Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Rich Bouquet with Oak Undertones

A rich bouquet with oak undertones

Overproduction is one of the seven wastes. Seldom, though, does it make news. Until we recently learned a surplus spurs French to turn wine into disinfectant.

This made news because it involves wine, France and is humorous. Lest we laugh too heartily, though, let’s pause to consider the difficulty of avoiding this waste. Wine, good wine anyway, takes years to mature. This requires prediction of demand well ahead of the actual demand. In most of our situations, we seek to remedy this by leaving raw materials in the raw state as long as possible, then relentlessly shortening the production cycle to its minimum required time. In so doing, we minimize the criticality of accurate predictions. I have no idea how a wine maker (a maker of good wines, anyway) could avoid this need to predict.

Avoiding the need to predict is one way to prevent the waste of overproduction. It illustrates, wonderfully, how very interconnected all of our systems are.

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