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Kudler fine foods thrive on excellence and want to emphasize on quality. Kudler recognizes that it needs to satisfy loyal customers and satisfy loyal investors. Customers and investors provide the financial resources that continue to let Kudler survive and grow (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhert, & Wright, 2003). Kathy and the others have come together to run a pilot process improvement plan. A description of the process targeted for improvement, an as is flow chart of the process to be analyzed, a description of why analyzing a process can be useful in improving quality, quality tools that you would recommend using to collect and present data from this type of process, an analysis of the process of variability based upon your understanding of the process and any data collected and in conclusion recommendations for the process improvement strategies for your selected process. Kathy and the team want to make sure that the level of acceptable quality needs are being accomplished.
At Kudler Fine Foods, we strive for quality and fresh products all year long. In order to maintain the good reputation of the company, it is necessary to address any area that needs enhancement and therefore, if needed, to implement a process improvement program that will help the company to make it better. Managing and optimizing inventories is probably one of the most difficult challenges that any food store faces. In the case of Kudler Fine Foods, it is very important to increase revenue and it is very important to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.
After the management team reviewed its facilities for the quarter, they realized that there is a gap in the company’s inventory process. After the last recall of tomatoes took effect, Kudler Fine Foods immediately took action and removed all tomato products off the shelves. Although the company is very careful when it comes to products recalls, this time, the company faced a little issue in one of the stores. One box of tomatoes was not properly disposed and it was put back on display. Fortunately, the store manager found this out on time and addressed the situation right away avoiding for any customer to buy the recalled tomatoes. This little mistake could happen to any food company, and it has. Luckily, Kudler Fine Foods counts with a group of management teams and employees that are always committed to provide the best of their knowledge to avoid similar situations.
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Kathy and the team thinks this is not enough, since the company is growing and expanding to other cities, it is very important to improve the inventory system that is being utilized. in order to avoid future problems not only for food recalls a new system is recommended. This will also ensure that the products that are on display comply within their expiration guidelines. It is also crucial to take an active count of all items displayed on the shelves so that they are always available. Currently, the store runs its inventory by using the corporate calendar. This corporate calendar is available to all three stores. Every week each store updates the calendar with orders that each store needs along with their store code. The system is not consistent because the products vary from each store resulting on a costly expense. This process was a good idea when the company was not as big. Due to growing organization the next step is to expand across the country, so a need to implement a new system that reduces costs and eliminates unnecessary inventory orders is necessary; this will allow the company to maintain optimal levels of inventory.
The solution for this issue is to implement specialized software throughout the stores that will help the company to create a synchronized refill system all the way from the vendor, to the distribution center and ultimately Kudler Fine Foods stores. The idea is to create consistency in all products ordering to avoid stock-outs and overstocks across all existing and future stores. This way, Kudler Fine Foods receives a product that is more cost effective and reduces inventory-carrying costs, allowing us to offer our customers the highest quality products at competitive prices as it related in our mission statement.
The first part of improving a process is identifying what needs to be improved. Using flow charts allows us to show what exactly happens during a process, and identify what improvements are needed. A check sheet can be used to record data and to identify who collected the data and when. Another tool to be used is the 80:20 rule this will help to identify and analyze improvements needed, and take the appropriate action for the best returns. Another tool that Kudler Foods has is employees. Employees will be able to identify which products move out of the store faster, and how much of certain products should be carried. A continual improvement process within an organization requires continual analysis and adjustments. By looking at the process thoroughly allows an organization to view how the process is working and what needs improvement. Customer needs, specifications, and customer demands are continually changing so the need for a continuous improvement plan and analysis is important for Kudler Fine Foods. In addition, analyzing a procedure allows for measuring rudiments to be implemented. If the measuring elements are positioned within the right locations of the process, the doubt of the process can be exposed. For this reason, a set of contingency procedures can be enacted to alleviate the cause of uncertainty. Finding the precise position of the errors or problems will allow for the procedure to be enhanced and the overall quality of products and services to be increased.
The quality tool the writer would recommend using to collect and present data from the initial inventory process would be the Pareto Chart. The Pareto Chart is using to analyze data about the frequency of problems or cause in a process (American Society for Quality, 2008). The category to use will be the weekly story inventory process in particular the re-stocking of the shelves. The frequency will measure based on different categories. Measuring the instances where the task was not completed or missed. The categories will be removal of expired goods/recalled items, items that were under stocked, and good not restocked. The period of time it will cover will be weekly over a 3-month period. These tools will allow management to determine the frequency of this occurrence. Also isolate the possible cause, allow management to focus on a specific component: the inventory ordering system.
The other quality tool the writers would recommend using to collect and present data from the inventory ordering process would be the control chart. The control chart is a graph used to study how a process changes over time. Data are plotted in time order (American Society for Quality, 2008). The ongoing process we want to analysis is the product-ordering process. The analysis goal is to determine is there a correlation between the ordering of products and the under stocking of items on the supermarket floor. The analysis will determine if shifting to specialized product ordering system will improve the quality of inventory ordering process. By making fundamental changes to the process, will it correct the deficiencies the organization is experiencing in the re-stocking process?
After finding areas of which needed improvement, the process of variability is the best way to implement on such improvements. Some of the products, which were sold, had a high variation of quality, which resulted in expired stock, which took up shelf space and losses. The implementation of the process variability, which would closely observe the products are returned, complained about, and sells the worst. By observing which products have the highest variation, and which exceed the Upper Control Limit more then twice a day, will be discontinued or replaced by other suppliers.
Overall the process improvement is planned out well and would increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. One of the recommendations is to ensure there is a quarterly follow up to ensure results, or if rules and current actions need to be adjusted in the inventory process at Kudler Fine Foods. These improvement strategies are linked to the strategic goals of Kudler Fine Foods, because the company is constantly seeking total quality management in all departments and being profitable and successful. As in any chain, there will always be a weak link and by paying attention to such, the company will strengthen those links and being a great company to work for, as well as surviving out the competition.
Kathy and the team have concluded that at the present time, the quality that is being provided is acceptable. Ideas and improvement were implemented and have changed the business in a very positive way. Kudler’s management team is aware of the fierce competitors in the area and strives to be the best and supply the best. A few weeks ago, the team and Kathy set up the strategic goals for the company and discussed the quality that we wanted to provide. Kudler would like to maintain the good name that it took so long to build. The writers made sure that all points were covered within the strategy and the identification process. A list was generated about the objectives and what the company expects the outcome to be. As a team we took a few steps back and decided to take a look at our proactive plan to see if it is working. The company feels as if all of the goals were meet and that the Kudler has achieved all the goals that were set in place.
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