Thursday, January 17, 2013

Now this is a "Reverse Innovation" that makes sense!

I bet this short story will bring a smile to your face. If not, I owe you another story :). There was a Japanese soap manufacturing company in which the soap blocks were made, then wrapped in wrapping paper automatically on the assembly conveyor belt, and finally packed in cartons. Typical Japanese automation at its best. Unfortunately, there were times when the wrapping machine created an empty packet without a soap inside. To rectify this problem the Japanese company bought an x-ray scanner from the US for $60,000 to check each packet on the assembly line and find the empty ones.

Not surprisingly, the empty packet challenge was not unique to the Japanese company. Nirma, a premier Indian soap manufacturer, faced a similar problem. Their solution was just a bit different and way cheaper. They simply bought a big fan (about $60) and placed it at the end of the assembly line. Problem solved: the empty wrappers without soap just blew away!

Now that's what I call a "Reverse Innovation" that makes sense to adopt worldwide! :)

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