Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cookie production

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Problems and Improvements

Baking Process

In order to improve the bottleneck in the baking stage two ovens could be used. Using two ovens will increase capacity of the bottleneck baking process from 6 dozen cookies per hour to 1 dozen cookies per hour.

Mixing Process

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By adding another oven, the bottleneck shifts to the mixing operation unless dozen cookies are ordered at a time. The bottleneck would revert to the baking stage if all the orders were for three-dozen batches. Because different orders create different demands on the process, careful consideration needs to be given to the types of orders that come in. To make use of idle time, pre-mixing the dough should be considered. This should not reduce the quality of the cookies as long as it is not mixed too far in advance. You could purchase a special scoop that would portion the cookie dough into balls, which you could then freeze. Again, this should not reduce the quality of the cookies as long as the storage times are not excessive.

Packing Process

The packing operation is adequate and is never a bottleneck. Improving a process that is not a bottleneck is useless. However, improving this process to reduce throughput time, facilitate faster delivery and reduce labor costs is a good idea. This can be done by adding a fan and decreasing the cooling time.

Idle time

It may be beneficial to prepare the specific amounts of dry ingredients and store them in containers for a single batch of cookies in advance. This would eliminate the time spent on measuring ingredients in the mixing process, reduce mixing time by minutes and would make use of the idle time during the production process.


One person could run this operation alone, however with multiple one-dozen orders, the bottleneck shifts to the employee. The labor bill would be reduced by half, and production by one-sixth or less with a single oven operation. Because this is a partnership, the assumption is two employees.

Improved Process

By eliminating the need to mix the cookie dough as orders arrive and purchasing a fan to facilitate cooling, the production process will decrease from 6 minutes to 18 minutes, on 1 dozen cookie orders only with one oven. The individual operations? cycle time for orders for orders of this size are minutes to remove the prepared cookie dough balls from the refrigerator and place them on baking sheets, 10 minutes for baking, minutes for cooling, minutes for packing and 1 minute for receiving payment (see appendix A). The baking time is still 10 minutes, but pre-mixing the dough has eliminated startup procedures. The last dozen will need to come out 6 minutes before you close. In a four hour period, your output could be .5 dozen cookies. Output will increase output by 1.5 dozens per 4 hour shift by pre-mixing the dough. Adding an additional oven would enable them to double their capacity to 47 dozen cookies per four hour shift (see appendix B). These figures consider the 6 minute shutdown time required.


The roommates should consider the use of a second oven in their business. They should also purchase a scoop, pre-mix the dough, and have several baking trays. They should make use of their idle time by putting the proper amounts dry ingredients in storage container, thus reducing mixing time. Increasing oven temperature to reduce the baking time is not recommended, however, a fan to cool the cookies faster would be a good idea.

It is probable that they will receive more orders of single dozen cookies considering they live on campus. In the event of large orders, they should have ample supplies of cookie dough because they are using their idle time to pre-mix.

Market demand for the cookies is undetermined at this time. Assuming full capacity, they would sell 47 dozen cookies per day, 5 days a week, for 5 dozen cookies per week. The cost of the raw materials for 1 dozen cookies is $.70. If 5 dozen cookies are made per week the total for raw materials is $164.50 per week. If you value your time at $.0 per minute for the full 40 minutes per 4 hour shift (assuming no idle time because of the prep work), the total labor cost per day for each person is $48. Total labor costs for two people are $480. The minimum you could sell the cookies for is $.74 in order to break even. If the selling price of the cookies is $.10 per dozen and they sold all 5 dozen, they would have $84 in profit per week.

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