Seeing the Excellence

When I first started learning about Lean and Operations Excellence my mind was blown away!  I started to see value and waste in everything – at work, at home and on the street.

Have you ever considered that the (tins of) food in your kitchen cupboards are a waste?  It’s not that they will go off and have to be binned, no they are a lean waste.  The tins are inventory waste and by sitting in your cupboards they are limiting the flow of value (money spent) from the supermarket to your plate and your tum!

Kitchen cupboard

Here’s another ‘foody’ example…

McDonalds restaurants have a reputation for fast food – we can all agree on that!  Take a look at how they achieve the speedy turnaround to customers.  They split their menu into ‘Runners, Repeaters & Rarities’.  The Runners are the regular orders that customer want 75% of the time.  They keep 5-6 of each of these types on a ramped ‘slide’.  When a customer orders one, the staff can grab one quickly.  The repeaters are the common menu items but with different fillings (e.g. no pickle).  Behind the counter the staff preparing the burgers can be called to prepare a burger ‘no pickle’.  The customer has to wait a little longer BUT the process to cook the burger is already underway.  Finally the Rarity orders can be cooked fresh.  Customers are prepared to wait because they know they are ordering out of the ordinary and the staff set their expectations.  Therefore the runners really are ‘fast food’!

Staff gather in a McDonald's serving area in the athlete's dining hall

So take a look around you and learn to notice and see the value and the waste.  Once you have opened your eyes – you might be blown away at the opportunities!

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