Lean Service Waste of Opportunities Lost

Lean Service Waste of Opportunities Lost

In a recent blog post, Lean Service Waste in Food Safety, I introduced the seven Lean Service Wastes as defined by Bicheno and Holweg (2009). The service waste we will address in this Monday’s blog on Lean Service Waste is Opportunities Lost.

An opportunity lost to retain or win customers, a failure to establish rapport, ignoring customers, unfriendliness, and rudeness.

Few of us think of opportunities lost when there are good times and seemingly endless need for our products. It has not always been that way, and it will not always continue. Can we continue to lose opportunities as a result of improper recordation? 

I think of how proper recordation could prevent a future catastrophe. The Fruit Tree industry has been blessed that not one major food safety incident has ever occurred. However that false of sense of security may be what does us in one day. Where other industries have scrambled to meet regulation after regulation, surprisingly, the fruit tree growers though not immune are not heavily regulated, yet. However, it only takes one incident to provide the fuel for those tables to turn.

We only have to remember what many called a smear program did to South Dakota-based Beef Products. It became commonly called “pink slime” and closed several production plants resulting in the loss of several thousand jobs in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota. We only have to remember the Toyota brake failures or the Audi sudden acceleration stories for further evidence.

The point of my blog post is not to disagree or agree with either side. I just want to view the outcomes of what many would consider a total lack of substantial evidence crippled an industry and was even able to affect the number one car dealer in the world.

How do you plan for scenarios like that? Can you plan for every scenario? The answer is no, but you can certainly address issues that are on the horizon and comply early in the regulation process. All of us know that there will be some form of mandatory recordation that will come out FSMA. It is accepted, but we are not implementing the necessary procedures for conformity. We are waiting for a mandate.

One of our scenarios at ApRecs is that we will be on the cutting edge of this regulation and in a position to capitalize on the mandate. However, a state that takes a pro-active position may be able to offer the “test” on how it should be handled on a wider basis. Our concern is not that we will not be the leader in Washington State rather that other states will be the leaders, and we will have to adjust and adapt to their conformance of regulations.

An example of this is obvious if you have ever bid on a government contract. It is usually a mixture of three or four vendors preventing any one vendor to supply a standard product. Now, this does not happen all the time but regulations are negotiated. This can cause difficult compliance unless you are influential in the creation of them. Our hope is that Washington State can be a model for others.