How to Kaizen Boxing Day

One of the greatest evils that kaizen and Lean manufacturing attempts to eliminate is overproduction, one of the 7 wastes. Overproduction hides true capacity, exacerbates quality problems, builds inventory, and generally amplifies the other wastes. Today was Boxing Day, so called in English-speaking places other than the U.S.A. Boxing Day needs kaizen.
The highway ramps to Bellevue, Washington were filled with cars (worse than morning rush hour(which is plenty bad) when I drove past today at 2PM. This is not unique to Bellevue, it hapens all over Shoppingland, America.
The Boxing Day phenomena in the U.S. are the after Christmas sale, people returning gifts or cashing in on their gift certificates, and people generally getting out in their automobiles for some exercise after having eaten too much on the last two days. The aftermath of overproduction.
The seasonality spike created by Christmas shopping affects several of our customers Lean manufacturing efforts. It affects just about every manufacturer whose orders increase around Christmas season. It’s the part of the 12 month demand profile that defies Heijuna (leverling out and averaging demand and mix). They have to forecast, build ahead, create waste, and miss their forecasts. Year after year.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Asking that question is the first step to kaizen.

2 Comments

  1. Ethan

    December 27, 2005 - 6:36 am

    I thnk the title of this post needs Kaizen. I re-read it a few times looking for the part about “how to”, as opposed to what ultimately needs kaizen applied to it. 😉
    I recently discovered this website, and really like what you’re doing. Keep up the good work!

  2. Jon Miller

    December 27, 2005 - 9:01 am

    Thanks Ethan. I guess I was thinking that the “how” was to get people thinking and asking “why” about this issue, not so much to provide a step by step solution (which I do not claim have).