Some Assembly Required! by Dave Park

Posted under Business Efficiency by admin on Wednesday 20 January 2010 at 5:15 pm

Julie Jargon of the Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks has brought in a classic toy to teach inefficiency. 


Mr. Potato Head, one of the world’s most adored “personalities,” was “born” in 1952, at the Pawtucket, RI – based toy company,

Hasbro, Inc., and began making history at an early age as the very first toy to be advertised on television.


 The Maverick BuilderThe original Mr. Potato Head contained only parts, such as eyes, ears, noses and

mouths, and parents had to supply children with real potatoes for face-changing fun!


 Yes, the Mr. Potato Head toy helped Starbucks employees understand exactly how

inefficient they are at their jobs.  The toy’s parts are sprinkled “across several tables”

and baristas are timed by stopwatch to see how long it takes them to put Mr. Potato

 head together.


 The first time Tara Jordan tried this, it took her about a minute. But she got her time

down to just 16 seconds after “moving items closer together” and “altering the order of assembly.” This exercise is part

of Starbucks’s drive to reduce its store labor costs, which total “about $2.5 billion, or 24 percent of revenue, annually.”


Now what can we take from Mr. Potato Head. 


Efficiency creates effectiveness — freeing up more time “to interact with clients and improve your business experience.” 


This can be especially tricky because “every inspection business is configured differently and has its own

client-realtor-management patterns.” 


The Mr. Potato Head game should encourage each franchise and inspector “to come up with their own efficiency solutions.”


When was the last time you wrote down all your business pieces?
Do you just plug in solutions or do your create a flow chart?
Which pieces are most important? 


Don’t be a Spud Dud!

Grow your business by providing an Experience.

Explode your business by creating Efficiency.


Mr. Potato Head … a world-class personality whose recognition grew from a simple children’s toy to everyone’s best friend,

a speaker of causes, entertainment star and a cultural icon.


Sounds like a Maverick!

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