Here is an example of the first-hand experience at a General Motors (GM) car plant in Lansing Michigan. Line workers do the same job eight hours a day—repetitive tasks. They are the experts on this part of the process. GM found the rear window of one model station wagon was leaking in tests. Frustrated management finally consulted shift workers and found one shift whose rear windows did not leak. How did they accomplish this?
- Worker: We found if we installed them upside down and then sealed them; they did not leak.
- Management: How did you discover this?
- Worker: One of the guys brought in his garden hose and we tried it out during break time. Our way worked.
- Management: Why didn’t you tell us?
- Worker: I have worked here 20 years and no manager has ever asked for our opinion or input!
Line workers (core service deliverers, etc.) are often neglected in OM planning. Do you agree? Justify your stand by sharing examples from your own experience.
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