Just about every time I walk into a Domino’s Pizza shop I encounter a wall of pre-built pizza boxes. These stacks of boxes are generally on a shelf low to the ground (can’t put them ON the ground) but the box stacks reach the room’s ceiling. If you estimate 50 boxes per stack and 10 stacks or more, you’re looking at 500 boxes made far in advance of any pizza orders.
This is textbook overproduction – production of finished goods or components well in advance of a customer ordering them. Overproduction is a pretty serious waste for a few reasons:
- Causes buildup of inventory that takes up floor space and absorbs valuable store footprint
- Worker effort spent in advance to build the boxes and stack them, which is excess motion
- Potential for defects in the form of knocking boxes onto floor or spilling sauce or other pizza components on them (hey, it’s plausible)
- Use of operator or pizza maker time on excessive functions like this takes their time away from other potentially pressing matters like cleaning, organization, food preparation, or other processes
- Stacking excess boxes means exertion to place boxes up high or pull them down
In any event, time and money are being wasted. The stacks of boxes might look cool, but other matters probably are more deserving of attention.
However, Domino’s recently started airing a commercial showing off their fastest pizza box folder:
And here’s where standardized work could be extremely valuable.
If we assume that pizza box folder Dale is using the best practice for folding boxes (very quick and few defects if any), shouldn’t it be possible to train every other Domino’s staffer to follow this best practice too? Once the proper training and process is established, more staffers can replicate Dale’s success.
In addition, because he makes boxes so quickly with minimal wasted time or activity, couldn’t boxes be built up right when they are needed for orders? Every time a pizza is ordered, a staffer whips up a folded box, and it takes all of five seconds.
Domino’s is missing out on a great opportunity to cut wasteful activities from their processes and find a meaningful financial impact in doing so. They’re also laying it all out there for the world to see.