Lean in Europe visits exist to discuss good practice and facilitate the ideas of sharing and networking.
This hands-on visit focused on lean in hospitality, linking lean tools (process mapping, preventative maintenance) with customer satisfaction (net promoter score) and was a unique opportunity to both go behind-the-scenes and see how lean tools and approaches developed by manufacturing industry can be applied in the hospitality sector, identifying improvement possibilities and experiencing the product at the same time!
runs catered chalets in ski resorts offering week-long stays in a homely environment, with all the guests staying one chalet interacting and taking meals together. The chalet hosts play a crucial role - combining customer-facing duties (greeting the customers, addressing any issues), with food preparation and serving, housekeeping functions (making beds, cleaning, etc.), changeover processes (between the departure and arrival of different sets of chalet guests) and other duties. In the La Plagne resort, Ski Beat runs 9 chalets ranging in size from 6 to 15 people.
The 8 participants on the visit worked for large and small companies and covered a wide range of sectors: cable solutions, biogas refining equipment, textiles, lean coaching, stamping and welding, oven hinges, ammunition and components and a care home.
On the first day, participants and representatives of Ski Beat and its parent company, Topflight Travel Group, came together for a group discussion, led by Prof. Richard Keegan (Adjunct Professor of Lean Operational Excellence, Trinity Business School and the EU-Japan Centre's Lean Advisor), and a networking dinner.
The second day started very early. Participants observed and process-mapped the preparation and serving of the breakfasts by the chalet hosts. During the discussion and feedback session, the participants identified potential improvements that could be made to optimise the process, reducing non-value-adding steps and eliminating muda, all with a goal of meeting the challenge set by Ski Beat - to reduce preparation time by 30 minutes, saving time, ingredients, money and other resources.
The second part of the day addressed lean and Net Promoter Score (NPS). Ski Beat explained how NPS works and how the company's focus on that metric; use of lean tools including frontline Kaizen (continuous improvement) activities and an in-house portable Andon to highlight when action is needed to address a guest's needs; and the leaders' trust and empowerment of the Ski Beat team all combine to drive customer satisfaction, raising the NPS, and ensuring guests come back.
The third part of the day addressed Preventative Maintenance and the 'chalet close down' process (check the chalet's living areas and capture issues), with participants giving suggestions for improvement.
The final part of the visit was a fireside chat about how to infect the next generation of leaders with Lean.
The agenda for the visit can be found here.
Click here for more information on the Lean in Europe activity and future visits. For a look inside a Lean in Europe visit see this 2-minute highlights video from the 2022 Lean in Europe visit to PakMarkas. For details of other past visits can be found in the Lean in Europe visit archive.
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