The Professor’s 2d Visit, Continued

“Well, what should we do Professor?” John said weakly.

“Clearly, not shut the line down over the lunch hour,” The Professor responded quickly.

“We can’t,” said John. “The operators are all friends and they count on having lunch together.”

“How much are they paid per hour?” asked The Professor.

“Ten dollars,” replied John.

“You can pay them $15 per hour and still make more profit if they keep the line running over the lunch hour,” The Professor opined.

“Fifteen dollars per hour for the lunch time or the 40 hour week?” John asked nervously.

“For the whole week,” was The Professor’s reply.

“I find that hard to believe,” John shot back.

“Consider this,” said The Professor.” Your line is up only 9.7% of an eight-hour shift; that’s only 47 minutes. Today you lost 95 minutes over the lunch hour. You may be able to increase your uptime to greater than 15% by keeping the line running over lunch. I modeled your business with ProfitPro3.0 cost estimating software, and your company will make millions more per year if you keep the lines running over lunch. I have worked with other companies to make this change, and it is really easy with a 30-minute lunch hour. If five people normally run the line, you have just one stay back over lunch hour; that way, each person only misses the lunch hour once a week.”

John thought optimistically, “There is such a thing as a free lunch.”

“Now let’s talk about what we can do to double the uptime from the 15% we will get by running the lines over lunch,” said the Professor.

Patty listened to all of this in amazement. The Professor was helping ACME more than she thought possible. Yes, John will keep his job. What is The Professor’s plan to get uptime to 30% or more? Where Patty will go to dinner?

Stay tuned for the latest.

Cheers, Dr. Ron

Dr. Ron note: As surprising as this may seem, this story is based on real events. The uptime numbers and improvements are from real examples. A company that can acheive 35% or more uptime can compete with anyone in the world, even in low labor rate countries. Sadly, few companies know their uptime — or have the urgency to improve it.

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About Dr. Ron

Materials expert Dr. Ron Lasky is a professor of engineering and senior lecturer at Dartmouth, and senior technologist at Indium Corp. He has a Ph.D. in materials science from Cornell University, and is a prolific author and lecturer, having published more than 40 papers. He received the SMTA Founders Award in 2003.