Ergonomics done right.®
August 6th, 2009

Leaning out the latte (not what you think)

From the Wall Street Journal – Starbucks is using the 30-inch view of ergonomics to make their operations more efficient.

Using lean manufacturing principles, the coffee company is taking a hard look at how their people are doing their work. In the article, Scott Heydon from Starbucks states that "motion and work are two different things. Thirty percent of the
partners' time is motion; the walking, reaching, bending".

In one test store, new methods have cut two seconds off the store's drive-through time — to an average of 23 seconds.  In fact, between
September 2008 and June 2009, that store experienced a 10% increase in
transactions. The company says that having food and drinks ready to go
quickly can boost traffic because that keeps people from leaving stores.Starbucks_cup

Jump to the article in the Wall Street Journal here.

No more bending over to scoop coffee from below the counter, reaching for cups in the wrong place, twisting to grab pastries from the case…  Don't these sound like ergonomic improvements as well?  The two disciplines are not different – eliminating waste from the work environment and improving employee performance.

Here is what we think of the link between lean manufacturing and ergonomics.