The case of the missing leaflet

KC Boxbottom

November 11, 2015

1 Min Read
The case of the missing leaflet

The phone rang. I picked it up ( as I usually do) and heard a wail of despair.

"KC, Jennifer. I'm losing my leaflets."

"Slow down, Jen, and tell me what's happening."

"Our new product has two bottles and a leaflet in a carton," she told me. "We've been getting complaints that some cartons are missing the leaflet."

"Sounds like you need my eyeballs," I told her. "I'm on my way."

Jen had two lines, each producing a different bottle. Cartons were erected offline and brought to the line in trays. An operator would place a bottle from line 1 in each carton, then pass the tray to another operator for the second bottle and sometimes a leaflet. A third operator normally placed the leaflet and closed the cartons. A fourth placed the cartons in a shipper and ran them through a tape sealer.

"Fiddlesticks on missing leaflets," I told Jennifer. "The problem is the process and a system is the solution. Add a section of roller conveyor across the end of the two lines running to the shipper pack-off and taping station. This assures that each tray passes sequentially from operator to operator. Chances of bypassing an operator are minimized.

"Next make sure that each operator knows what they are supposed to do and does only that. Confusion about who places the leaflet guarantees that some will be missing."

Better organization not only speeds production, it helps assure better quality.

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