Friday Fact – From 90% to 0% errors

Did you know the U.S. army is doing wonders after adopting this error-free technique?

Poka-Yoke, a technique that is helping people and various sectors to produce error-free products and services. Term Poka Yoke (poh-kah yoh-keh) was invented in Japan in the year 1960 by Shigeo Shingo. He was an industrial engineer at Toyota. Initially, the original name of Poka-Yoke was, Baka-Yoke which means ‘fool-proofing. It was changed later because it sounded dishonourable and offensive connotation.

The reason of using Poka Yokes is that it helps people and processes work right the first time, which makes mistakes next to impossible to happen. Such techniques can improve the quality and reliability of products and processes by eliminating defects.

One such technique also helped US Army have Zero batch process failure. Poka-Yoke Has also helped Supply Support Activity (SSA) at Fort Carson, Colorado which is a military retail supply operation of the U.S. Army.

For the Poka-Yoke, the US Army adopted the usage of Barcode system. As we all know barcodes are a big saviour when it comes to inventory management. Before the implementation of Poka-Yoke, their location survey accuracy was ~65%. But after applying barcodes, the accuracy increased to 98%.

Inventory Adjustment used to cost ~$3000 but after implementing this technique, the costing dropped down to an average of $250/month. They had a higher percentage of mistakes when it came to the receipt closures to the supplier which was ~90% which after implementing this technique dropped down to 0%.

Batch processing was also improved significantly. Ideally, the SSA had approximately 15-20 batch processing failures per month which dropped down to 0 failure after the poka-yoke’s implementation. The error rate in the catalogue was ~22% which dropped to 0%. Ideally, the request processing time was 12.5 days, but now the new request processing time is 1.6 days. Actual dollars invested in these activities sums up to less than $1000.

As you can see, not just any corporate sector only, but also the Army of US has begun using Poka-Yoke to improve their productivity and reduce the errors to 0%. Poka-Yoke is around since more than 55 years now. Are you deploying it?

 Written & Compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri.

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