Ralph is Alex’s data coordinator at the plant, measuring statistics and operating the computers. Although Ralph is part of Alex’s senior staff and participates in implementing Jonah’s ideas, he plays a lesser role in the group. When they start looking for trends in operations data, Ralph quickly realizes that the plant’s data collection systems are years out of date, and he spends much of his time trying to set up better data collection measures. In the end of the story, when Alex and his staff are figuring out how to organize the new information Alex gathers as division manager, Ralph recounts the story of Dmitri Mendeleev, the chemist who established the periodic table of elements. Ralph posits that, just as Mendeleev discovered an “intrinsic order” to the elements, perhaps such an “intrinsic order” exists in any set of data.
Ralph Nakamura Character Timeline in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
The timeline below shows where the character Ralph Nakamura appears in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...covered with charts, data sheets, printouts, and so on as Alex, Bob, Stacey, Lou, and Ralph search for their bottlenecks. Ralph is frustrated—much of their data is years behind, and sorting... (full context)
...arrangement. At that moment, Ted Spencer, who supervises the heat-treating machine, angrily tells Alex that Ralph is causing him trouble and asking for all sorts of data and reports. When Alex... (full context)
...is less counterproductive than forcing everyone to work, but creating inventory problems and wasting money. Ralph summarizes the point, saying, “making an employee work and profiting from that work are two... (full context)
...asks his staff if anyone has come up with a better way to organize information. Ralph explains that when he formerly studied chemistry, he learned about Dmitri Mendeleev, who came up... (full context)
...several deadlines. Alex and his staff brainstorm and argue about the causes until Alex and Ralph realize that the new flood of orders has changed the flow of the entire manufacturing... (full context)