PDCA Cycle of Zingerman’s Deli

At the 2011 ASQ Lean and Six Sigma Conference, one of the featured speakers was Ari Weinzweig, CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) has annual sales approaching $40 million. ZingTrain, a consulting and training company that shares Zingerman’s approach to business with like-minded organizations from around the world, and offers a variety of management training seminars in Ann Arbor, as well as customized workshops and presentations at client sites.

Fellow Lean Blogger, Mark Graban wrote a recap  Management Lessons from Zingerman’s CEO Ari Weinzweig of Ari’s talk. I encourage you to read it. What I wanted to share was my personal experience of Zingerman’s Deli. Besides the great food and great service and catalog littered with special gifts and even more unique food, Zingerman left a special mark on a venture into the retail business that my wife and I did for six years. It was Ari’s book,Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service, that provided our outline for the service that we would provide and train our staff. Below is a mind map of the initial outline that I constructed from the book.The second mind-map is what I would call an ad-hoc representation of the Zingerman’s PDCA  cycle: Teach, Define, Live, Measure, Reward.

I find the Zingerman model an excellent guideline for many retail operations. In fact, very few things are difficult to do, it is just a matter of doing it.

P.S. I was unable to attend this conference as I was on the other side of the county in Orlando at the ISO9000 Lean and Six Sigma Conference.

Related Information:
Can the customer be front stage in your organization?
The Common Thread of Design Thinking, Service Design and Lean Marketing
Continuous Improvement Sales and Marketing Toolset
In love with your products more than your customers?

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