Building High Performance Organisations (ACC11416) Assessment One

Prior Reading

Your task is to read the below case and articles and conduct research to address the assignment brief below:

  • Kennedy, I., Plunkett, A., and Haider, J., (2013), Implementation of Lean Principles in a Food Manufacturing Company, in Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, Advances in Sustainable and Competitive Manufacturing Systems, pp 1579-1590
  • Christopher, M., & Peck, H. (2004). Building the Resilient Supply Chain. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 15(2), 1-14.

Background to Absolute Foods (A.F.)

Absolute Foods’ provides the finest fresh meat & meat products (i.e. Burgers, Sausages) to commercial companies, restaurant chains and to supermarkets using the brand ‘Absolutely free-from’ sausages & burgers in Scotland. They cater for customers with food intolerances (i.e. gluten free, lactose intolerance) and are concerned with the integrity of the ingredients in the product. At ‘Absolute Foods’ there is no compromise, no cross contamination and full transparency of the supply of ingredients into its Leith operations. All beef and lamb are processed on site in ‘Absolute Foods’ own abattoir with all carcasses inspected, stamped & labelled by HMC Inspectors. They have the latest technology and comprehensive traceability system to ensure products will reach the consumer with the highest standards of food safety and integrity. Product quality and standards are crucial to the highest of standards set by customer’s demand (i.e. a supermarket chain, restaurant chain).

‘Absolute Foods’ are proud of their record on animal welfare & livestock procurement. This includes offering full traceability from farm to fork, sourcing locally from approved suppliers and livestock markets who are committed to raising livestock to the highest possible standards of Animal Welfare and Husbandry. Absolute foods have a long history of support for Scottish Farmers and only sells 100% Scottish Beef & 100% Scottish Lamb. The staff at Absolute Foods who handle Livestock have all received Animal Welfare training and together with the full-time Vet and Food Standards Agency team, ensure that the highest Welfare Standards are maintained at all times. Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs in August 2016, audited the current site to appraise the Animal Welfare Standards & livestock procurement process and gave the site full DEFRA approval.

Assessment One Report Brief

Pat Matthews, whom is the Managing Director of Absolute Foods (A.F.) has limited knowledge and understanding of the latest thinking in operations and supply chain management (tip: it is crucial in report writing to style and address your report to the intended reader – Pat, the MD of A.F.). Therefore, Pat has asked you, as a consultant specialising in lean thinking and process improvement to tender for a ‘lean implementation’ project. To build a relationship, she has invited you and other consultants to write a report on implementing lean principles in a food manufacturing company and transparency in the supply chain. You can assume that Pat’s knowledge and understanding of the latest thinking in operations and supply chain management is limited – that’s why she needs consultancy support from you…

To support you in this activity you will use Kennedy, Plunkett and Haider (2013) case study notes on implementing lean principles in a food processing company and Christopher and Peck (2004) article that introduces you to some challenges when “leaning down”. You can assume that these case notes are from a previous project that your consultancy has tendered and successfully completed for an organisation sharing similar characteristics to A.F. There is an expectation that your research goes beyond the case study notes and the suggested article. You should search the literature using academic databases with key terms relevant to addressing this brief so to have a sound knowledge base that can be applied in practice.

Part A – Lessons Learnt for A.F. [approx. 2,000 words]

  1. Discuss the development of the philosophy, principles and process of lean in the context of its contribution to manufacturing industries and applicability in the food processing industry (tip: make sure you contextualise this discussion to the intended reader – Pat, the MD of a food processing company).
  2. Critically evaluate the implications and challenges that may arise when implementing lean in the company A.F.. Pay particular attention to A.F. need to manage and mitigate risk by creating more resilient, traceable and transparent supply chain operations (i.e. as a result of “leaning-down” and/or the increasing complexity of its supply chain in a global business environment).
  3. You are expected to offer a set of recommendations to the Managing Director of A.F. as a result of your responses to questions 1 and 2 (tip: make sure these are justified, and are explicitly linked back to your discussion in the main body of your report).

Part B – Reflections within the context of an organisation familiar to you (e.g. your current or previous employer) [approx. 1,000 words]

  1. Critically reflect on the five principles to Lean as described in Womack and Jones (1996) article on ‘How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection’ in the context of an organisation of your choice/familiar to you.
  2. Critically evaluate the benefit(s) of implementing lean on business performance in the context of your response to question 1.

Please note that this section must also be underpinned by academic literature and evidence to substantiate claims need to be included. Draw on the range of theoretical concepts and principles learnt in each of the units 1 – 6 in developing your response (tip: not just lean thinking – better answers will identify linkages across the units).

You will need to conduct research into the industry and to reflect the nature of the company and its context in relation to addressing the question. You will need to briefly introduce your chosen organisation to familiarise the reader with appropriate context to address part B. There are no marks for detailed background to the company. You are being assessed on your reflections, interpretation and application of theory in practice and analytical reasoning using accepted academic practice and literature (tip: make sure you are clear with the criteria you will be assessed against on the following page).

Report Specifications

Your report should be 3000 words approximately excluding title page, references, and appendices. Sticking to a strict word limit is difficult and an important skill for you to acquire, so make sure that you write in a concise and focused manner. It should be typed font size 12 and 1.5 line spacing and must be presented in portrait format, not landscape. You should not be able to complete this task in any less than 3000 words minimum. Please provide an Executive Summary and Contents Page (excluded from the word count). This report is worth 45% of your total grade for this module.

To complete this assignment, review the Building High Performance Organisations (ACC11416) Assessment One document.

Sample Paper Preview


The phrase is a concept that means a number of activities or solutions for getting rid of waste and operations that does not add value. It is a concept that has been broadly utilized in the production systems. According to Womack & Jones (1996), lean production refers to a system that develops value-adding activities through adopting minimal input based on the Japanese concept of waste. The philosophy, thinking, and concept of lean production are highly regarded because of their superiority across the world in various aspects such as quality, quick response, cost, and flexibility. Therefore, the implementation of lean production concept is widely recommended in companies due to their huge impact on the business operations. It is difficult for a company to stand a chance in the modern worldwide competition in terms of lows costs, quality, and fast delivery.

The following report aims at providing insight to the management of the ‘Absolute Foods’ food processing company. The report focuses on evaluating the concept of lean principles, thinking, and processes. This involves the application of lean in an organization to increase efficiency and sustain high quality. It describes the types of wastes in the company and the challenges for adopting lean. The aim of the report is to establish a better understanding of the lean principle in the food processing organization. Additionally, it aims at exploring the implication involved in the process of applying the concept in the business environment worldwide. Therefore, the report will include lean principles, philosophy, and process in the food industry regarding ‘Absolute Foods’, repercussions, challenges, and recommendations.

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