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April Fool! Announcing New “KaiNexus Suggestion Box” Functionality

Posted by Mark Graban

Apr 1, 2018 6:54:52 PM

It’s been amazing to see how KaiNexus functionality has evolved and expanded since I joined the company in 2011. Our platform was initial built around “kaizen” style continuous improvement models. We were pretty evangelical about that model being the best approach to improvement.

But, over time, our customers have helped us expand our software functionality to support all sorts of improvement models, supporting you in very customizable ways. We now support customers who are improving in different ways, including kaizen, A3s, WorkOuts, top-down improvement projects, TRIZ, strategy deployment, DMAIC, RUN-DMCAIC, PDCA, ADHD, and more. 

In the spirit of ongoing continuous improvement, we have listened to the voice of the customer that says, “We also want to incorporate time-tested suggestion box models into our improvement toolbox.”

In our earlier, more stubborn days, we would have said, “No, you shouldn’t do that.” 

Today, we’re happy to say, “Yes, we can!” We can finally support all of your suggestion box workflows with an innovative hardware/software solution: KaiNexus Suggestion Box.

Many vendors tout what they call “electronic suggestion box” systems. But, they’re just not effective. I mean, there’s not a box. I don’t want a “virtual suggestion box” any more than I want to eat a “virtual pizza.”

Anyway, many organizations are not comfortable with a fully-digital model. Typing a suggestion into a web form doesn’t feel as rewarding as it does to write it with a pen or a pencil on a real-life, honest-to-goodness paper suggestion box slip.

The KaiNexus team has worked hard to create a system that has all of the tactile joy of a physical suggestion box with the benefits of a digital web-based system. It’s your IoT Industry 4.0 Digital Transformation Suggestion Box.

Here’s how it works:

You write down your suggestion (or a suggestion you heard somebody else talk about in the break room) on the special blue KaiNexus Suggestion Box slips. You can purchase and re-order these through the KaiNexus website for the low price of $399 for a pack of 25.

As you write, the pen or pencil breaks the surface of the specially-coated paper, which then releases one of four exclusive aromas that are scientifically proven to increase the release of endorphins that naturally comes from writing down a suggestion. Let’s see a fully-digital suggestion system do that! The four scents are called Hope, Waiting, Sadness, and Resignation. Note: We will be selling special white pens and pencils that are most compatible with the blue paper.

You then place the slip into what looks like a familiar, comfortable physical suggestion box (available in wood or metal). But, this is no ordinary box!

The box’s slot is lined with four custom state-of-the-art CMOS image sensors that quickly scan the suggestion slip at crystal-clear 300 DPI resolution. The sensors are designed to scan the slip regardless of the orientation or the number of times it’s been folded. Again, the user experience is exactly what they have grown accustomed to over the last 30 years - other than the wonderful aromas. 

KaiNexus Suggestion Box


Then, the magic happens.

As it scans, the KaiNexus Suggestion Box’s patent-pending shredder mechanism quietly turns the suggestion sheet into a likely-recyclable pulp. Caution: check with your local municipality to ensure the specially-coated scented paper can be recycled. 

The KaiNexus Suggestion Box also serves as a wonderful air freshener. Here is the agile “user story” that led to this feature:

“As a user, I want a suggestion box is a physical box that can hold suggestions (and gum wrappers)… and also it makes the room smell good… so that the room no longer smells bad.” 

OK, now, the magic really actually happens... 

Six to nine months after the suggestion was submitted, the KaiNexus Suggestion Box connects wirelessly over Wi-Fi (or our optional built-in 3G cellular modem) to the KaiNexus servers. The scanned suggestion is sent to senior leadership (or a designated suggestion committee) through a KaiNexus email alert and a notification in the app. Just like the old physical suggestion process, but now digital! 

Again, to keep everything people would expect with a traditional paper suggestion box system, you can configure the KaiNexus Suggestion Box system to do a number of things, including:

Automatically reject suggestions that have a projected cost savings of less than $X.

Why waste time evaluating and manually rejecting those annoying small ideas? Let KaiNexus automate that administrative burden away.

Randomly lose every Xth suggestion

Again, this is highly configurable. Want to randomly lose every 50th suggestion to keep people wondering and thinking about more improvements? We can do that. Want to spice things up and lose every 7th suggestion… you can configure that!


Automatically lower the estimated ROI

 Has your organization promised a percentage of the cost savings to employees with approved suggestions? Are you tired of spending a lot of time arguing and debating the value of the suggestion? KaiNexus Suggestion Box automatically lowers the value of each submitted suggestion to help minimize your suggestion payouts to employees while also keeping a slightly inflated (we prefer to say “enhanced”) estimate of cost savings for your managers’ end-of-year performance reviews.


Automatically choose who gets credit

If multiple people wrote their name on the suggestion slip, the KaiNexus Suggestion Box system will randomly select one person to receive all of the praise and rewards, thus saving your company a lot of money. Hello, ROI!


Flexible ways to not notify people 

You can configure KaiNexus Suggestion Box to automatically notify people when their suggestion is rejected. Or don’t notify them. It’s up to you to configure KaiNexus Suggestion Box to best match your suggestion box workflows.

Some of our early adopter customers make their KaiNexus Suggestion Box system fun by including one of these videos in the rejection email:





Your notifications can also have a big rubber stamp REJECTED message on them, because people like visuals. And visuals are Lean. Or, make your suggestion box process even more efficient by using suggestion slips that are pre-stamped “rejected” (and the KaiNexus Suggestion Box scanner, of course, reads this and reacts accordingly).


Rejected Suggestion Box


At KaiNexus, we love being innovative and we love listening to our customers. We hope you’re as excited as we are about KaiNexus Suggestion Box.

Contact your account manager to learn more.



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