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Poka-Yoke is a Japanese management style created by Toyota executive Shigeo Shingo in the 1960s that focuses on mistake-proofing operations.
Furniture-maker Allsteel has relied on it since the mid-1990s, and now it’s playing a critical role in the company’s coronavirus response.
To make it safe for employees to return to the office, Allsteel is using poka-yoke to mistake-proof the facility.
On top of removing desks and creating new products that promote social distancing, the company is taking extra precautions by giving each worker specified markers for whiteboards that act as dividers and other new additions.
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When Shigeo Shingo first sought to implement the concept of Poka-Yoke in Toyota’s manufacturing process in the 1960s, he referred to it as a method to “idiot-proof” product development.

Lore has it he quickly changed the term to “mistake-proof” after an employee burst into tears at the word “idiot.”

Decades later, Poka-Yoke has taken on new life in the coronavirus pandemic.

The goal of the concept is to create processes under which mistakes are minimized. That can mean anything from ensuring products are assembled correctly by only allowing a part to fit one way, to giving pilots different meals during flights in case one gets sick from the food.

The office-furniture maker Allsteel has relied on Poka-Yoke since the mid-1990s and continues to rely on Japanese consultants for advice on how to continue to abide by its principles.

Now, that mindset is helping the Muscatine, Iowa-based company create new products to help clients safely return employees to the office. And its own office is being used as a test bed.

But while companies around the world are quickly overhauling …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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