“The Oyster” is a new, innovative machine used for cleaning old baseballs. It’s called The Oyster because it shines brown, dingy baseballs back into clean, white “pearl” baseballs. Drop a bunch of dirty baseballs into the drum along with the cleaning compound cubes and let the drum rotate on the motorized base for a couple hours, and you will have like-new clean baseballs for reuse in practice. It can be used over and over, so over time it will help baseball teams recycle old baseballs instead of having to buy expensive new ones.
The proprietors of The Oyster stopped by the Lean Blitz booth at the Baseball Trade Show to talk to me about their product. They are still doing a lot of research and development, and even though some prominent college baseball teams are using The Oyster to resuscitate baseballs the unit design is still going through considerable product development and updates.
Because the product design continues to change – a tweak here, a material change there – the proprietors don’t yet have a standardized process. They spend a lot of their time with making sure the hand-crafted product is thoroughly tested and assembled correctly before being delivered to a customer.
Eventually, the product design changes will slow down and they will begin to implement standardized manufacturing processes. When the process becomes standardized and they find ways to reduce wasteful activities in their process they will realize more efficiencies and time savings, which will impact the bottom line in a positive direction.
The Dallas, Texas-based company was a visitor to the Trade Show and I wish I had an opportunity to try out The Oyster but I didn’t get a chance before leaving.