The Learning Curve Theory

Apply The Learning Curve Theory
Kimberly Osborne
January 14, 2013
Manuel Gonzalez

Apply the Learning Curve Theory
The learning curve can be applied to both individuals and organizations. An individual will learn a task when it is repeated over and over again, and skills will improve. According to Chase, Jacobs, and Aquilano organizational learning results from ???repeated processes as well as from changes in administration, equipment, and product design (Chase, Jacobs, Aquilano, p. 135, 2006). There are three assumptions which the learning curve theory is based on first is the amount of time required to complete a given task or unit of a product will be less each time the task is undertaken. Second is that, the unit time will decrease a decreasing rate. Third is the reduction in time will follow a predictable pattern (Chase, Jacobs, & Aquilano, p. 134, 2006).
Alternative to the Process
Mario??™s Pizzeria is a family owned restaurant that prides itself on homemade taste, quality, and fast service. The pizzeria is now facing some problems with customers walking out for various reasons. In particular the wait time is at the high end of nine to eleven minutes. Customers do not want to wait more than six to nine minutes, and the seating arrangements are for tables of four only. The wait staff and the kitchen staff are not being fully utilized, and the ovens are in need of being updated.
Mario has decided to give his only grandson the opportunity to improve the restaurant and turn the profits around. If his grandson can do this and Mario is pleased, at the end of two months Mario will hand the business over to his grandson (Pizza Store Layout Simulation, 2010). After going through the simulation several times and making different changes each time the following changes can be made to improve the wait time, the rate pizzas will be served, the utilization of staff, and increased profits.
1. By changing the seating to eight tables for two and ten tables for four the average wait time became 5.56 minutes. The average queue length changed to 2.54.
2. The average number of customers who balked became 16 groups of four and three groups of two.
3. The earned profit became $1498 with a loss in sales of $525.
4. The utilization rate for tables of four became 95.67% and the utilization rate for tables of two became 89.18%.
5. By installing only one new Plax oven the process time for getting the pizzas out to the customer also decreased.
6. By renting the Cream Puffs bakery and installing the new MenuPoint System the utilization of staff increased to 60-80%.
The process performance data is the waiting time for customers, number of customers that balked, number of pizzas cooked and served, and wait staff (time it takes them) to serve customers. By implementing the above changes Mario??™s will be able to improve overall customer service by decreasing wait time, faster cooking time, and improve the use of all wait staff and kitchen staff without having to get rid of any of the staff members which is pleasing to Mario.

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Chase, R. B., Jacobs, F. R., & Aquilano, N. J. (2006) Operations management for competitive
advantage (11th ed). New York: McGraw Hill/Irwin.

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