Business Case Study 2. The Empty Soapbox

published in: Case studies

16 Oct
2009

Business Case Study 2.   The Empty Soapbox


One of the biggest Japanese cosmetics companies received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty. The company isolated the problem to the proper assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department.  For some unknown reason, very rarely, a soapbox passed through the assembly line empty.  Management asked the engineers department to solve the problem.

Big Company Solution
The engineers department constructed an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty...  But they spent a huge amount of money to do so.

Small Company Solution
But when a small company was posed business case study, case studywith the same problem, it did not get into complications of X-rays, etc.  The small company bought an electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line.  The fan simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Business Moral
Always look for simple solutions. Avoid complications. 
Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problem.
Economize your resources.

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