Think you need exceptional employees, advanced IT, or rigid controls to build a high-performance organization? The dabbawalas of Mumbai prove otherwise. The year-old service is legendary for its reliability: Despite monsoons, floods, riots, and terrorist attacks, mistakes by the dabbawalas are extremely rare. Thomke, an HBS professor, studied the dabbawalas to find the keys to their success.

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Thank you so much! Dabbawala case study 1. Tiffin is an old-fashioned English word for a light lunch, and sometimes for the box it is carried in. Dabbawalas are sometimes called tiffin-walas. Turnover approximately. The dabbawalas load the wooden crates filled with tiffins onto the luggage or goods compartment in the train.

Generally, they choose to occupy the last compartment of the train. This crate carries tiffins and dabbawala driven by dabbawalas! The group meets up at origin station and they finally sort out the tiffin's as per the origin area However, since neither case these serve home food, the dabbawallas' core study remains unchallenged.

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Mumbai Dabbawalas: Case study for management students

Thomke and Mona Sinha. Describes the Mumbai-based Dabbawala organization, which achieves very high service performance 6 Sigma equivalent or better with a low-cost and very simple operating system. The case explores all aspects of their system mission, information management, material flows, human resource system, processes, etc. An outside consultant proposes the introduction of new technologies and management systems, while the leading logistics companies e. Thomke, Stefan H. Revised January


Mumbai’s Models of Service Excellence

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The Dabbawala System: On-Time Delivery, Every Time

The dabbawalas also spelled dabbawallas or dabbawallahs , called tiffin wallahs in older sources constitute a lunchbox delivery and return system that delivers hot lunches from homes and restaurants to people at work in India , especially in Mumbai. The lunchboxes are picked up in the late morning, delivered predominantly using bicycles and railway trains , and returned empty in the afternoon. They are also used by meal suppliers in Mumbai, who pay them to ferry lunchboxes with ready-cooked meals from central kitchens to customers and back. In Bombay, Mahadeo Havaji Bachche started a lunch delivery service with about a hundred men. The service was born during the British Raj in the s out of sheer necessity. With more and more migrants of varying communities reaching the big city in those days and no fast food culture and office canteens around to calm the hunger pangs at noon, there was a lack of an effective system to ensure that office-workers could eat at lunchtime. There was also a supply of illiterate workers, who had travelled to the cities due to agriculture not being able to support them.


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