By October 22, 2007 3 Comments Read More →

Sorry, we have no Toast at Toast!

I can’t say this is strictly Lean related, but I thought this was funny and I’ll share it anyway. So I’m at the airport terminal in Edmonton on Thursday, waiting to fly home and saw this one (and only) food stand in the area. It’s called “Toast!” It’s not that I was in the mood for toast, but I laughed when I saw the second smaller paper sign hanging (see the second picture, you can click on either for a larger view.

The sign says “SORRY, NO BAGELS OR TOAST AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.” No Toast available today!! Is this an inventory management problem? :-) Anyway, I just thought it was funny and I always have my digital camera handy, so here we go. Have a great week, everyone.


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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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3 Comments on "Sorry, we have no Toast at Toast!"

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  1. Rick Foreman says:

    Great post. Reminds me of the new Starbucks in Forney, which continues to run out of items every week due the lack of inventory management and the fact that items are only delivered weekly. Being out of light mix for a cold drink, I asked why and they stated, they were still adjusting there inventory needs. I’m wandering if a simple KanBan system could have relegated a solution to the variance? After 3 months, I would suspect their is ample Lean activity, which could have improved the customer value.

  2. Mark Graban says:

    Wouldn’t you expect a Starbucks to not have that much variation in their demand, at least on a weekly basis? If demand varies just +/- 20%, that makes kanban a method that’s pretty likely to work. Now, seasonal items might be different, but normal coffee, milk, napkins, etc. might be pretty regular right?

    I wonder if they use an electronic re-order point? An MRP-style push ordering system??

    A Starbucks running out of the same items every week shows a frustrating inability to fix the root cause of their inventory problems, huh? They could try to shift to a distributor that could deliver more frequently than weekly too, right?

    I might be going back to Edmonton in the spring, so I’ll be curious to see if they are still out of toast!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Rick,

    Perfect opportunity to volunteer and explain kanban, the lead times, the variation…if they’re as focused on customer service as they say, you’d think they’d gobble up suggestions from a customer. Maybe you’ll end up as retail operations consultant for them?

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