"Clearly, not shut the line down over the lunch break," The Professor responded quickly.
"We can't!" said John, "The operators are all friends and they count on having lunch together."
"How much are they paid per hour?" asked The Professor.
"Ten dollars," replied John.
"You can pay them $15 per hour and still make more profit if they keep the line running over the lunch break," The Professor opined.
"Fifteen dollars per hour for the lunch time or the entire 40 hour week?" John asked nervously.
"For the whole week," was The Professor's reply.
"I find that hard to believe," John shot back.
"Consider this," said The Professor. "Your line is up only 9.7% of an 8 hour shift, that's only 47 minutes. Today you lost 95 minutes over the lunch hour. You may be able to increase your uptime to greater than 15% by keeping the line running over lunch. I modeled your business with ProfitPro3.0 cost estimating software. Your company will make millions more per year if you keep the lines running over lunch. I have worked with other companies to make this change; it is really easy with a 30 minute lunch period. If 5 people normally run the line, you have just one stay back during lunch. That way each person only misses the regular lunch break once a week."
John thought optimistically, "There is such a thing as a free lunch."
"Now, let's talk about what we can do to double the uptime from the 15% we will get by running the lines over lunch," said the Professor.
Patty listened to all of this in amazement. The Professor was helping ACME more than she thought possible.
Next steps? Yes, John will keep his job. But, what is The Professor's plan to get uptime to 30% or more? And, we still haven't learned where Patty will go to dinner. Stay tuned for the latest.
Dr. Ron note: As surprising as this may seem, this story is based on real events. The uptime numbers and improvements are from real examples. Any company that can achieve 35% or more uptime can compete with anyone in the world, even in low labor rate countries. Sadly, few companies know their uptime or have an urgency to improve it.