste boxes, which challenged their perceived quality with the buyers and distributors.  The company CEO knew that this problem needed to be solved, and the sooner the better.  He assembled his top project manager, and they followed the usual process:  Budget and project sponsors, RFPs, and vendors selected.  Six months and $8 million later, they had a solution:  They used a high-tech precision scale that would sound a bell and stop the line whenever a box weighed less than it should.  Someone would then walk over to the line, remove the defective box, and re-start the line.  As a result, no empty boxes were being shipped out of the factory.  With no more customer complaints, the CEO felt the $8 million was well spent.

The line statistics reports showed the empty boxes were in line with projections for the first two weeks, but then - zero empty boxes!  The engineers verified the reports were accurate.  Puzzled, the CEO traveled to the factory to view the line.  Just ahead of the precision scale sat a $20 desk fan blowing the empty boxes off the belt and into a bin.  He asked the line supervisor what that was about.  "Oh, that," the supervisor replied.  "Bert, the kid from maintenance, put it there because he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang."

hat tip to "The Petersen Report" for this gem

1 comment:

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