Rethinking Performance at Peter Hunt’s Bakery Foods

Client: Peter Hunt’s Bakery Foods, Bolton
Student: Tom Monks and Shinan Wu

Summary

Peter Hunt’s Bakery Foods manufacture a variety of pastry products, such as pies and pasties, for clients including the major supermarkets. This project was commissioned by the Managing Director with the objective of better utilising existing company data to support operational decisions and improving communications with the workforce and was later extended to include better ways of communicating information between members of the senior management team. A Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach was chosen to address these two varying levels of communicating information and commenced with interviews with members of the management team and shop floor workers.

A critical aspect was a review of existing performance measures, which drew on elements of ‘quick response manufacturing’ and the ‘theory of constraints’. Soft Systems Methodology was used, with extensive management involvement, to identify which changes were desirable and culturally feasible in the business. A new BSC was discussed at workshops involving key managers and was implemented. In addition, redundant information systems were identified and shop floor workers now receive information about the direction and performance of the business through the new notice boards.

MD Grant Inkpin commented: “This was our first experience of working with Lancaster University and the Postgraduates and we wanted an outcome that was tangible, something that we could all see and that would have longevity. We got that and a lot more! Our Staff Notice Boards are now colour coded and populated by easy to maintain and easy to understand performance information. Our staff are taking note of the Boards because they had been surveyed by the students to identify what information was interesting and relevant to them. Our Management reports have been supplemented by a Balanced Scorecard. Our reporting processes have been mapped and refined to reduce duplication and deliver a 'single version of the truth'. We have revised our waste control procedures in our key low risk packing area to save money.

“In summary the management team at Peter Hunt’s have enjoyed working with the two students and we have been pleased with the quality of the outcome of the project and would have no hesitation in working with Lancaster University again in the future.”

Note: This project won a runners-up prize in the UK-wide ORS best Masters project 2006