Believe it or not, they called this 'Just-In-Time'

Flashback to 1990, when this pilot fish is helping to install a merchandise tracking system at a brand new distribution center.

"The merchandise 'pickers' were given tickets to retrieve stock from the warehouse shelves," says fish. "These tickets were then gathered in large baskets and sent to a processing room.

"In that room, a group of about 20 people would enter the ticket number and toss the ticket into an overhead trough. The trough had a belt feeder that moved the tickets through a small opening into a second auditing room for matching against the main inventory.

"About a week after the center went live, I got a call that we were missing records in our audit database. Remembering the lessons I had learned from my seniors in the programming areas about punch card problems, I went to check out a hunch.

"I went to the sort room, got up on the central table and peeked into the trough.

"As I suspected, there were dozens of mangled pick tickets stuck in the conveyor belt.

"They fixed it by putting some stiff brushes along the edges, like on an escalator."

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