You probably would not expect that a regional chain of small chili restaurants takes a formal view of process management, but Gold Star Chili, Inc. , based in Cincinnati, Ohio, does just that. Figure 5. 3 shows a process-based organization of the company. Three major core processes link the operation of the company to its customers and other stakeholders: 1. franchising, 2. restaurant, and 3. manufacturing/distribution. Sustaining these core processes are various support processes, such asresearch and development, human resources, accounting, purchasing, oper-ations, training, marketing, and customer satisfaction.

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Even restaurant oper-ations are viewed from a process focus. Key processes such as Cash Regis-ter, Steam Table, Drive-Thru, Tables, Bussers, and Management are designedto ensure that customer needs are served in a timely manner. Prior to open-ing each restaurant, training sessions ensure that these processes are per-formed correctly and according to company standards Franchisees are attracted by the relatively low investment required to join the Gold Star family of restaurants, the opportunity to operate a profitable business, and to benefit from the strong brand equity built into the Gold

Star name. All department heads treat franchisees as internal customers, and have signed a pledge guaranteeing to return calls within 24 hours. If a franchisee reports a problem with product quality, Gold Star often handdelivers replacement product the same day. The franchising process is designed to ensure a smooth and successful start-up that meets company objectives. Because franchise process delays are costly, the process helps to eliminate variability, reduce cycle time, and cut down on problems that might occur during development and introduction.

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