Production 101: Sandwich Production

Today I cooked my self 2 egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. As I was taking out the ingredients I thought about how to produce these delectable munchies. I could pull out two slices of bread, one egg and one slice of cheese, cook them together and repeat the process. Supposing it would take X amount of time to make one sandwich, it would take 2X to make the whole meal.

As you might imagine I decided this was not the way to go. Production had to get more efficient. I wanted to do as little work as possible. What I did instead was pull out four slices of break, two eggs and two slices of cheese. Instead of cooking one egg at a time I cooked 2 eggs at a time.

I also toasted two slices of break each of which was to be considered the base o the sandwich instead of considering them one sandwich.

Lastly, I flipped the eggs and added the cheese on top while the second pair of slices toasted.

And voila! We have some delicious egg and cheese sandwiches.

What is important to learn here though is not that this process was easily scalable. I think maybe added .15-.25 to the whole process meaning it took me between X.15-X.25 minutes. I imagine that I could cook 4 egg and cheese sandwiches at X.25-X.33 if I add another skillet and a 4 slice toaster. 8 egg and cheese sandwiches would probably take between X.50-2X. You see where I’m going here.

The reason I wanted to write this up was because I realized how amazing our economy (or really any mass production economy) is. A method has been created for each device or appliance in our lives to make sure that we can create as many of them in the shortest and cheapest manner possible. If I had chosen the first method of cooking (that of cooking each sandwich individually) it would have taken me twice the amount of time.  But it turns out that if I choose the method I went with I could make four times as many sandwiches in the amount of time it would take me to make two sandwiches  using the slow method.

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