A Japanese soap manufacturing company received a complaint that a consumer
had bought a box of soap that was empty. Management tasked its engineers
to solve the problem permanently to avoid any reoccurrence.
The engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution
monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed
through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked
hard and they worked fast.
But a rank-and-file employee that was posed the same problem came out with
another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed
it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox
passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.