Kids may think candy is made through magic, but in a lot of ways, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was an entire generation's first exposure to
manufacturing. For the purpose of this tournament, let's look at Willy Wonka from both the 1971 and 2005 films.
In the beginning of both films we see the factory creating chocolates. One-piece flow is evident, there's no extra inventory, and all candy is
transferred directly into "milk run" size vehicles all destined for specific locations with just the right amount in each truck. This is
Lean in action.
A lot of what Wonka chooses to do in his factory also serves multiple goals. One is quality and another is to thwart industrial espionage. Instead
of enacting levels upon levels of security, he makes things in a manner that no competitor can steal. Sort of like the way Toyota makes cars and invites
their competitors to tour their plants.
Wonka also creates a culture of problem solving, with a passion for quality. The Oompa-Loompas may have been having fun, but they were all business, too.
A serial killer as an example of lean thinking? It's not as crazy as you might think. While his own goals may be a bit skewed, Dexter Morgan of
the TV series Dexter makes a killing in the 5S and Standard Work departments. Not to mention his ability to plan and improvise.
A true artist in the way of 5S (and I don't mean Stab, Strangle, Slice, Surveillance, and Syringe), Dexter has all his "equipment" and
additional material organized and in specific labeled containers, bags, etc. He has his tools when he needs them, no time is wasted looking for the
His "kill room" is a magnificent example of standard work, it's the same each time. This greatly reduces the possibility for errors. And
for Dexter one mistake will place him in the electric chair. When things don't go according to plan, Dexter has the ability to improvise, often with the
materials he finds right around him.
The skill that I've found most intriguing about Dexter is his ability to observe. He watches his victims, noticing their behavior, so he can anticipate
their reactions to him. He also collects evidence of their wrongdoing himself instead of relying on what others have said.