NUMMI Tour Tale #4: The Pull Gift Shop

NUMMI Tour Tale #1: Why Fix the Escalator?
NUMMI Tour Tale #2: The Power of Reynolds Wrap
NUMMI Tour Tale #3: The Power of Why

nummiBack to stories about my tour of the Toyota/GM plant in Fremont CA.

The NUMMI lobby has a “virtual” (my term, not theirs) gift shop display of items available for purchase. To buy items, such as hats, pens, or coffee cups, you call a number using a provided phone. In effect, you “pull” items that are delivered to you at the end of your tour. No inventory, other than display items, is kept in the lobby. Tour guests don’t have to carry items with them on the tour tram. Seems to work out just fine.

Maybe it would be a more interesting illustration of lean practices to have a small quantity of each item on display, with a working kanban system used to replenish items from their hidden gift shop “supermarket”?

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NUMMI Tour Tale #5: Nobody is Perfect


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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 book 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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