Application of Goldratt’s The Goal
The theory of constraints
One of the principles that can be derived from the story is the “theory of constraints”. This means that to ensure that a process will go smoothly, the implementers of the process should identify which step among the processes serves is the “slowest”. This slowest process will be considered as the “system constraint”. Such system constraint hinders the whole process from achieving its maximum productivity. As such, in order to maximize the efficiency or the productivity of the whole process, the identified system constraint should be improved. The implementers should be able to set a certain standard for the quality of that process. After that standard has been set, all the other steps involved in the entire process should be regulated towards the standard “speed” of that slowest step. It should be noted that everything else should be subordinated to that standard. As such, when the whole process follows a specific “speed”, only then will be the optimal capacity of the process will be achieved.
The thinking process
The thinking process can be considered not as a principle but as an organized and patterned way of problem solving. As presented to Alex Rogo, it is a series of steps that can be used to maximize the productivity of a process and get rid of the system constraints. This methodology applies the theories of constraints and serves as its method application. In the thinking process, there are three steps that should be taken.
First is to answer the question “What to Change?”. Such question demands the process implementer to identify the “slowest step” or the “system constraint”.
Once the constraint has been identified, the second question “What to change to?” should be dealt with. This means that the implementer should be able to set the standard for the “speed” or the quality of that constraint. The answer to the second question serves as the proposed solution to the impediment towards optimal efficiency of the process.
The third question “How to make the change?” deals with the implementation of the proposed solution. In this step, the process implementer should be able to identify the steps that should be taken in order to fulfill the proposed solution to the problem.
Application of the identified principles
The organizational scenario
Wendy’s International, Inc. (WEN) is considered as one of the top contender in the fast food or quick service industry world wide. Over the years, it has maintained its reign as the top 3 quick service restaurant which serves hamburgers in the U.S. and around the globe. Its major contenders are Burger King, Inc., Mc Donald’s, Inc, and YUM! Food Brands. Although WEN continues to have its fair share of customers among the fast food consumers, it seems that this fast food company has been experiencing problems with regards to its efficiency. Unfortunately, as some of its contenders have been achieving a steady increasing rate of quarterly revenue, WEN has been suffering from a negative quarterly revenue growth as of last year.
Identifying the constraint: What to change?
In the quest to identify the possible system constraint with regards to the WEN business process, the slowest component should be identified. That slowest step in the business process of WEN is product development.
Over the past ten years, it should be noted that one of the common complaints of fast food consumers is the fact that they have been serving the same set of products to its patrons. As for the hamburger fast food restaurants, their usual menu mix is usually confined to hamburgers, fries and other side dishes. Unfortunately, as their marketing strategy, their customer service technique, and their food preparation methods tremendously develop, most fast food industries fail to increase develop their products at the same pace as the other components of their business process.
The proposed solution: What to change to?
In any type of business, it is highly important that all the processes should be assessed regularly in order to determine if they meet the needs of the prospective customers. In the case of the various components involved in the entire business process of the fast food industry, the customer service technique, food preparation methods, and the product development should be evaluated regularly. Following the strategies of the major contenders in the fast food industry (Mc Donald’s and Burger King), product development should be implemented continuously- with the target of presenting a new innovation or a change in the product mix at least twice every year.
The steps to solve the problem: How to make the change
To achieve the aspired evolution of the product mix of Wendy’s International, Inc. they should be able to determine the needs and desires of the fast food consumers.
In the past few years, there has been a growing concern for health and obesity in the United States. Apparently, more and more people are becoming concerned with the nutritional content in the products provided by the fast food industry. As such, the product development of WEN should be geared towards the promotion of healthier products.
After the determination of the direction of the product development, WEN should assess how they will hasten the process of product development. Such may include the development of their food research and development department that will be dedicated towards the identification of necessary product innovations. They may choose to hire additional staff members in order to hasten the development process. An effective evaluation scheme should also be implemented in order to make sure that the process meets its desired output, at the target deadline.
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