< 6 sigma


As you know, I am now in charge of shopping and cooking here at Southfork. Mrs R was quite uneasy about handing over these responsibilities when she started work, but I told her that with my extensive international management experience I would have not trouble with the domestic duties.

On Monday we ran out of teabags. This week Mrs R is working a late shift. She likes to take her own teabags to work because she (and I) drink redbush tea and this is not part of the standard tea-club stock at her workplace. I had to make an emergency detour to the supermarket.

Today we ran out of milk. Mrs R likes her breakfast cereal with milk. She is not always in a good mood first thing in the morning. Especially when she doesn’t get her breakfast. In mitigation I pleaded that teenage son had used an unexpectedly large amount of milk last night when he was cooking a Slovakian cake (that is another story). This excuse was not accepted. During the 24 years that Mrs R had sole charge of the shopping we never ran out of milk, apparently.

It turns out that production planning, stock control, logistics and procurement management are a lot more difficult than I imagined.

6 Responses to “< 6 sigma”

  1. 1 Fiona

    Procurement management only works if all members of staff highlight when a shortage is likely to occur.
    It is no good pointing out that that was the last toilet roll when down to 6 sheets – it needs to be pointed out to procurement when the last roll is put on the holder 🙂
    Similarly with milk – when the last carton is started it should be mentioned. However a sudden run on a commodity (making slovakian cakes) could cause problems which can surely not be blamed on poor managemwent. After all even large supermarkets occasionally get caught out (Sainsburys and Delia’s cranberries spring to mind) 🙂

  2. 2 ann

    Find your local milkman. If you are lucky they will arrive before breakfast, so an emergency order can be left last thing at night. Though mine likes a lie in and arrives about 3pm, so isn’t much use. Things ain’t wot they woz.

  3. 3 Tina

    fiona (above) is on the mark. flag it up to senior management on the risk log. more importantly to my mind I just wanted to tell you I’m loving the re-emergence of the snowflakes.

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