Every year my wife and I send out Christmas cards to our friends and family and each and every year my ‘type A’ mind will over-process how we could improve our production efficiency. Do we individually stuff, stamp and seal in a progressive, buffet-style production line? Or is it faster to have one person stuff everything, one stamp and one seal? Yes, we do worry about some OCD tendencies, but that’s another story.
Don’t we all look for ways to increase efficiencies? I was reminded of this during a recent visit to a FedEx Office (Kinko’s) location. The store was working on a large-volume coil-binding job and I sat there watching the whole operation. One person punched all of the books with an HD7000 punch, one person spun the coils on with a HD4170 coil inserter and then WOW, I saw something that I’d never seen before.
Rather than crimp each book one by one, this operator was stacking the coil-bound books as tall as possible. Then he would crimp from top-to-bottom of one side and then repeat on the other side. His skills were honed-in and he completed the stack in a matter of moments with a simple pair of handheld coil crimping pliers. I was dumbfounded.
When I asked the operator if he would prefer using an automatic coil crimper, he laughed and said “You mean that one over there?”, pointing to an old, dusty machine in the corner. “I can beat that thing all day long”. And I believed him!
Sometimes we just need to become the best at one part of a process in order to increase the efficiency of the overall process. How about you?
Do you crimp your books one by one, in a stack or with an automatic coil inserter?