Lean Concepts at the Airport
I had my Lean goggles on at the airport last week and took two pictures of some Lean concepts in action.
First off is a typical FedEx drop box. I've seen this before, but I love the simple visual control that's employed. Has today's pickup been done today?? It's sure easy to tell. I wonder if this visual control gets deployed “automatically” when the FedEx person picks up packages or if they rely on “remembering” to do so?
Next, we see a boarding pass for Northwest. Living in the DFW area, I normally fly American Airlines. It's interesting, sometimes, to see how things go on another airline. With most airlines, if you have a connecting flight, you get two separate pieces of paper whether you print at home or get your pass at the airport.
Northwest COMBINES them into one single piece of paper with a single bar code. I'm sure this saves a ton of paper each year. You just have to be careful, as the passenger, that you realize it's a single pass and that you don't mistakenly throw it out or leave it in your seatback pocket of the first flight.
I wonder if this came from an employee suggestion at some level in the organization? Or from a customer? It would be great if more airlines copied this “kaizen” idea.