Good Example Of Case Study On The Organization And The Process

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Introduction
Regardless of the type of organization, a veritable menagerie of processes must be completed in graceful precision to ensure the firm is able to maximize the efficiency of its value chain, and thusly, ensure maximization of its revenue generation activities. Importantly, there are a number of strategies that a firm can undertake to accomplish this efficiency in operations and revenue generations, yet the most basic and fundamental element of an organization to target for such achievements is through the firm’s process infrastructure. In particular, a firm generally facilitates operation through the development and implementation of specific processes, each with the goal of accomplishing a critical part of the organisation’s operations. Ultimately, it is the concept of business processes that will serve as the primary focus of discussion in this work, with particular emphasis on analyzing organizational processes to determine their effectiveness, as well as identify issues within the processes so that corrective action can be immediately taken to affect rapid positive change on the firm’s operations and overall business success. To fully explore this concept further, the sections that follow will outline a comprehensive analysis of a select process that is utilized within a real world organization. Firstly, this exploration will begin with the establishment of the organization in which this analysis will be based, as well as the particular process that will be analyzed within this work. The subject organization, ABC Restaurant, was chosen for this assignment primarily due to the fact that this student has an intimate working knowledge of the organization as a result of long term employment. In addition, this student has substantial insight into the organization’s inner workings and prevailing organizational culture, and can be considered a subject matter expert (SME) on several of the firm’s key revenue generating processes, including the kitchen production process that will be scrutinized within this work.Secondly, the discussion will focus on outlining key issues, concerns and opportunities associated with the selected process. Thirdly, this will be followed by a more detailed examination of the process itself, to include a review of the various tasks that comprise the overall process. Fourthly, the process will be scrutinized closely to identify any existing constraints or bottlenecks that cause any sort of negative impact on successful and smooth process completion. Fifthly, this work will conclude with the identification of recommendations that can be implemented to affect positive change on the process through increasing its overall efficiency and eliminating existing constraints and bottlenecks.
The organization that has been chosen to be the focus of this analysis is ABC Restaurant. Although there are a wide variety of organizations to choose from when it comes to exploring the concept of business processes, ABC Restaurant was chosen primarily due to the fact that this researcher has an intimate working knowledge of the organization as a result of long term employment. For the purposes of this work, one of these processes has been selected for further examination. This process involves the order processing process through the kitchen staff to the customer. This process will be outlined in greater detail later in this work, and has been depicted in a graphical illustration, which can be viewed in appendix A at the end of the paper.
Key Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities
At the outset of the analysis of the process, several key issues emerge that significantly complicate or outright hamper successful process completion. One of these issues involves the lack of flexibility in the event of fluctuations in customer volume, which often occurs during traditional meal times around lunch and dinner. Importantly, the number of kitchen staff available to service customer orders remains the same regardless of customer volume. As a result, during the lunch and dinner rush, the kitchen staff carries immense pressure to produce more customer orders in the same amount of time. During times of the lunch and dinner rushes, as well as other times of high customer volumes, the pressure placed on the kitchen staff is simply too great as the amount of staff in the kitchen is inadequate to ensure rapid service while also maintaining the highest quality standards in the food produced. This lack of adequate personnel to facilitate the kitchen production process during times of high customer volumes represents the primary issue facing kitchen staff at ABC Restaurant. Ultimately, it cannot overstated how important it is to target this process for examination and improvement.
The Kitchen Production Process
As indicated in the preceding paragraph, one of the most important processes within the operations of ABC Restaurant is that of its kitchen production process because it represents the firm’s primary means of generating revenue. A basic outline of the process is illustrated in a process chart, which can be found in Appendix A at the end of this document.
According to the process chart, the kitchen production process begins with the receipt of the order from the customer. Essentially, the process is comprised of seven potential steps, which are thoroughly outlined within the flowchart illustrated in Appendix A.
Process Constraints and Bottlenecks
As someone that has had first-hand experience working within this process, this student can safely say that constraints continue to cause serious issues within the process that at times negatively impact process success. The most prominent of these bottle necks involves the step in which orders are forwarded to the chef for completion. Importantly, several kitchen staff are assigned to work the preparation station to complete order preparation for orders in which prep is required, yet the number of staff working in the capacity of chef is far more limited. This indicates that the chef element within the kitchen production process represents a major constraint. The constraint occurs when customer orders continue to increase to a point where the chef is no longer able to complete orders as fast as they are entering the kitchen production process. As a result, the number of orders within the process continues to grow with many of the orders backing up while waiting to be processed through the chef. Further, these times of high customer volume generally require the chef to work as quickly as they can in order to accommodate the influx of orders in a timely manner. Often, however, the chef’s haste in completing orders will often lead to an increase in quality issues that can translate into higher rates of rework through customers sending their order back to the kitchen. This can further constrain the chef, which represents a significant problem within the kitchen production process, one that most certainly warrants additional examination and scrutiny in order to resolve.
Recommendations for Process Improvement and Constraint Elimination
Based upon the constraint that has been found within the kitchen production process, there are two potential recommendations that can help to effectively address and eliminate the identified constraint. First, ABC Restaurant could modify the staff schedule to ensure more staff is available to facilitate the chef function during times of high customer volume. Importantly, this could carry additional costs for the restaurant because it is difficult to determine with precision when additional staff will be needed. A less costly alternative that can be recommended is to develop a system in which other kitchen staff can step in to supplement the chef activity during high customer volumes. Specifically, kitchen staff working in the prep station, as well as the kitchen assistant, should be required to provide direct support to the chef activity once capacity has been reached and orders begin to back up. Specifically, rather than waiting around doing nothing, it is proposed that these individuals immediately shift to supporting the chef element, which will ultimately eliminate the bottleneck within this step and significantly increase production capacity.
Conclusion
Based upon the thorough analysis of the kitchen production process at ABC Restaurant, it has been determined that a constraint currently exists within the chef activity that can and does negatively impact production and productivity during times of high customer volume. Due to the fact that high customer volumes correlate to the time that the restaurant experiences its highest revenues, it is important that the kitchen production process is optimized to eliminate constraints and maximize productivity. In order to achieve this, it is recommended that ABC Restaurant either modifies the schedule to ensure additional staff are on hand to accommodate increases in customer volume or cross-train other kitchen staff to step in an support the chef once an influx of customer volume occurs and causes a backlog behind the chef activity.
References
Chakravorty, S. S., 2010. Where process-improvement projects go wrong. [Online] Available at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703298004574457471313938130
Garner, J., 2012. The best method for developing a business process plan. [Online] Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/method-developing-business-process-plan-17073.html[Accessed 1 July 2013].
Glessner, T. M. & Walker, M. K., 2001. Standardized measures: Documenting processes and outcomes of care for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting, 23. Medsurg Nursing, pp. 10-11.
Harmon, P., 2007. Business process change: A guide for business managers and BPM and six sigma professionals 2nd ed. New York, NY: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
Jeston, J. & Nelis, J., 2008. Business process management; Practical guidelines to successful implementation, Second Edition. New York, NY: Butterworth-Heinemann, Imprint of Elsevier.
Nandakumar, M. K., 2010. Book Review: Outsourcing design, process and performance. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Ltd..
Parsa, H. G., Self, J. T., Njite, D. & King, T., 2005. Why restaurants fail. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 46(3), pp. 304-322.
Appendix 1: Flow diagram of the restaurant’s food serving and consumption process.
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