MacSigma - McDonald?s To Adopt Six Sigma - Do you want fries with that?

Sidney Vianna

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I can only assume that the motivation for MacDonald’s executives to be interested in 6s is the alleged potential for tremendous cost savings. As far as I can tell, they wrote the book in variation reduction and standardization of procedures.

Sure, they have many detractors, but when you find yourself hungry, in places so remote that not even Indiana Jones would venture, and you have the option of a “native diner” and the McD, at least you know what you will get at the golden arches.

McDonalds has a highly developed Corporate Social Responsibility policy, including labor policies flown down to the suppliers.



PS. The Fast One. What about 3.4 burgers (in a million) either over or undersized? Why does it have to be food poisoned?
 
T

The Fast One

Is one to assume that you either work for or are in the process of applying for a job with MacDonald’s……

Six sigma, quality, re-engineering; call it what you will, just as an opinion I think one of the greatest threats to their profits is the knee jerk reaction to the alleged link between obesity and ‘fast foods’.

In England MacDonald’s have started selling various ‘healthy’ foods: salads, bagels etc as well as the existing product ranges.

Cut the sugars and fats in current products, that’s probably one starting point.

It doesn’t take a black belt in origami to work that one out…
 

Marc

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The Fast One said:
Six sigma, quality, re-engineering; call it what you will, just as an opinion I think one of the greatest threats to their profits is the knee jerk reaction to the alleged link between obesity and ‘fast foods’.
Let's focus on the aspect of 6 sigma and McDonalds rather than stray again into a bash McDonalds mode or the value of 6 sigma debate.
 
B

Bill Pflanz

Sidney Vianna said:
McDonald’s is working with General Electric (GE) to learn about the Six Sigma management philosophy GE has found success with.

A group of McDonald’s management, including staff from finance, U.S. restaurant operations and U.S. business research, is taking part in the GE Commercial Finance’s Franchise (GEFF) program called, “At the Customer, for the Customer (ACFC).”

“The ACFC program does more than share knowledge,” said Tom Quindlen, president and chief executive officer of GEFF in Scottsdale, AZ. “It allows our customers to actively look at the GE processes and apply them to their own businesses to help them grow. More than 30 GEFF customers have benefited from the ACFC program since 2002. It’s been a home run for us.”

GEFF has given McDonald’s management a new perspective on their business, said Matthew Paul, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of Chicago based McDonald’s. “Gaining access to GE’s management knowledge will help McDonald’s to continue to learn and grow,” Paul said.

“The two organizations are filled with smart people who like to learn from each other in service to our customers. That’s what Six Sigma is,” said Karin Teglia, corporate vice president in finance. McDonald’s has already incorporated some aspects of the philosophy. “It’s a disciplined approach to decision making.”

In reviewing the article, it implies that McDonald's is a customer of GE Finance. From the title of the group, GE must provide financing to franchise businesses. If that is true, then GE has a vested interest in helping McDonald franchises to become more profitable.

If you wanted to implement Six Sigma or any other quality initiative, it would be dependent on how much independence there is in a franchise. The individual franchises appear to be only as good as the local manager. Whether the local manager needs to be trained in Six Sigma to be a good manager is open to question. McDonald's finance staff also attended the training so maybe there are some corporate processes that need fixed.

The problem with these articles is that they make good press about doing something to improve quality or customer service but give little information about what specifically is being done. It would be nice to know what the representatives from the operations area will do. The Columbus ASQ section has no members from McDonald's. Wendy's headquarters is here and there are two ASQ members with one having the title quality assurance and the other product compliance.

Bill Pflanz
 

Marc

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Bill Pflanz said:
In reviewing the article, it implies that McDonald's is a customer of GE Finance. From the title of the group, GE must provide financing to franchise businesses. If that is true, then GE has a vested interest in helping McDonald franchises to become more profitable... Etc...
Which brings us back to - What are they measuring? Where and how are they applying six sigma.

I agree - Articles like this are so devoid of detail that it's difficult to ascertain whether what they're really doing even makes sense.
 
M

MikeL

Cart before the Horse

Marc said:
Which brings us back to - What are they measuring? Where and how are they applying six sigma.

I agree - Articles like this are so devoid of detail that it's difficult to ascertain whether what they're really doing even makes sense.

On the other hand, Marc, I remember a newspaper article where an insurance company had just announced it was embarking on the TQM path and was going to save $2M. The article then went on to list projects it was doing.

Half of them were outsourcing, the other half cutting staff numbers.

Funny I never saw a follow-up. They were taken over two years later though.
 

Sidney Vianna

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Marc said:
Which brings us back to - What are they measuring? Where and how are they applying six sigma.

I agree - Articles like this are so devoid of detail that it's difficult to ascertain whether what they're really doing even makes sense.
Not to worry, Marc. This last one is very illuminating. Now, 6s is a quality control system. All of this from the ASQ website
https://www.asq.org/news/qualitynews/2005/03/18/20050318supermarket.html
Supermarket Chain Cutting Costs With Six Sigma
SOURCE: The Associated Press

The second largest U.S. supermarket chain, Albertsons, is cutting costs by implementing Six Sigma.

“We plan to focus on our consumer demand chain initiatives, coupled with savings generated through our recently launched Six Sigma program,” said Danielle Killpack, an Albertsons spokeswoman.

CEO Larry Johnston brought the quality control system to Albertsons from his former employer, General Electric.

The grocer will cut costs by focusing on better planning, inventory management and reducing prices from suppliers, Killpack said.
 
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Marc

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Ah, yes! "We're gonna do six sig-mah! We're gonna do six sig-mah!"

Let us all chant in unison!

Look - Don't get me wrong. As a set of tools, a quality system or whatever - It's OK by me. If the tools are used (even though they are common to many other Programs of the Year), great.

Unfortunately there's a lot of hype out there and I don't believe six sigma will necessarily cure a sick system where there is what I refer to as 'Poor Personality' management. They can tell us of the wonders and announce to the world that they're embracing six sigma (or whatever) but that doesn't mean much. To me these announcements are a way to influence stock prices and people's perception.

I would like to see some good six sigma discussions here. I'd like to see what believers have to say. But I fear this forum is an enclave of pragmatists who see six sigma as more hype than substance (myself included) and we chase believers away. I don't know if that's good or bad.
 
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