The Goal – Chapter 09 – Robots

[The most effective review of Goldratt’s The Goal] [Video Review of Chapter 9]

Chapter 9 returns us to the factory as Rogo tries to uncover what is going on in his plant.


“Tell him absolutely not,” I say.

  • Late is better than wrong.
  • Late can be forgiven – wrong is never forgotten.
  • Do not make a situation worse.
  • Do not ship without testing.

“I need to know if the robots had any impact on our sales.”

  • Quick fixes work on quick problems – commit to the long fix.
  • Rogo should have known this ahead of time, but he didn’t.  Now he needs to go back and do the right work.
  • “There are two ways to do things – the right way, and again.” US Navy Seals

Page by Page

P063 – “Tell him absolutely not,” I say.

Ship without testing?  A manufacturer is only as good as what it knows that it ships.  If a customer requires a certificate of analysis (“COA”) or other type validation – then that is just as much a part of the product as any other physical aspect.

P064 – I hang up and sit there on the steps muttering, “So . . . he likes the color.”

P065 – “But, Mom, he was run over by a bus.”  We are told more about the death of Rogo’s father – is this Goldratt humor?

P066 – “I was the one who thought he didn’t understand the realities of manufacturing.” Alex is realizing that he was looking down on Rogo.  If someone tells you something that causes cognitive dissonance, try your best to believe them.  If you are right – it costs you nothing, but if you held a fundamental belief that was wrong, then this is a priceless opportunity to learn something new.

P067 – “Increase throughput while simultaneously reducing both inventory and operating expense.” Back at the goal!

P068 – “I need to know if the robots had any impact on our sales.”  This should have been done *before* the robots were ordered. Better late than never.  If you find yourself in a situation that is riddled with mistakes – it can be very tempting to look for a quick fix.  Bad situations take time to develop – often the long fix is required.

P069 – “Well, I can tell you without looking that inventories went up on those parts,” Stacey says.

The robots increased local throughput.  They shortened a step that was not a constraint.  To keep the robots busy and satisfy a vanity metric, they were fed more feedstock.  Then more inventory was created.  What a waste!

P070 – I had to release more materials to the floor in all the areas feeding the robots.

The robots became a goal within themselves – their demand for feedstock and good vanity metrics consumed resources throughout the business.

P071 – “Everybody tells me we’ll use them eventually,” she says.

Investing in the future with changes today is often a good thing for a business, but there i a point that bad things today never become good things tomorrow.

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