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Lean Sales – Improving the Customer Experience – Beechworth Bakery
Beechworth Bakery is Australia’s “Most Famous Bakery” located in six regional towns including the historic town of Beechworth in the north of Victoria. The Beechworth Bakery is a major tourist destination serving over 1 million customers per year with a wide range of cakes, pastries and breads. Beechworth Bakery was becoming a victim of its own success as it struggled to cope with the high volume of customers at peak times. This was particularly the case with tourist coaches and other large groups. Poor client flow and a lack of standard process behind the counter lead to long wait times and disgruntled customers. Following an Enterprise Connect Business Review, TXM was engaged to improve “Front of House” processes in order to transform the customer experience at Beechworth Bakery.
TXM started by engaging the key leaders behind the counter at Beechworth to introduce them to the lean approach and demonstrate how it could be applied in the retail environment. Observational monitoring techniques were used to track the service experience of customers during peak time. The activity behind the counter was also measured to identify key bottlenecks leading to delays. From this analysis a front of house “concierge” has been introduced to manage the flow of incoming clients and ensure they find the quickest path to what they need. Standardised work has been developed to reduce bottlenecks in key processes such as making coffee and staff have been taught how to track their performance and solve problems themselves in order to further improve performance.
Average customer waiting times have been reduced by 40%, leading to improved customer feedback. Front of house staff are better able to manage their workload with peak loads managed more effectively. The concierge is providing an early contact with customers and ensuring customers are not delayed unnecessarily. Overall the experience at Beechworth Bakery is now as good as the food!