Are Your Systems Ready for Mother's Day?
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Are Your Systems Ready for Mother’s Day?

The busiest day of the year for long distance calling is Mother’s Day. The recent COVID-19 pandemic revealed the inability of our systems to handle the load. Is your business ready for Mother’s Day?

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“When I worked in the phone company they were very proud of the fact that they had engineered the entire switching system to handle one day out of the year. That one day out of the year was Mother’s Day, because everybody called their mother on Mother’s Day. If we didn’t have ways of switching and routing things and [finding] an empty trunk line… If I was going to call my mom in Tucson from Denver, guess what? That call might go straight to Tucson, or might go to Cleveland and come back to Tucson, I might go here to Cleveland to Atlanta to Houston to Tucson… but that thing would go through. That’s still true today. The switching systems are still the same. Everything was engineered to handle Mother’s Day.

“Now with the recent COVID-19 crisis what we’ve seen is all of a sudden everybody has to stay at home. Well, what does that mean? What that means they’re all streaming Netflix from home, and Netflix is having a few problems because they are not engineered for Mother’s Day (which is what this is). Now they’re not doing a bad job, which I think is great, but again: they’re not engineered for it.

“Healthcare has not been ready for anticipating the load that might come from such a pandemic. Again, not engineered to handle the load. Our systems are not set up to handle that kind of load. I was very fascinated to find out that the Chinese built entire prefabricated hospitals to handle the sick and then took them all down when it started to go away. That’s impressive thinking right there.

“So I want you to think about what could be Mother’s Day for you? If you’re a toilet paper manufacturer, this is Mother’s Day; you probably can’t pulp enough wood and make enough to toilet paper to make that all fill up the shelves. It’s going crazy. But think about that: What is your Mother’s Day? What is the one day or the ten days or the twenty days that you need to be up and running or your systems will just crash because they can’t handle the load?

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s plan for Mother’s Day. Let’s go out and improve something this week.