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The Beauty of a well Designed and Executed Process

Whilst consulting down in London for a client, I pop out quite frequently for lunch at a small local Cafe / ‘Wrap- bar’.  The establishment is only about 8.5 square metres in size, and customers queue outside in long lines sometimes to get served.  Obviously the wraps they serve up at lunch time are very good, but it the process that the proprietor has established, that has struck me as so novel.

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Bearing in mind that quite a few processes are running concurrently, namely a O2C (Order to Cash), the actual operation (making of the wraps from scratch) and a Customer Service interface, all run by the owner and two assistants, this is a study in efficiency in 5 minutes or less.
Bearing in mind that other fast food outlets have a small army of people floating about in the ‘back-of-house’ kitchen area, you can walk in an out and get a meal delivered to you in exactly the same time as a much more ‘industrial-scale’ operation.
The only way this is possible is because the proprietor has put his customer front and centre of his operation.  He even customises the experience, by remembering who order what and personally handing the warmed up wrap to the person who ordered it, with a big smile and a ‘have a nice day’ or similar greeting.
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The design process, in looking at each step in the multi-layered process, and the execution of the process is flawless and a very useful example of how any business or customer interface process can be made a simple and efficient as possible.
Have you recently considered the ‘Customer journey’ and “Customer-centricity” of your operation, whether it is external or internal customers? If not, try it, even if it is only a ‘mind-exercise’, to see if you can potentially identify process savings that will lead to the business principle of ‘making it easy to do business with‘.
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