Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to solve a problem

  1. Jul 27, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The following account comes from an very large corporation that I will call ACME, and a very famous corporate problem solver that I will call Mr. M. Sorry for the secrecy but it is a customer thing and I can't talk about it directly. The story is supposed to be true.

    While Mr. M was visiting an ACME site, he was walking through the facilities and discovered a significant choke point in the system. He asked what the problem was. He was told that due to a screw up, the technicians couldn't get the part that they needed for another hour; due to red tape. First they had to fill out a requisition for parts. Then they had to file the Req. form and wait for it to be processed. Then the order is sent to the parts department where the piece is finally pulled and sent through the plant courier to the thumb twiddling technicians.

    MR M. asked to be shown where they keep the needed parts. After a very long walk they finally arrived at the respective parts bin. Mr. M asked: Aren't we just on the other side of the wall from where we started? Yes, he was told. Mr. M led everyone all the way back to the site where the technicians were still waiting. Mr. M then grabbed a forklift and drove it through the wall. He told the technicians to get the parts that they need.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2004 #2

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    All I can say is good thing it wasn't a load-bearing wall! But I have to love a guy who takes action.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2004 #3
    I wanna drive a forklift through a wall! That sounds like fun. Maybe I'll go do that today!

    cookiemonster
     
  5. Jul 27, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Do you ever wonder why it is that companies need to hire outside consultants to figure out such simple problems? Granted, I think he's a bit of a moron for just driving a forklift through the wall...a window or door might have been a better strategy. Hopefully the wall wasn't there for a reason (fire barrier, noise barrier, keep dust out of the office computers, water pipes running through it, etc)...it's usually a good idea to ask a few more questions before smashing through with a forklift. But sure does make for a good story :-)
     
  6. Jul 27, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Of course, if it wasn't a reckless stunt he wouldn't be a such a legend today. :biggrin:

    Most internal walls in a large facility like that are not load bearing walls. They probably only extend up a third or a fifth of the distance to the ceiling. As for the electrical and such, yep, that might have been a problem; but its only money. When you make several or ten million a year you can pull these stunts I guess. :biggrin:
     
  7. Jul 27, 2004 #6

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I drove a forklift into an elevator door once and was promptly fired.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2004 #7
    That's okay. I was never hired in the first place.

    cookiemonster
     
  9. Jul 27, 2004 #8

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm going to drive a forklift through a wall at my company tomorrow too... I'm sure I'll be an instant hero also.

    - Warren
     
  10. Jul 28, 2004 #9

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    Let us know how it works out.
     
  11. Jul 28, 2004 #10

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Wait! No! It only works if you're a highly paid "efficiency" consultant. Only by demading an exhorbitant consulting fee before driving said forklift through said wall can management justify to themselves that it was worth the expense. Afterall, if you're a consultant and charge a huge fee, you must know more than they do (and likely, if they are willing to pay it, you do). :rofl:
     
  12. Jul 28, 2004 #11

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's it! Not just anyone is qualified to drive a forklift through a wall.

    Kaizan!!!
     
  13. Jul 28, 2004 #12

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Moonbear, you have wisdom beyond your years. :approve:
     
  14. Jul 28, 2004 #13

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Different story : A company with a large office building in some big city was receiving complaints from employees amd customers that they were waiting too long for the elevators. The building had 2 elevators and over 30 floors. People felt they were having to wait forever to catch an elevator and this was leading to a general state of irritation. A consultant was called to suggest improvements.

    His suggestion was implemented and soon the number of complaints starting dropping rapidly. What did he do ?

    He asked the company to put in mirrors around the waiting areas !:biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2004
  15. Jul 28, 2004 #14
    Driving the forklift through the wall was genius, not moronical. He was not intending to simply open access to the part, he was shocking them all into realizing how stupid their problem was and how it was caused by adherence to too many ridiculous restrictions. He wasn't just solving the problem but illuminating the cause.
     
  16. Jul 28, 2004 #15

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Never underestimate human fascination with shiny stuff. I've considered installing a big mirror in my cubicle at work so that perhaps my boss won't notice my absence when he comes to check up on me.

    - Warren
     
  17. Jul 28, 2004 #16
    Don't miss the vanity factor. Install the most flattering lighting and such, and he'll never notice you're gone.
     
  18. Jul 28, 2004 #17

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    BINGO!!!

    And believe me, he earns the big bucks that he makes by any relative economic measure. A decades old mindset was destroyed in moments.
     
  19. Jul 28, 2004 #18
    I won? What do I get, a free forklift?
     
  20. Jul 28, 2004 #19

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps I should drive a forklift into the locked supplies cabinet outside my office. I have been requesting a pencil, manilla folders, white out etc... from my clerk for 4 months and have received nothing. Like everyone else here, I end up buying my own supplies. :grumpy:
     
  21. Jul 28, 2004 #20

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    At my place we've got people sneaking around stealing stuff (anyone can walk in at the middle of night), I heard a story that about a year ago they put a guard in a box in an office, who staked out for a couple of days to find out who was doing it - they didn't tell anyone, not even the guard that was on duty - well, so one day the guard in the box hears activity and after being sure it was a thieve, jumped out of the box.. and you guessed it: it was the guard on duty that was filling his pockets (it tends to get suspicious if the thefts happen at the same shift over and over).
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2004
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?