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Simple Solutions For Problems

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What an awesome read this was today. I was reading over some examples on how many times people over complicate things that end up costing them thousands of dollars to find solutions to a problem when really the solution can be so simple while saving you money in the long run.

This one revolved around a Japanese cosmetic company. One of its main products is soap and as you would expect mostly everything is done in an automated assembly line fashion where the soap is made, packaged and then boxed for sale to various stores. One day a customer was complaining as the box he received didn’t have any soap in it. Therefore, this got the company working diligently to find ways to make sure this wouldn’t happen again.

Engineers were told to come up with a solution and they ended up creating an X-ray system that would display the contents of the box as it passed through the assembly line. Two other individuals would then be able to see this through a high resolution monitor. If the box was empty then they would simply remove it.

This problem was then presented to a regular worker in the company. His idea? Basically, he just got an industrial strength fan that would be aimed at the boxes as they passed through the assembly line. Essentially, if there ever was an empty box it is so light that the fan would simply blow it off the line. Kind of just makes you slap yourself on the forehead huh if you were thinking of the first route?

There was then another brief example which to my knowledge is fiction, but it was kind of a funny example nevertheless. It was told by saying NASA was having a problem as they needed to give the astronauts a pen to take it to space for whenever they needed to take notes. As you may have assumed, a conventional pen doesn’t work in space as the ink can’t poor out in a zero gravity environment. Therefore, it took a person millions of dollars and almost a decade to invent a pen that would work in zero gravity. What did the Russians do instead? They used a pencil. Again that example was fiction, but it sure makes you think.

Guess the saying of keep it simple stupid is the theme here to tell you that sometimes over thinking and over complicating things may not be the best route logistically or financially.

Comments to Simple Solutions For Problems

  • Honestly that is very funny and straight to the point. I personally would never have thought of the fan. 😆
    But its true, hard problems usually have simple solutions.

    Ajay Singh 10/19/2011 3:47 am

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