Update on the Trash "Improvement"


Remember this “improvement”, where an auto supplier was claiming to save money by getting rid of some cleaning staff and having engineers take their own trash from their desks to the central trash bin?

I got an update from the engineer who reported it to me:

Mice were spotted recently in the office. It would be funny if files were damaged or exterminators now had to be hired to fix this new issue because a wonderful cost save.”

I wonder if they'll again claim a cost savings if they go back to a dedicated cleaning crew?

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. I can tell you, cleaning people every other day was “Jack Welch” cost savings idea that *has* lead to regular exterminator visits to our building. My question is how much young talent left the company due to the poor conditions prior to the exterminator finally being hired.

  2. Seems to be all around, the idea of cost savings through decreasing cleaning efforts;-(

    Here in Leipzig, the city council is planning to reduce the number of trash cans in the public to reduce costs per year -for the city of course- of roughly 50.000$.

    What happens if visitors to the city of Leipzig can’t find a trash can around? Standing and waiting for a tram, where do you put your garbage before stepping into the tram?

    I think there will be opposite to the cost saving a definite cost increase because the garbage will be found somewhere else, but not in the trash cans;-(

    I doubt that the cost saving equation will come to an positive end;-(

    So much the thoughts from my side.


    PS.: Lean can be really found everywhere in life:-))


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