Bottlenecks In A Process

University of Phoenix

Jesus Brogel

Operations Management 571

Applying the Learning Curve Theory

A learning curve is a line displaying the relationship between unit production time and the cumulative number of units produced (Chase, Jacobs, & Aquilano, 2006). Three assumptions set the foundation for the learning curve theory. First, the amount of time required to complete a task or produce a unit will become less each time the process occurs. Second, the unit time will decrease at a decreasing rate and third the reduction in time will follow a predictable pattern. The simulation contained numerous points of measurement for process performance. This paper will identify and use process performance data points to test and validate how an alternative process trends relative to the original process and give a brief analysis of the initial data.

The following is a list of process performance data points identified in the simulation:

* Queue lengths

* Average customer wait time in a queue

* Table utilization rates

* Sales

* Profits

* Lost sales

* Staff utilization rates

* Number of customers who balked

The following lists alternatives to the existing process:

* Decreasing the number of tables for groups of four customers from 14 to 10 while increasing the number of tables for two customers from zero to eight

* Increasing the number of waiters from two to four

* Eliminating manual ovens and adding a Plax oven

* Incorporating Menu Point for shortened waiter to kitchen to paying customer lead times

* Renting Cream Puffs for additional seating

The pizza process is considered a high volume operation with short cycle time over a continuing period. As such, the learning curve concepts can be applied to time per unit produced and units produced over time. Customer wait times and queue lengths can be plotted against the number of seated customers...