Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lean Froyo Chapter 2-A Little Less Muda

For those of you who regularly read my drivel, you are probably aware that my wife was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of opening her very own frozen yogurt shop this past March 1st. You may recall, that as a "continuous improvement professional", I saw nothing but waste wherever I looked. Inventory, rework, lack of standard work, etc. etc. You would recognize me as the guy sitting in the back room, on the floor, in the corner, knees to chest, fetal position, talking to thy self.

Well, she has been open for just over 100 days, and I would like to HANSEI (reflect deeply) on some of the improvements since Lean Froyo Chapter 1.

1. Inventory. When we last spoke, right after the Grand Opening, I mentioned that we had yogurt, toppings, lip balm, plushy toys, yogurt cups, cleaners, etc. ad nauseum. You see, when you open a frozen yogurt shop here in New England (don't want to run out), it is very difficult to accurately predict demand........HELLO!!!!!??????!!! It is very difficult to predict demand no matter what your business is! Let's quickly go through the DMAIC here. Define (we seem to have way too much inventory) Measure (39 days worth) Analyze (root cause after 1 why.....we can't predict demand and we don't want to run out) Improve (implement KANBAN, replenishment based on consumption) Control (monitor cost of goods sold daily). I posted a chart on the walk-in cooler. If someone takes frozen yogurt out, just make a mark next to the flavor on the chart. When it is time to re-order, simply buy whatever has a check next to it. Hot fudge? We have 2 big cans. When we use one, and are down to one, buy one. Of course this is based on the replenishment time. The result? Good, healthy cash flow!!
2. Rework. This waste, if you recall, was in the form of counting, re-counting, and then re-counting the cash drawers (the cash "drops"). The amount of money in the drawers needs to match exactly how much was rung up. To the penny. This process is done by the 5 shift leaders, at the end of their shift. The countermeasure? Heijunka. Instead of at the end of the shift, we asked them to load level the drops. Instead of one big one, many smaller ones. Then, we knew which team members just needed more training (errors, voids, etc.)
3. Standard work. I think we would have closed as fast as we opened if we didn't learn how to close the store faster. Many tasks need to be done before leaving. During the first few weeks, the store closed at 11 pm and people didn't get out until 2pm. The countermeasure? Standard work. Many tasks can be done before closing, and many of the team members had ideas for better ways to change the overall process. As a result, closings take an hour no matter WHO does it.
4. Develop your people and partners. Of the 14 original team members, we still have 13! If you take good care of your team, they will take excellent care of your customers (the opposite is true also!). We buy their lunch, celebrate their birthdays, and just tell them how much we love them. My wife gets at least 10 inquiries each week from friends of her team members. Positive energy is contagious! The number one comment my wife gets from customers is how great these people are, and how well they were taken care of.

The Mission Statement of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt is "We Make People Smile".....simple enough....Customers, Employees, the Community, and even me, now that there is alittle less muda.

Stay tuned for Lean Froyo Chapter 3

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