I was recently riding home with a professional colleague who was (very creatively in my opinion) writing New Years cards for loved ones based on the Chinese calendar. We happened to be talking a little bit about LEAN at the time, and I remarked that she was using a mass production process to put the cards together. I mentioned the example given in LEAN Thinking, that it would take less time to prepare the cards using one piece flow. I couldn’t exactly quantify the difference, though, and she raised some excellent points about her need to have a mobile factory as we hopped up and down the east coast.
Thanks for Ron Pereira from LSS Academy for putting together a video that shows this. Even if you don’t have a postal carrier standing by to deliver each envelope, it takes less time to do your part as one piece flow.
This is a very accessible example that can be used to talk about Toyota Production methods in health care. How many other processes do you engage in that involve batching work?