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US commerce secretary to take lessons from Mumbai's Dabbawalas

Friday February 04, 2011 02:42:16 PM, Arun Kumar, IANS

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Washington: Besides meetings with India's top space and nuclear energy administrators and corporate honchos, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke also has a date with Mumbai's famed Dabbawalas.

Locke, who is leading 24 US businesses on a high tech trade mission Feb 6-11 "will also visit the Tiffianwalahs to learn about the unique Tiffinwalah logistics operation that delivers home cooked food to thousands of people daily" in Mumbai next Friday.

"This lunch delivery service, subject of management studies in the US, has been cited as a model of entrepreneurship and supply chain management at the grass-roots level," the Commerce Department noted announcing his schedule.

Dabbawalas' fame is well earned. Harvard Business School has produced a case study on the exciting story of the 4,500 semi-literate Dabbawalas collecting and delivering over 175,000 food packages within hours with an error free record.

The business school urges its students to learn from the organization's unique, simple and highly efficient 120-year-old logistics system, which relies entirely on human endeavour and doesn't employ any technology.

Conducting an analysis, Forbes Global magazine also gave the Dabbawalas a Six Sigma rating of 99.999999 percent of efficiency in 1988 where they made only one error in six million transactions.



(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

 

 

 

 

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