From a friend who is an engineer at a major company in an industry that should know a lot about lean by now:
Old way: Cleaning personnel, as they are cleaning offices, empty trash can from each desk daily.
New way: Take your own garbage to ‘central' trash container.
This was labeled as ‘significant cost savings' for [company].
They fired someone in our building, who is making $7.50 and hour to clean 200 or so offices.
OK so recap: Old way: Someone making $7.50/hour takes out garbage. New way: Someone averaging $40.00/hour takes out garbage. THERE ARE NO SAVINGS, THE GARBAGE STILL HAS TO BE REMOVED!!!!!
I'm just floored. Someone carry me to the central trash area. This falls along the lines of getting rid of material handlers as “non value added” and then the line shuts down because workers are chasing their own parts. It's crazy. It sounds like a horrible decision. And, it's certainly not what I would call “Lean.”
I'm sure the “savings” in this program didn't include the time, distance walked, and cost of taking out your own trash. One inexpensive cleaning person, following a defined standard route, doing nothing but emptying trash would be much more efficient and practical than everyone going their own.
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