One of my clients was a food delivery company. They were growing rapidly and as a result had started to have lots of problems. In this case study you will read how we adopted a kaizen based approach to solve many of these growing pains.
One of these was the fact that their kitchen was incredibly unreliable in preparing the food. This meant that it was very difficult to get the meals dispatched on time. As a result food was often delivered cold and late.
There wasn’t just one solution. We made something over 3000 changes to their core processes in five months. The approach was based on the Japanese concept of Kaizen – looking for lots of small good changes that could be implemented quickly and easily.
When I started looking at the way that food made its way from the kitchen to the delivery rider several things were clear. The staff had no clear roles or responsibilities. They helped out where and when they thought they were needed.
No one knew what the process was. It was clear what steps had to be completed but they were all seen in isolation of each other.
Finally we didn’t have any way of establishing whether we had done a good job. We didn’t measure or record anything.
In fact it was so chaotic that everything burnt down after a couple of months.
This, as it turned out, was a great opportunity to redesign everything from scratch. That is what we did.
To start with we mapped out the process that we thought was going to work best. We identified what needed to be done and gave people specific roles within the process. Then we measure how long all the individual components took to deliver and what the error rate was.
Each day we reviewed the failures from the previous day and improved the process. Oftent we made 20 – 30 small changes a day. These included marking the floor and work areas with tape, moving tables, redesigning job roles, kanban boards, anything in fact that was perceived to offer and improvement. If it did then it was kept.
Four months after I started working on the project we had reduced the time taken to dispatch the food after it was ready by 90%. We’d moved from batch to continuous production. During the same time period we had scaled production by 400% and reduced our staff costs by 30%.
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