by Dr Will @ Iconic

Lean on the Green, Part 4: Waiting

Posted by Amos Hunt on Nov 28, 2013 6:52:25 AM


It should be pretty obvious that forcing members to wait is a serious problem at a country club. But, as with the other muda, not all cases of waiting are equally obvious. The mere fact that something is happening does not mean that an operation is moving forward. Anything that a member experiences or has to do that is not a part of the integrated experience of your club is actually a case of waiting, because it is a stage the member has to pass through in order to get to his reason for being at your club. For instance, inefficiencies in your POS, including cash payments at the beverage cart, can extend the customer's waiting inadvertently. Even if they don't generate overwhelming queues, they can still arrest the paying member at a point of the process that does not add value to the club experience.

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Topics: Process, Advice

Lean on the Green, Part 3: Overproduction

Posted by Amos Hunt on Nov 14, 2013 6:50:13 AM

Let us resume our inquiries, then, dear reader: how would the sources of waste identified by Taichi Ohno apply to a Country Club?

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Topics: processes, waste, Process, Advice

Lean on the Green, Part 2

Posted by Amos Hunt on Nov 7, 2013 6:58:19 AM

Before continuing our discussion of Taiichi Ohno's concept of muda as applied to the country club, there's one simple, but important distinction I want to make. Identifying an activity as waste does not always mean that activity should be eliminated or reduced. Every operation has to carefully distinguish between waste that is strictly waste and waste that is necessary auxiliary work, even if it doesn't directly add value. In the case of a country club, a certain amount of excess has to be sustained in order to keep up the aura of extravagance which is so essential to the members' experience. No matter how nice and well-kept everything is, a country club that doesn't maintain this aura is just a golf course with amenities.

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Topics: customers, waste, Process, technology, Advice

Get Lean on the Green

Posted by Amos Hunt on Nov 4, 2013 1:50:42 PM

What does producing Toyotas have in common with managing a country club? If you've heard of Taiichi Ohno, you might know that his lean manufacturing system has been an inspiration for operations managers in areas far afield from building cars. His insights extend beyond the production line to any operation whatsoever, because they reveal some of the underlying common texture of all purposeful human activity (also known as work), and foster productivity by eliminating waste in all its forms.

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Topics: processes, Inventory, Iconic, waste, Process, Advice

Finding the Bottleneck with Complex Flow

Posted by Amos Hunt on Oct 24, 2013 1:45:25 PM

In the last installment of our Operations series, we showed you how to create a process flow diagram, but we didn't show you what to do with it. The usefulness of the diagram is that it makes it easy to see which groups of customers are placing demand on each resource. This information, combined with the inherent capacity of each resource, gives you the "implied utilization" of each resource, that is, the work that each resource would do relative to its capacity, if all the flow units moved unimpeded through the system. Whichever resource has the highest implied utilization is the bottleneck.

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Topics: processes, flow unit, Process

The Mobile Solution to the Beverage Cart Problem

Posted by Amos Hunt on Oct 17, 2013 7:10:26 AM

"This course would be a lot more fun if it didn't have beverage carts," said no golfer ever. Club managers are another story.

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Topics: operations, mobile POS, Iconic, Retail, beverage cart, club manager, fixed POS, Process

Analyzing Flow with Multiple Paths

Posted by Amos Hunt on Sep 27, 2013 4:00:18 PM

The funny thing about "the average customer" is that no such person exists. No matter how much you learn about this fantastical creature, you still know nothing about any particular person who comes into your store. If some of your customers are spending a lot of time setting up registries, others are making exchanges, and still others are just browsing, the "average customer" might be staying for 20 minutes, while all of the actual customers fall above or below that number.

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Topics: processes, flow unit, customer, Process

Calculating Inventory Turnover (with PostBooks Example)

Posted by Amos Hunt on Sep 19, 2013 3:20:44 PM

Mathematicians developed Little's Law (which we discussed in last week's post) to solve a limited problem of measuring customer flow. The idea was to prove that you could calculate the average time spent by a customer at a location by dividing an average head count by the average arrival rate. But it turns out that this handy formula can be used to calculate the flow rate of any kind of inventory at all.

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Topics: flow unit, Inventory, Technical, operations managament, ERP, Process, postbooks

How Do I Measure Average Customer Visit Times?

Posted by Amos Hunt on Sep 12, 2013 7:12:36 AM

It's easy enough to find out how many customers come in and out of your location each day, or how many are present at any given time. You just count them. But what if you want to know much time the average customer spends in your store (or in a particular part of your store)? Unlike your run-of-the-mill parts or stock, you can't very well tag a customer as she enters the store, then scan the tag on the way out. For some reason human beings seem to chafe at that kind of thing. (We think it's probably because the labels leave an annoying, sticky residue on their foreheads.)

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Topics: customers, Inventory, customer, Process, time

Break Free of Bottlenecks

Posted by Amos Hunt on Sep 5, 2013 7:00:12 AM

Unlike an auto manufacturer’s standing inventory of parts, the customers in a retail operation interact with the process even when nothing is happening. You can’t look at them like stock parts, not because it’s objectively wrong to count heads, but just because they won’t stand for it. Especially when it comes to waiting. As we discussed last week, customers flowing through a bottleneck don't just wait passively. For a retailer, an overwhelmed bottleneck is not just a cap on the overall flow rate; it can actually reduce demand.

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Topics: bottleneck, customers, processes, queues, cash register, Retail, shopping, demand, customer, Process, mobile, point of sale

Iconic BMS is dedicated to helping you make your brewery Iconic ... by providing the techniques and technology to improve your operational excellence.

Your brewery is focused, as it should be, on your beer and your customers.  The "business of the brewery" is that set of activities common to all businesses that make your organization effective and efficient.  Improvements in the "business of the brewery" help you improve by freeing resources to focus on what is most important - the Customer ... and the beer!

This blog will cover more than just techniques and technology, though.  Included will be all manner of information that takes a brewery from fantastic to Iconic.

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