Operations Management - Planning & Control in Mcdonald's

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Operations Management & Decision Making – Planning And Control Assignment The organisation I have chosen to examine from an operations management and decision making standpoint is McDonald’s, a worldwide chain of fast food restaurants, which are run either by a franchise, an affiliate or by the corporation itself. There are over 31,000 branches of McDonald’s worldwide1. It is estimated these restaurants serve a collective 47 million customers daily2. The restaurants mainly sell customers traditional fast food fare such as burgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, fizzy drinks and milkshakes, in addition to breakfast, dessert items and (in response to growing health concerns in the consumer marketplace) healthier items such as salads and fruit. As of 2008 the organisation employed 400,0003 and held total assets of US$29 billion as of 20094. I have identified the main inputs to McDonald’s process to be materials (e.g. the ingredients used to prepare their food – burger patties, cheese slices, vegetables, burger buns, mix for milkshake and ice cream, chicken and fish fillets, potatoes for French fries etc., in addition to materials required for packaging the products when being delivered from store to store via cardboard boxes or being sold to customers via happy meal boxes, meal bags etc.), facilities (the buildings used to house branches of the restaurant, buildings used to house the organisation’s offices, the equipment in the restaurants used to prepare and cook food, the buildings used to house the company’s production plants where elements of the products are mass produced and the equipment therein) and staff (those that work inside the restaurants in a variety of different roles in addition to those who work outside the restaurants in office jobs). The eventual outputs are products that can be sold to customers (the food they will be served in the restaurants) as well as the office paperwork which will be required to run the company (which will be handled by staff working office jobs within the company). The processes required to produce these outputs are recruiting and training staff, sourcing raw materials, food preparation, packing and freezing (French fries amongst other products are prepared in plants then frozen and transported to the restaurants), product design, inventory management, supply network design, process design, job design, supply chain management, failure prevention, quality management and operations improvement. From March to September 2009 I worked as a crew member (customer services representative) in the MEN Arena branch of McDonald’s, where I observed day to day McDonald’s approach to Planning and Controlling. Capacity planning and control was a key issue in that branch, and discussion with employees of other branches indicated this was the case in most if not all McDonald’s restaurants. At peak times where a restaurant receives the majority of customers it is standard practise in McDonald’s to have as many portions of it’s most popular foods ready to serve as possible, in order to satisfy customer’s orders with the smoothest of efficiency.5 The principle of capacity control would also work in tandem with other aspects of operations, such as supply chain management. For example, should there be a child orientated show in the MEN Arena, it would be standard practise for the MEN Arena branch of McDonald’s to order in a large number of Happy Meal Boxes due to the high number of children’s meals that would be on order in comparison to say, the day of a rock concert with an older following.6 Process design also came into effect when implementing capacity planning in McDonald’s, in regards to the number of seats to provide in the lounge area, with additional seating having to be laid on during days where the restaurant would be busy. (In the MEN branch this was mainly days with matinee shows, with branches of McDonald’s throughout the city of Manchester dealing with this mainly on match days due to...
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