Archive for June, 2010

A ninth waste identified by Air France

June 22nd, 2010 admin No comments

Depending on what you are reading or who you are talking to, part of Lean is about eliminating either the seven or the eight standard wastes, the eighth in question being insufficient use of human potential and competences. Well, I can announce a ninth one, according to a recent governement report looking into criminality in Paris airports.

The ninth waste in question is theft, and Air France, being the major carrier into and out of Paris, is suffering the most from the lack of process control of goods destined to make trips with Air France more comfortable.

For example, blankets, pillow cases and tablecloths used in the long haul flights mysteriously disappear…. most probably in the hands of the passengers themselves, at a cost of 1,9m euros per year. The loss of cutlery and porcelain plates and cups amounts almost to as much.

However, it is not just the passengers who have light fingers. It is estimated that one in ten bottles of champagne never actually makes it onto the plane in the first place. The toiletries are another favourite for those dealing with the transport, as well as the meals themselves. And almost half a million of euros worth of newspapers disappear without trace. What can they possibly do with a few hundred copies of today’s papers?

Duty-free items, despite stringent security, and first-aid kits come in for the same treatment. But probably the most strange items to disappear are the metal trolleys used to serve meals and drinks. 630 000 euros worth, taken probably for the value of the metal!

The fact that the word ‘theft’ is the same in French (’vol’) as the word flight, this report potentially adds a new slant to Air France’s marketing campaigns!

Categories: It's Happening in France Tags:

How to choose suppliers in South Africa

June 5th, 2010 admin No comments

A new definition of supplier collaboration was introduced during an investigation-type programme on TV last night on life in South Africa, ahead of the FIFA World Cup which is starting next week.

All around the world, there are examples of suppliers being asked to obtain certifications as a condition to being considered as a potential partner. We also have examples of them being asked to develop Lean programmes, or even set up production units close to the customer’s facilities.

However, I would suggest that it is only in South Africa that a condition has been introduced based on the percentage of black employees in the suppler’s workforce. The programme didn’t go onto to investigate whether ISO 9000 and Lean were also criteria taken into consideration, but it was definitely the case that no blacks, no business.

Of course, in a country where 90% of the population is black, probably 99% of managerial roles are held by whites. The programme did manage to find the token black director who, in a similar fashion to South African rugby in the 90’s where the first black players were introduced as an appeasement to public opinion, seemed to have been ‘promoted’ specifically to be interviewed by foreign television crews. He seemed quite cool about it and openly described how his board colleagues giggled whenever he had something to say. Maybe there’s one less black board member this morning?

Of course, there was a political slant to the programme which had nothing to do with good logistics practice. Blacks were seen either as corrupt, pilandering murderers or living in hovels with excrements piling up by t he front door. Whites are either exploiting the black workers or setting back barricades on their farms to avoid having their throats ripped out by the aforementionsed pilandering murderers.

However, I do suppose that there are some fairly normal people in South Africa who are developing supplier relationships based on comparatively normal criteria, as well as some fairly normal public servants who will take time out from the charging the black demonstrators to charge English and Italian football hooligans over the next five weeks.

Hopefully South Africa will benefit from the visibility it will getting to one day finish off the work Mandela started 15 years ago now.

Categories: It's Happening Worldwide Tags:
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