|The line to order drinks|
As we were sitting there, I noticed that the store just kept filling up. They weren't calling any numbers but they kept taking orders. The seats around the room quickly filled up and the line kept getting longer. After about ten minutes, I still hadn't heard a single number called. I was sitting there mumbling about takt time to my girlfriend who was clearly looking at me like the biggest lean nerd in the world.
I get pretty annoyed by poor service and I'm thinking to myself - how can they not output a single drink in ten minutes? I decided to stand up and see what the heck was going on. How can their flow really be that crappy? Well... here's what I see when I try to see into their work area:
|Giant opaque glass barricade|
A giant wall blocking your production area also kills your visual factory. A production area that isn't visible to customers and other stakeholders often hides waste. Who knows what was behind there? Could have been a monkey and a panda mixing bubble tea. When you hide your work areas, your employees may also be less hesitant to leave the area in shambles. The thought may be "well the customer can't see it, it can be messy". Well, a messy work area just creates more workplace inefficiency. Creating a visual factory is key to seeing waste, identifying bottlenecks and creating flow.
Just in case your wondering - we finally got our drinks at 7:53 PM - 19 minutes after our order. At least it was delicious.