It’s warming up here in North Texas… as such businesses like Home Depot are EXTREMELY BUSY places.
Yesterday I joined the crowd to buy some tomatoes and other vegetables to plant in our garden. And, yes, the checkout line was backed up in a big way.
Once he was done he ran a Home Depot card through his scanner and handed it back the customer.
The young man eventually got to me and scanned all of my items and handed me my own Expedited Checkout card as shown in the picture.
Once I made it to the cashier I simply handed the young lady the card. She scanned it with one swipe… I paid and was on on my way.
Is This Lean?
So, my question is do you see this as a lean improvement? After all, it did speed the process up from the customer’s perspective.
One could even argue this was analogous to what we do when practicing SMED. In other words, we try to do as much preparation before the machine stops.
But, skeptics may see this as a bandaid to a broken, unbalanced, process.
In other words, instead of attempting to fix the root cause of the problem (checkout capacity) they’re throwing people with scanners at it.
What Do You Think?
So, I’m curious, what do you think? Is this “Expedited Checkout” process lean or not? If not, what would you suggest they do?
And, if you could add to this improvement what would you suggest the lean thinking Home Depot folks do?