Parking Spaces can be Kaizened!

Parking Spaces can be Kaizened!

On one consulting assignment I had some slack time waiting for some corporate information. I was given a project that no one had volunteered to complete or had the time to complete. I was asked to look at the parking lots and parking spaces in a large integrated plant complex. I was told to see if there was any way to improve the number of parking spaces and/or traf­fic flow. Not knowing a thing about parking spaces or traffic flow didn’t deter me.

I did my As Is process diligently! I got copies of some aerial photos. I quickly counted and confirmed the existing number of spaces. I did the walk the process Kaizen tool and reconfirmed the number of spaces by actually going out and counting them.

The actual To Be process was a challenge. I received some information on the recommended standard size of parking spaces. I also saw some unexplained dead space in the parking areas and inquired if there was any reason for the dead space such as fire equipment access. Much to my surprise there was not any good reason for the dead space.

In completing the As Is, I was not faced with any real delays but the dead spaces were the waste in the process. I had a small team brainstorm with me and through pure trial and error, reconfigured many parking lots but kept the traffic flow nearly the same. I presented my plan to the plant manager, who was stunned that I had “created” two hundred more parking spaces. He immediately approved the plan.

We reassigned every-one’s current parking place (they were all reserved) and had a silent auction for all the new spaces, and donated the money to char­ity. Over one long holiday weekend, the old parking lines were erased and the new parking lines created. The employees were ecstatic. Many had previously had to park in park-for-fee lots out­side of the plant complex.


Again just using a few of the tools of a normal Kaizen we achieved great success.

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