What is the SCAMPER method?

SCAMPER is a tool used to ignite and foster creativity in collaboration. It is used in classrooms by students, in conference rooms, offices, and so many more places. First proposed by Alex Faickney Osborn in 1953 and later developed by Bob Eberele in 1971, SCAMPER was created as a way to enhance students’ knowledge and getting them to think outside of the box

In manufacturing, the SCAMPER method is a great brainstorming activity when you need to develop a design for a new product, develop a new process, rework an existing product design, or optimize a job task. The acronym of SCAMPER represents the steps of the technique, and below we have added how it translates to business:

Substitute: As a group ask some important questions. What materials can you swap to improve the product? What other processes could be used? Is there a substitute location to make the product?

Combine: Look at what is currently going on in your facility, are there any goals or objectives that could be combined? Or maybe products?

Adapt: Processes, whether from a different part of the facility or from a different company, have the potential to be adapted. Additionally, look at what the product may be similar to or what could be changed to adapt it to a different market.

Magnify: Can anything else be changed or altered about the product or process to add value to the customer?

Put to other uses: Evaluate current products and processes and think about whether or not they could be put to other uses.

Eliminate: Any product features that is not needed by the customer or any activities that do not add value should be eliminated.

Rearrange: Often times production lines are not arranged in an efficient manner. Look at the flow of work and see where improvements can be made.

 

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Additional Resources

Lean Manufacturing Guide
 
Lean Manufacturing Powerpoint
 
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