Plan the Work, and Work the Plan!

By: Jessica Hyncik
Principal Industrial Engineer

Most people do not need to be sold on why Engineered Standards are the way to go for measuring and managing labor. A store and department specific plan that goes beyond the limits of Sales per Labor Hour and Payroll Percent. Sounds good to me!

Building and implementing standards is not easy (though anyone who has tried to do the same with time studies would call it a breeze)! There is a lot of effort required to get the standards just how you need them for your organization. What work needs to be accomplished? How often does the work need to be done? What is the prescribed method, and how long should it take? What characteristics should be used to accommodate different store scenarios? You’ve created a solid labor plan for your stores. Great job!

But it doesn’t end at planning the work. You must work the plan.

It’s like taking your puppy through obedience school. Sure, you have that fancy certificate hanging on your fridge, but are you going to expect the dog to let himself out and go for his walk around the neighborhood alone, sitting nicely at every intersection?

Too often those Standards are put out there as a guideline for the departments, but then they are forgotten about. It is important to have an open dialogue around the standards and how they are working for business.

Have you performed observations or done additional validation of your existing standards?
Has the product mix changed, causing a shift in the Pareto analysis of your operations?
Are you asking employees to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction?
Have you implemented new tools or training to improve efficiencies?
What new programs and initiatives are going on in your stores?
What is required to ensure compliance with food safety?
Have there been any resets or remodels?
Is new data available?

Your business doesn’t change once a year, so why would you only review your standards on an annual basis? Know your business and know your labor plans. Make sure they are in sync with each other. One of the greatest benefits of Engineered Standards is how easily they can be updated so take advantage of that.

Nurture your labor plan, and it will become your best friend.

This post is also available in: Spanish