Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where's the hammer?

"Hey, can you get me a hammer from the boat shed?" called my uncle.

"Sure. No problem," I said.

"Holly cow! I'll be in here for days!" I said to myself as I squeezed my way into the boat shed which serves as a shop and storage.

I recently took a few days mid-week to help build a 10x20 shed at the family cabin. I really enjoy the process of planning, and building, and of course, the food and comradery.

The purpose of the new shed was to house the boat, jet ski, lawn tools and other water craft so that my uncle could get into the boat shed near the cabin. Thinking back to last summer, I couldn't recall when we took the boat out of the shed and put it in water. It just sits there along with the another 10 footer out front. Do we really need the new shed?

I started mentally red tagging everything I could see that I knew hadn't moved in a year. Boat, wood scraps, duplicate tools. I'm thinking reduce inventory by 40% and we could get a lot of space back...

"Where's that hammer?"

"That's a good question. Little help," I called back.

We found the hammer and then some washers for lag screws.

"I didn't even know I had those, " my uncle said. "I've got stuff I don't even know I had. "

This situation is all too common whether at home or in a highly sophisticated technical or business environment. Applying visual control techniques could really help.

For our effort, I dug out all of the tools we needed and laid them out 3 feet from the job site so that we didn't have walk 65 feet for a tool and spend 20 minutes looking for it. Simple and effective.

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