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80 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 She called John and they both agreed they should take a half-day vacation to ponder this offer. Aer a couple of hours of chatting, they agreed that they should take the offer. ey believed they could do much to improve BE (Benson Electronics). However, they also both agreed that only one of them should take a leave of absence from Acme, in case things didn't work out. ey sketched out a continuous improve- ment plan, starting with the receipt of the order to the shipping of the assemblies. In try- ing to help Maggie's grandfather in the past, they already knew that the up time on the two lines was less than 15%, and first pass yield was in the low 90% range. at said, contin- uous improvement on the lines would likely involve more than five major projects. ey both knew that the solder paste being used had poor transfer efficiency and poor response-to- pause. ey also knew that there was no orga- nized data collection of first pass yield fails; the boards just went to rework if they were defec- tive. ey had both chuckled a few months ago when they found out that no one at the com- pany knew what a Pareto chart was. So, they were confident that they could make many improvements to the company's processes. ere were business processes, too. In some cases, it took a week to respond to an order with a quote. ey were less confident to address some of these issues. "Hey," John said. "Remember Frank Emory? He is getting his MBA at Ivy U and needs a business project to graduate. I'll see if I can recruit him to help us streamline the business processes." ey continued to discuss the challenges and worked out a high-level plan on several sheets of paper. Finally, they both said in unison, "Let's do it!" Maggie looked pensive for a moment, "We're forgetting something." "What's that?" John replied. "You proposed last night, and I accepted. We should tell our parents and grandparents," Maggie teased as she punched him in the shoulder. "Yeah, right, let's start with your mom," John sheepishly replied. Will Maggie and John's continuous improve- ment plans be able to bring BE into the 21st century? How will their families accept the future wedding? Stay tuned for the next episode. To read the prequel to this story, "e Adventures of Patty and the Professor," click here. SMT007 Ron C. Lasky is an instructional professor for the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and senior technologist at Indium Corporation.

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