Success through managing quality, safety, customer service and cost
A Walkers case study

Page 1: Introduction

Walkers is the UK's biggest crisp manufacturer. The business operates the world's largest snack factory at Bursom Road, Leicester. Walkers had a humble origin, Mr Henry Walker started out as a butcher in the 1880s, and created a successful business in Leicester and Mansfield. By the 1940s, World War II had seen the introduction of strict meat rationing and by 10am shops had sold out. The...
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Page 2: Safety

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) tells us that globally there is one death in the workplace every 15 seconds, and almost 270 million accidents happen each year. In the UK, the government Health & Safety laws place a 'duty of care' on both employers and employees. Walkers is fully aware that factories are dangerous places. They contain machinery, sharp instruments, slippery floors...
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Page 3: Quality

Quality, in the eye of the consumer, means that a product must provide the benefits required by the consumer when it was purchased. If all the features and benefits satisfy the consumer, a quality product has been bought. It is consumers, therefore, who define this. Walkers prides itself on the quality of its products and is aware that if its crisps do not meet consumer expectations, people...
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Page 4: Customer service

The Walkers' factory must meet the needs of several types of customers. Some of these are within the business, some of them outside it. The factory is answerable to its head office in Berkshire, who set sales forecasts. It also informs the factory of sales trends and market fluctuations. Its head office is the plant's 'internal' customer and it is vital for the continued success of the business...
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Page 5: Cost

Each Walkers production factory is a separate reporting profit centre within the group. Management's operational performance depends on maximising the output from the factory of the required products. A crucial aspect of delivering the highest contribution to company profit is the tight control of costs. Walkers produces packets of crisps on a gigantic scale, so a diminutive saving on each...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Operational management refers to the day-to-day administration of a business, and managers at this level have to make decisions about everyday processes. Through a system of accountability, each manager has to answer for his/her decisions. Walkers is a subsidiary business within PepsiCo. Even within the UK group of Walker businesses, the Leicester production facility is a distinct profit...
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