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Three behaviors that lead to missed opportunities in increasing operational efficiency

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

-Shashank Nanivadekar

Restaurants can be said to behave like small to-medium manufacturing plants.  While the result of the manufacturing shop floor is not as delicious, the actors within the manufacturing kitchen face the exact same limitations and challenges such as:

  1. Bottlenecks

  2. Inventory management

  3. Throughput limitations

  4. Changing resources

  5. Unplanned surges in demand

  6. Cost of Waste

  7. Inefficient Operational Processes

  8. Loss of Revenue

Loss of Revenue (or rather all of revenue) is a multi-variate result of a combination of the above factors and many more. After studying manufacturing shop floors and restaurants juggle with these variables, there are three key behaviors that don't get the right attention and organization. As a result, these actions hurt the business model in ways that you can't even measure.

Companies have a tendency to ignore these behaviors because they can't see why they are worth addressing when they have functioned just fine without optimizing these elements. That leads me to point out the scariest sentence in continuous improvement.

 "We've always done it this way."

That is an insightful point to understand because its true: you have done things a certain way and it brought you success relative to your competitors and in the market. But the market has changed, and it has become more competitive. There are more players, and there are quicker players. To stay competitive you need to out-think, out maneuver, and out-deliver your competition.

Here are three key behaviors that you should consider changing within your company. 

Organizing New Business Initiatives

Reacting to new business opportunities should never put a dent in your operations. In fact, it should be straight forward to integrate new orders. Understanding the impact a higher than normal demand or simply new demand should be something that should be part of operational process planning. For example, running What-If scenarios when you're virtually constructing your shop floor should be a key priority to be able to predict how you would react to new orders. Click here to learn more about the solutions that could help you win more new business, and keep service levels high.

Improve forecasting based on capacity

Planning for an existing workload with known capacity is relatively straight forward. All you need to know is what your inventory is, and how much time it takes to produce, what your resources are, and what your expected delivery dates are. This story derails quickly with a reality check. Demands, inventory, resources, and capacity change and have a direct impact on throughput and productivity. Being able to take historical data and present data to better predict how new orders will affect your operations is key if you want to grow your business. To learn more about capacity planning, download our free white paper by clicking here!

Look for Automation

You can't do everything yourself: plain and simple. Today when staying competitive means getting to the customer first, keeping them happiest, and providing the best service, you can't take the risk of saying "we've got this with our excel files and MS Project trackers." You need an agent as talented as your talent. Always look for ways to automate the part of your operations that is not value added. Taiichi Ohno in his book on Toyota Production Systems highlights his entire philosophy of manufacturing in one simple thought: "Eliminate Waste." Today eliminating non-value added tasks is top priority for us inside Aventec, and it should be also for you.

What we learned

To grow, you need to burn off excess fat: to scale, you need to be able to sprint and use all of our resources to their best potential like an elite athlete. And winning as an elite athlete requires you knowing how to best play the game, and knowing how to change how the game is played. Automation is the first step in doing that.

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