A powerful example of setup time reduction is the process of changing tires. When we get a flat tire, we have to change it, taking 10 minutes or more, and then we drive to the tire store to fix or replace the flat. Usually the process takes at least one hour. In a car race, however, all four tires are changed in a matter of seconds (recall the Global Company Profile in Chapter 10). Every lost second represents about 500 yards of distance in the race, so a fast setup time is critical for success.
Clearly, with enough investment and ingenuity, most setup times can be reduced.
- Identify some of the changes that were implemented in the car racing world to enable such a fast setup time (these include product design, having replacements availablewhere and when needed, devoting human resources to the task, using automation, etc.).
- Then note how some of these same ideas can be applied to many different setup tasks in companies.
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