I was walking a customer’s plant recently and trying to convince them why they should switch to small totes from large bins. We discussed the benefits to operator ergonomics, product mix, production scheduling, material delivery, inventory, and on and on. I could tell they intellectually understood the argument but were looking for a bigger picture, something that wasn’t just numbers and process flow.
For some reason, I thought about all the time I spent playing Monopoly with my brother at the kitchen table. We learned great lessons from the game that parallel how to think about a plant.
Location, Location, Location
Would you rather own Park Place or Vermont Avenue? Not even a question! Think about the lineside space, the main area for your production operators, like Park Place. It’s the most valuable real estate you have. Be mindful of what you’re putting there and why.
Every Space Costs Money
Whether it’s the Pennsylvania Railroad or Indiana Avenue, you didn’t get it for free. Of course you didn’t buy the space for each area of your operation, but you know there’s a real cost involved. Mortgage or rent, lights, temperature, machines, power – real money, every day. Should you be using this space for what you’re using it for?
Same Space, Different Earnings
Get the property set and build hotels. Use the same space to generate more earnings. How can you apply the same concept? The building cost is fixed – you might lease or buy, but unless you’re subletting the dollars don’t change. What makes money – holding product in inventory or producing goods to sell? Continually challenge any space not used for production.
It’s easy to get lost in the details. Check yourself against simple, time-tested concepts to make sure you’re working in the right direction. Until you start collecting $200 every time you walk in the door and pass Go, the only way forward is to implement change that lasts.