Toosh – Lights

Disclaimer: Reading this article may cause you to use the bathroom.

Well my friends the day has finally come where technology and public bathrooms have merged. I’m referring to “Tooshlights”, a company who has connected the two for the benefit of all mankind. Tooshlights is a relatively simple lighting system that changes a light from green to red when you lock the bathroom’s stall door (Beats my idea for mirrored bathroom floors so you can simply look under door and see if someone is sitting on the bowl or not…didn’t catch on). Anyway, Tooshlights solves the same problem using lights, but it doesn’t stop there…these lights are connected to a smartphone app that will show you the closest open bathroom and exactly how many toilet stalls are available. Pretty cool!!! The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles had these installed prior to the 4th of July weekend and it was a huge success.

So what? Why do we care? Beyond the obvious, it reduces the amount of time customers spend WAITING to use the bathroom. Waiting, the “W” in TIM WOOD and one of the 7 deadly wastes of Lean…Tooshlights is combating waste, literally! We (Lean Six Sigma folk) recognized the smartphone app as a visual control tool…meaning we drive peoples behaviors using visual indicators. So to define Tooshlights using Lean Six Sigma language; it’s a technology based visual control device used to reduce customer wait times. As we know waiting is almost never considered value added by the customer, and waiting to use the toilet gets more and more “non-value added” with each passing moment. You know the feeling.

Great work to Tooshlights for developing a tool that exploits under-utilized capacity to reduce waste…process waste, not the other kind. Let us all congratulate them for improving society, one flush at a time.

Gotta go, Erik