Get me a Lean Latte, I mean Non-Fat Latte

WSJ.com – Coffee on the Double (registration required, but this link might work)

From Today’s Wall St. Journal, the lean parallels are hard to miss, although it’s presented in terms of “efficiency” experts. The only thing I would question in their process improvement is this: “Why did engineers have to notice obvious inefficiencies in the drink making process?” That’s the difference, I think, between “lean” and “Toyota Production System.” Lean takes out the inefficiencies with experts, but TPS builds the ability of teams to solve the problems themselves.

Starbucks has focused on taking time out of their processes. I also like how they hired a “floater” position – as it says below, yes, it increased costs, but it also reduced time greatly (which leads to increased revenue by serving more customers faster). That’s a similar fight we often have over material handlers — it’s not a direct role, but it helps the core production team be that much more effective.


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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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