Answer a) "Many methodologies and techniques for improving operational performance have been developed over the years these provide structured ways of improving company performance, but they do not explicitly tell us where to start. To be able to improve performance effectively, it is important to identify the particular factors of performance to work with. Furthermore, it is important to find those factors that have a high impact on performance." (www.emeraldinsight.com) Performance improvement highlights processes and systems that need to be improved. Then, there is a follow-up with an action plan to improve the outcomes. The five main performance objectives are:
Speed- how fast the process is being done?
Cost- is it being bought down to minimum?
Quality- How correctly the process is being done?
Dependability- is it reliable?
Flexibility- is the process being adjusted to customer requirements?
We will discuss these five objectives using the drive-thru process of McDonalds:
Speed- How much time does a customer spend in McDonalds drive-thru? McDonalds' drive-thru target is 90 seconds. But, is it really able to achieve this target? No, not all the time. Many people have complained about drive-thru errors, waiting for their meals in busy times, being stuck in the queue, etc. As the line gets longer, more people choose to bypass the restaurant and dine elsewhere. So, how can McDonalds overcome these problems? Proper drive thru management: Since queuing is on a strict first-in first-out basis; later customers are generally not served until all previous customers have been taken care of. Therefore, a whole line of people with quick orders can be held up by a single complex order. McDonalds can instead have a dual line layout & if the second customer's order is ready first, then a green light can be used to signal the second car, so that the person takes his/her's order & goes. Service times are improved dramatically for short orders, yet not impacted for longer orders due to multiple wait queues. The disadvantage of adopting the dual line layout is that it will take up a lot of time & be costly for McDonalds to change the layouts of all their restaurants. Plus, some customers will get really annoyed if they came in first but served second. To overcome this, McDonalds can have two windows (both left & right), the left one for large orders & the right one for small orders. Again, the question is how the small order meals will be bought to the right window if the kitchen is on the left side. Well, an employee can be especially dedicated to transfer the meals from the left window to the right one! Introduction of the use of mobile order entry terminals: will allow a restaurant employee to physically go to the drive-through lane and enter orders, which increases through-put by providing two points of entry: the menu sign and the mobile order entry terminal. Problems associated with this option include: (1) interfacing the mobile entry terminal to the current POS (Point of Sale) system; (2) supporting multiple languages and interfaces; (3) constant menu changes and additions; (4) safety of the employee; (5) weather conditions; (6) hardware costs; (7) order sequencing; and (8) the customer is unable to review the menu prior to ordering. Adopt a new system: McDonalds can also adopt a new system called Delphi Order Confirmation where a digital camera is attached to the drive-through menu system. "When an order is placed, a photo is taken of the car and/or the driver from approximately the same angle and distance that the drive-through employee would view when the car is at the payment or presenter window. The digital...