Simple Solutions

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One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan’s biggest cosmetics companies.
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The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty.
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Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department.
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For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty.
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Management asked its engineers to solve the problem.
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Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty.
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No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a Whoopee amount to do so.
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But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but instead came out with another solution.
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He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line.
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He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.
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6 responses to this post.

  1. I also read about it. Mostly simple solutions come to simple people i feel

  2. Posted by Jennifertem on September 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Thinking ‘outside of the box’. Sometimes we overthink things.

  3. Posted by Laurie Schuler on September 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Think it through before reacting.

  4. Ha! Yes this is the very best explanation I’ve heard for the phrase “thinking outside the box.” 👍😃

  5. The inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison were know to take opposite approaches to invention. Edison would hire many people to randomly try things until something worked. Tesla would sit and meditate and the come up with an elegant and simple solution.
    Edison is known by many for last century’s electrical achievements. Tesla is better known today for his many inventions such as the underpinning of today’s cell phone communications.

  6. The mind works best moving slow, the body can go hyper speed.

    Look how we act when we are late, pressure and hurry dissolve our awareness.

    Look how man made thing, time changes us

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