Rinse and Repeat
I will never forget a story I heard in my MBA marketing class back in the early 1990s. The story was about how one word doubled the revenue of a shampoo company. What did the Instructions originally say: Shampoo. Rinse. But when they added the word "Repeat" it all of a sudden doubled the sales since consumers now bought more shampoo to ensure their hair was clean.
I never knew that we could use the same principle at Jakana Foods. When we began a new project to extract fibers, we did a lot of research, looked at various machines, and identified a locally manufactured machine as a beta test. When we received the machine, and began to use it, the output we expected was not what was documented by the manufacturers. Putting our engineering thinking caps on, we tried different techniques for extraction, some of which worked, but still it never produced what we needed in order to commit to our deadlines for our customer. Until one day, we decided to double up operators on each machine, and Voila! Double the output. It pushed the operators to also keep up with their partner as they did not want to be perceived as a slacker.
Lesson Learned: Push the limits. Everyone wins in this case. Doubled the employees, doubled the output for us, and faster time to market for our client. Not quite Rinse and Repeat. But it still worked out for everyone just the same.