One piece flow

Say you need to mail out 20 brochures. Each brochure needs to be folded, stuffed in an envelope, sealed and stamped.

You have two ways to do this task. Either you batch process it – you fold all 20, then stuff all 20 into the envelope, seal them and stamp them. Or you take one brochure, fold it, seal it, stamp it and then move onto the next one.

Which of these two methods is more efficient?

Most people think that batch processing would be faster. However, it turns out that mailing the brochures one-by-one is substantially faster. Besides, with batch processing, if a mistake was made in one of the earlier steps, it would take a long time to rework all 20 brochures.

The key to process efficiency is to split up a big task into smaller pieces, and to work on each piece from the beginning to the end.

How would this apply to a process you work on?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s