May 06, 2011

Poka Yoke for Asset maintenance

Was at the library, and looking at the things you see everyday, you can sometimes learn interesting things..

What comes to my mind today when I look at those conical cups for drinking water in the library is that this is an interesting poka yoke for asset maintenance. Maybe there have been instances previously where students had glasses of water spill on the computers and the books etc. A simple change in the shape of the glass would never let this happen. Its foolproof!

Nothing but an example of looking at past experiences and finding innovative ways to counter the problem from the root. They could have thought of making students aware by putting up posters about the menace, but could it have been so effective..? 


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  1. In here I can see some problems with awareness or even Bias if you prefer Awal, for me you are making assumptions regarding to your experience and in this case other kind of explanations for the use of this cups are being ignored.

    Have you interrogated anyone of the staff to reach that conclusion?, if not you are misleading the analysis of a situation in yourself interest. The use of the cone paper cups in the world is more related with the material (paper) easy to recycle, the form that reduces the storage space, the design (specialized for water dispensers), the price (lower than any other kind and material cups), etc. And in this case who says that is this preventing that the student take this cup into the computers area and equally spill on the tables of computers… even for the fact that you cannot let it down anywhere.

    Perhaps can be a simple line of thoughts but it is also about the knowledge management; important part of the process is assessing the validity of the information before establishing it on the organisational culture.

    “Sometimes I’m confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn’t obvious…”
    Michael Stipe

    07 May 2011, 01:04

  2. I appreciate your argument Carlos, and I agree that I have no evidence of this. But I could really not see any other reason more appropriate in this particular case, because by default, the most common shape of a tumbler is the one which we know. (Rather if you’ve noticed, the conical cups even drip a bit, so clearly its not the ideal design).

    Since you cannot make it stand, the only option that you have is either to finish the water to the last drop before keeping it down or throwing it directly to the bin.

    Anyways, even if this was not the specific reason for the cups to made that peculiar shape, I would like to just illuminate that this could be an asset management technique.. All I am saying is, I am convinced with thinking out of the box for asset management.

    07 May 2011, 12:16

  3. Carlos i totally agree with you but i belive that Awal’s point is a fair assumption. . . . I believe that as well. . . . Also glasses around the place means that cleaners have to take them empty them and then throw them away which is a lot of work…........ With this POKE YOKE approach they do not have this problem…...............

    07 May 2011, 19:30

  4. If all your assumptions where right then the library cafe should sell all the late, capuchino and americano in this kind of recipients. If not all this initiative is just pointless… the cleaners have to pick up all the cups, packages of food, paper, etc.

    :P

    08 May 2011, 22:06

  5. Nope because in that way the library cafe would have 0 clients…................ The water is free….......

    :D

    08 May 2011, 22:08

  6. Guys the idea was not to juggle on this but to think how innovative ideas are or CAN BE used for asset management.
    Btw, the Cofee cups have lids..

    09 May 2011, 19:14

  7. I suggest

    Designers job…
    & Knowledge Management Support and Integration

    11 May 2011, 21:43


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