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Good example of case study on supply chain challenges faced by gourmet when dealing with demand fluctuations from

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The complex nature of the supply chain in relation to gate Gourmet’s services presents critical challenges. These challenges are escalated by the constant fluctuations in the demand during flight operations. Fluctuations in demand present problems, such as a shortage of inventory or inventory surpluses. These are critically very frustrating challenges because they can easily lead to wide-ranging uncertainties that might lead to over -catering or insufficiency which either way; gets both Gate Gourmet and the airline into unnecessary losses.

Supply chain investments and how they support Gate Gourmet overall customer service and resource utilization.

Realizing the complexity and uncertainty surrounding the overall industry, Gate Gourmet invested in information technology to provide a platform for scheduling of food and the related ancillary goods. The company has all its business processes comprehensively covered in a technology driven Scala system. This system has all the catering operation systems well synchronized. The information technology enhanced Scala system does add efficiency and effectiveness in the service. This is attained through the system’s ability to monitor all the flight operations and ensure immediate as well as adequate responses in relation to potential demand fluctuations.
This indeed allows for appropriateness in service delivery which includes delivery at the right time, delivering the right product and in the right quality and quantity. Adopting this technology enhanced information flow has resulted into flexibility, consistency and increased dependability in the company services. To enhance the applicability of this system, the company has installed an “ e-gate matrix” technology (Webber, 2006). This system is integrated into such a manner that it schedules their supply chain activities for all the different flight operations including services ranging from meal deliveries, procurement and synchronization of deliveries from suppliers. It also closes up the purchase by managing supplier and airline invoicing. Its technological sophistication allows it to provide real-time data into the Scala system.
The “ e-gate matrix” technology has been able to compress all the complexities attached to the system communications and hence enhanced efficiency. A case in point is the ease and effectiveness with, which Gate Gourmet was able to communicate the new demand expectations to the supply chain by successfully forecasting the proportionalities in the passenger load forecasts and production volumes in the entire production process.

Prerequisites important for the operation of the lean systems that gate Gourmet has in place

The lean systems applied by Gate Gourmets require basic business process management. The processes must align to the principle means of organizing the production system in an efficient and effective manner. On top of having the process aligned in an efficient and effective manner, it should also have all activities managed compressed into a specific flow of information under particularly uniform goals and objectives. This is aimed at achieving efficiency and ensures a reduction in wastes related to core factors in given operational systems, (Biddle, 2006). As seen, at Gate Gourmet, the attainment of this operation is mainly through the empowerment of the production and supplier communication systems at all levels. This translates into winning strategies. For effective optimization of these winning strategies, they need to be supported in operations on capabilities of the enterprise. The organizational capabilities that must be fully enhanced range from agility and speed of response, flexibility, and process performance, (Keller, 2010).
It’s also crucial that the company strengthens the maturity level of its level of operational excellence as well as discover significant milestones in the approaches of Lean Management (Zenger and Folkman, 2002). Fundamental steps will have to be continuously adopted by Gate Gourmets to fully optimize lean systems. This is to the fact that the lean system entails more than just simple stereo types, but rather a comprehensive upgrade of efficiency in all business processes. This includes removal of all that does not add value to the service as well as optimization of the speed of responses.

Conclusion

Gate Gourmet implemented a series of changes to enhance its service optimization. The changes cut across the entire business processes. This helped overcome such complexities and potentially derailing practice. With continued investments in technology across the levels of optimization of the industry and therefore there is no doubt the company’s lean supply chain will continue to develop the business to unprecedented levels This will, without doubt continue to propel the company growth to remarkably competitive levels.

References

Keller, P. Six Sigma Demystified. 2010. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-07-174679-3. Retrieved 2011-09-20
Webber, L.; Michael, W. Quality Control for Dummies. (2006). pp. 292–. ISBN 978-0-470-06909-7. Retrieved 2011-09-20

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