Bakery Business Analysis Term Paper

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Finale's reputation for providing high quality

desserts and maintaining above average

customer service motivated members of our

team to observe and analyze the bakery's

operational process. Its outstanding

performance was recognized when the

restaurant was chosen as the Best of Boston

2000 in the dessert category and was

featured on the Food Network. All team

members participated in the observation and

data collection process. The task time and

efficiency analysis was assigned to three

team members while the other two members

analyzed ways to improve the process and

developed the appropriate recommendations.

Between Monday, March 19 and Saturday,

March 24, 2001, we went to Finale on

Columbus Avenue at Park Plaza. In our two

visits, we observed the process for a period of

one hour. During this period we timed and

analyzed the efficiency of the following tasks:

customer waiting (before placing the order),

customer placing order, box preparation,

obtaining desired dessert, wrapping and

placing dessert in the box, tying the box, and

payment. We also spoke to the manager,

employees, and customers in order to obtain

different perspectives regarding the process.

Our observations were conducted at two

different times, one during the bakery's peak

hours (Saturday afternoon), and one during

off-peak hours (Monday late-afternoon).

The order taking/filling process that we

observed is the last, and one of the most

important processes that take place at Finale.

Since it consists of providing the customer

with the output of a series of processes that

include ingredient selection, dessert

preparation, dessert decoration and dessert

presentation to the customer, it is the ultimate

test regarding service and quality. This

operational process seeks to provide

customers with a high quality, specialty

desserts of their choice in a timely manner.

Finale attempts to maximize customer

satisfaction. Their continuous dedication to

provide customers with timely service and

high quality products in a warm atmosphere

gives Finale a

1. Customer waiting period 2.

Customer places order 3.

Preparation of box/packaging 4.

Obtaining the product 5.

Wrapping/ placing product in box

6. Tying box 7. Payment

The process begins with the customer

placing the order. Once the order is placed,

employees use their skill along with

materials, such as boxes, ribbon, and wax

paper, to produce a finalized output with

added value. The value is added to the

provided materials in the following manner.

The employee gets the necessary box in

which the dessert will be packaged. Then, the

employee's skill is used to assemble the box.

The employee obtains the requested

dessert(s), wraps them and places the

products in the box. Again, employee skill and

material (ribbon) is used to tie the box. The

employee proceeds to ring up the customer's

purchase. Once the process is finished, the

completed output consists of a properly

wrapped dessert that meets customer


Our observation and analysis of the tasks

involved in the process accounts for

differences in average time per task

depending on the size of the order and

whether the process takes place during peak

or non-peak hours. Peak time includes the

hours 11am to 9pm on Friday, Saturday, and

Sunday and 4pm to 7pm other weekdays for a

total of 42 peak hours per week. The

remaining 32 hours of operation are

considered non-peak hours due to the lower

volume of customers.

The average task times are as follows:

Peak Non-Peak

1. Customer waiting period 240 sec 60 sec

2. Customer places order 13 sec 18 sec

3. Preparation of box/packaging 3 sec 3 sec

4. Obtaining the product 15 sec 10 sec

5. Wrapping/ placing product in box 13 sec

13 sec 6. Tying box 10 sec 10

sec 7. Payment 15 sec 10 sec

Based on the task times the process'

throughput time during non-peak hours is 2

min. per customer and 5 min 45 sec during

peak hours. The cycle time for the process is

59 sec during non-peak hours and 74 sec

during peak hours. The capacity available

during non-peak time is 61 customers per

hour and 48 customers per hour during peak

time per employee at work. There is an

average of 5 employees at peak hours and 2

employees at non-peak hours. (total

customers) The direct costs involved in the

process include labor (average $9/hour) and

cost of materials ($.25) per order). These two

costs are minimized because boxes and

ribbon are ordered in bulk and because of the

high yield per unit of labor (worker). Including

the costs mentioned the estimated unit cost is

$1.07 (without product costs).

The overall quality of the process based on

customer satisfaction and yield is excellent.

Customer satisfaction based on a 25 person

sample is 96%, based on quality, service and

efficiency, while yield based on a 25 process

sample is 98% and scrap 2% (boxes and


In Finale, the customer is served by one

employee who carries out all of the

aforementioned processes. This setup allows

for uninterrupted service to customers. It also

contributes to the highest number of order

taking/filling processes being completed

overall in the work center, since an

interruption or delay in a particular task does

not interfere with the completion of similar

processes that take place simultaneously.

Although Finale is currently a smoothly run

operation there are some improvements to be

made. In particular, the fact that the bakery

only has one cash register presents a

problem during both peak and off-peak hours

when five and two employees, respectively,

must share it. We suggest that Finale add an

additional cash register in order to reduce

waiting time.

In order to increase the output, Finale would

have to decrease the long waiting times

during both peak and off-peak times. The

waiting time can be reduced by adding

another employee to

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