In “Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace” [Amazon], Ricardo Semler talks about the red/green tag system workers used at one of his Brazilian company’s plants.
The factory committee spun off groups that studied the plants products and how the workers made them, looking for ways to save time and make improvements…One group came up with a system in which all the parts for the dishwashers were stocked in open racks in the middle of the factory. Metal tags, green on one side and red on the other, hung on each rack, and the workers would flip the tags when they saw it was time to reorder, ensuring a steady supply.
Reminds me of dining at Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse (aka churrascaria) with locations here in the USA.
Each guest uses a two-sided disk to control the pace of their meal. The green side signals the Gaucho chefs to bring out skewers of sizzling fire-roasted meats to carve at the table. The red side indicates a stopping point. Turning back to green lets the Gaucho chefs know to start offering the meats again.