MTM on board
LSG Sky Chefs plans standard calculation model for the catering companies
“LSG Sky Chefs in Germany is undergoing a process of radical change,” says Ingeborg Zechner, Vice President Product Engineering Lufthansa; she is responsible for drawing up the production instructions on the basis of material parts lists and the product calculations. Up until recently, old time studies using a stopwatch and dating back 30 years formed the basis for calculations at the catering companies. “The system may have worked, but there was no possibility of thinking about optimizing the processes in the long term on this basis. Six years ago, we started looking for a new calculation model, which also copes with the increasing complexity of tasks in the airline catering business. The challenge here involved mapping very short product life cycles. For, in contrast to the automobile industry, for example, we have very short development periods and product cycles. That means a new menu every two months and initiating production with very short lead times. The menus created on paper are presented to the customer during a presentation and all the prices have to be available then too,” says the manager, describing the procedure.
Even the most complex structures can be mapped with MTM
The LSG Sky Chefs company in Düsseldorf was selected for the pilot project; it is a medium-sized firm with a great deal of complexity, according to Ingeborg Zechner. “In addition to Western menus, the company also prepares meals for Japanese and Chinese airlines, which are very challenging, and they place great importance on authentic cuisine. That is to say, specific site performance figures are required for each production unit, i.e. actual data, which not only maps the procedures and processes, but also takes into consideration the different production layouts and transit times. These performance figures can then be compared to those of other LSG Sky Chefs companies and optimization potential can be identified.” The MTM concept is the alternative to the previous model for Ingeborg Zechner. “Using MTM, we’re not only able to calculate quickly, but also map the most complex structures.”
Daily personnel planning a building block for success
The switch to MTM is not only a building block for more efficient production for LSG Sky Chefs in Germany. In order to be able to meet the growing requirements on short-haul and long-haul flights to an even better degree, LSG Sky Chefs in Germany is introducing a completely new materials management system, optimizing production planning and relying on exact, daily planning for personnel needs. “We intend to replace the rough planning and general production lists with fine production planning for each work station,” says Ingeborg Zechner, describing the new developments. “Pre-production, hot meal preparation, the cake shop, the bakery, the equipment department, transport – all these departments could then be controlled and calculated separately using MTM.”
It is quite natural that there are special challenges to overcome on the way there. A variety of products and services, specific customer on-board concepts and menu designs, operating infrastructure, logistics processes ranging from incoming goods to producing meals, picking the equipment and even loading an aircraft and handling the returned equipment all have to be taken into account within the new calculation model. “The complexity of our supply chain cannot be simply mapped in the working plan,” says Ingeborg Zechner, “but we’ve found a solution for everything.”
MTM is being speedily introduced at LSG Sky Chefs
Employees trained in MTM are supporting the introduction process. The LSG Sky Chefs company in Düsseldorf has already been completely switched to MTM; the introduction work at the firm in Frankfurt is taking place at the moment. “This is a fresh challenge, but with the experience gained during the last few years, we’re getting quicker from one company to the next,” says Ingeborg Zecher with a sense of confidence.
© LSG Skychefs