SMT007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 63 of 91

64 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 in that if I propose a paper on how to min- imize defects in voiding, I will get all sorts of interest, but if I propose a paper on how to improve productivity, there's not as much interest. That baffles me because when I go and do audits, most of the places could make a lot more money if they implemented some common-sense improvements in productivity. Matties: This topic is near and dear to my heart because we've been utilizing total quality man- agement (TQM) for many years. I started my business in the '80s, and people would say, "I didn't know TQM applied to magazine pub- lishing." We recently talked to some design- ers, Rick Hartley and Dan Beaker, and they discussed the cost of re-spins because people aren't doing it right the first time. They're not using an optimized process to even start with design, and they're not looking at the costs throughout. Your statement is there'll be more interest in the process of the defects versus overall process optimization. Do you think that there's a skill set that's missing in the compa- nies today? What's keeping them from doing this? Lasky: One of the things is that, as sad as this sounds, when I go out and do audits of compa- nies, many of the people running the lines are not very knowledgeable in almost all aspects of assembly. Most aren't concerned with produc- tivity, either. To demonstrate the importance of productivity, let's say that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin contacts Nolan and says, "I'm going to give you a printing machine, and I'll let you print money because we need money in the economy. You can print as many $100 bills as you want. You can spend them and give them to friends." Nolan is excited about this, and they even give him the right paper and ink, so he can crank away. If Nolan gets tired, he may need a break, but he'll hire someone to take his place while he's on break so that the printing press can continue operating. He would figure out a way to have the printing press going 24/7. There is no difference between that print- ing press and an assembly line. The assem- bly line is the only thing in a company that makes money, and yet the way that people handle productivity, in almost every place I've ever been, is comically bad. For example, for most businesses, lunch is at noon. I had a boss tell me that they only take a 30-minute break for lunch, so I asked, "Can I hang around the line?" What I found out was that at 20 min- utes before noon, the operators shut down the line because they want to make sure they're ready for lunch. They left for lunch but didn't get back until 12:40 p.m., and it took 20 more minutes to get the line going. They didn't lose a half hour for lunch; they lost an hour and 20 minutes. And these are the kinds of things that can have a big impact. The quitting time will be 4:00 p.m., and they'll start getting ready to shut the line down at 3:20 p.m. There isn't a sense that the only thing that is making money in the entire factory is the assembly line. You can take action to keep the line going, and it doesn't have to be particularly unpleasant if done as a team effort. I went to one company a few years ago and asked, "How much do you pay your workers?" They said, "$10 an hour." I said, "You could pay them $15 an hour if you could work out a scheme where you didn't shut down at lunch. You have two assembly lines, and with 20 people working on them, it's pos- sible to keep a line going for half an hour with four or five people." When I showed them that this would tremendously increase their profits, the first thing they told me was, "We can't do One of the things is that, as sad as this sounds, when I go out and do audits of companies, many of the people running the lines are not very knowledgeable in almost all aspects of assembly.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT007-June2020