What Do a Brick, Orange Juice, and a Car Have in Common? An Operational Story.


When it comes to the day-to-day problems of productivity, accountability, and waste – while on the surface they might seem dissimilar, we actually find there is much in common with these problems.

I can’t count how many times I heard operations leaders say, “Yes, but our process is unique.”

The truth is that while the methods of making a car vary greatly from the methods used to make orange juice, the root cause for subpar productivity, high rework, and accountability for results tends to be the same.

The good news is that the processes and disciplines needed to improve are 100% transferrable. They do not discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a job shop, or high-volume production facility. It does not matter if your business is new or 100 years old, if you have a union or non-union workforce, or if you make bricks or orange juice. This fix is the same.

What you do need is a “pull”.

One of the phrases I find myself using often is “I haven’t figured out how to push a rope yet.”

This means there must be the desire and willingness to set aside the “this is how we’ve always done it” attitude, and instead be open to and ready to work at change.

In our post-pandemic world, I’ve had several potential clients become actual clients when they’ve come to this realization that they need to set aside the “this is how we always do it” attitude and embrace changes. As I have worked with their teams, I’ve seen one consistent result:  in every client example, the company has committed to trying new things and changing up past practices, and the results have been strong.

Empirical offers a highly interactive 90-minute program, run by Chris DiMascio, for companies that want to learn and explore various opportunities for operational improvement and gauge how their executive teams view these opportunities.

This program is a low-investment, high-return activity that will likely reveal to you how similar a brick, orange juice, and a car can be.

Interested? Want to learn more or schedule a program with Chris?  Connect with us! Reach us via email at hello@thinkempirical.com, or give us a call (610) 994-1139.