NUMMI Tour Tale #4: The Pull Gift Shop
Back 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”?