The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) was founded in 2000 in Bangalore to provide free mid-day meals to the students of government schools. TAPF’s kitchen in Vasanthapura provided meals to 650 schools in and around Bangalore benefitting 87,045 children. In 2014, TAPF provided meals to 1.3 million students and by 2020 they wanted to reach out to 5 million students. This massive expansion needs to be achieved without compromising the quality of food provided and simultaneously ensuring that all the key performance indicators such as time of delivery and temperature of food at the time of delivery are maintained as per the specifications.
Muralidhar, the head of quality at TAPF along with his team have implemented several quality improvement projects. However, massive expansion plan by TAPF posed a greater challenge to Muralidhar. One of the critical to quality metric in TAPF is the “cooking-to -consumption time’’, which should ideally be less than 6 hours. As the number of children to be fed increases, the cooking-to-consumption time is likely to increase. Muralidhar is contemplating use of lean and Six Sigma concepts to ensure that the cooking-to-consumption time is kept within the allowable time limit.
The case is suitable for teaching the use of Six Sigma methodologies within the food processing industry to improve its Sigma score. The instructor may use the case to teach the DMAIC problem-solving methodology of Six Sigma apart from various process improvement techniques such as Pareto Chart, Kaizen initiatives, root-cause analysis, and so on.