The learning curve is defined as the process of improving systems through adjustment and repetition of a certain task by an employee or an organization (Argote, 1999)i. This time needed based on three basic fundamentals:
-the reduction in the time needed to complete a task through continuous implementation
-the improvement rate declines as the volume of units goes up
-the degree of progress can be anticipated over time
The learning curve reflects a progress in the process as the production units double in size after a limited time span of implementation. The learning curve is applicable for any process that can be performed several times. It is applicable for both manufacturing and service companies. The learning curve involves three steps that are: implementation, process and development. The idea is to implement the change, monitor it and refine it based on results.
# of Customers for Group 2
# of Customers for Group 4
Average Wait Time (Min)
Average Queue Length
Various fitting methods can be used for the learning curve. They include the logarithmic scale, arithmetic table, etc.
The table shows that five performance data metrics were use for the pizza case simulation. The learning curve reflects a substantial progress in the average wait time. By the end of the optimization strategy, the wait time decreased from 11.67 to 3.45 minutes. By the end of the fourth week, the average wait time fell from 11.67 to 5.53. The slope of the curve shows that the average waiting time decreases by 0.09. It can be calculated as follows:
The slope of the learning curve: (11.67-3.45)/(8-0) = 1.027
The average wait time: 1.027/11.67 = 0.088 ~0.09
The percentage of learning is 9 percent which is 91 percent of the learning curve. The progress achieved in the wait time can be analyzed by the learning rate (Grant & Leavenworth, 1996)ii.
The positive results were also reflected in the profit that the pizza store made. The profit increased from $1054 to $2081. The slope of the learning curve by the end of the 8th week is calculated as follows:
The slope of the learning curve: 2,081 -1,054)/( 8-0) = 128.37 which is a profit of $128.37 per week
The average wait time: 128.37 /2,081 = 0.061 ~0.06/ week.
The rate of learning is 6% which represents 94% of the learning curve.
In order to improve customer satisfaction, it is essential to have the clients seated and served as quickly and efficiently as possible. Using the learning curve, efficiencies in wait time and customer service can be attained. Management can opt for people who are more experienced and efficient at their job. In order to get a better control of the wait time, the managers’ responsibilities can be tracked in the system by analyzing the customer wait time, the queue length and proper use of the facility. A long waiting line and wait time can result in a loss of customers and income. In order to increase profit, the learning curve can be used to estimate the cost of the different pizza staff. The learning curve can also be a means to improve various parameters, to delete the bottleneck and optimize the process (Jacobs & Aquilano, 2006)iii.
In addition to tracking the performance of managers, it would be good to have a furnished outside patio with chairs and umbrellas to help the clients relax while they wait for their order and while it is warm outside. This would also increase the restaurant serving capacity and would yield more profit.