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Redesigning Business Processes for Healthlite Yogurt Company

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Redesigning Business Processes for Healthlite Yogurt Company

Healthlite Yogurt Company, a U.S. market leader in yogurt

and related health products, is experiencing sharp growing

pains. Healthlite's sales have tripled over the past five years.

However, new local competitors, offering fast delivery from

local production centers and lower prices, are challenging

Healthlite for retail shelf space with a bevy of new products.

Healthlite needs to justify its share of shelf space to grocers

and is seeking additional shelf space for its new yogurt-based

products such as frozen desserts and low-fat salad dressings.

Yogurt has a very short shelf life measured in days, and must

be moved very quickly.

Healthlite's corporate headquarters is in Danbury,

Connecticut. Corporate headquarters has a central mainframe

computer that maintains most of the major business

databases. All production takes place in processing plants

that are located in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee,

Illinois, Colorado, Washington, and California. Each processing

plant has its own minicomputer, which is connected

to the corporate mainframe. Customer credit verification is

maintained at corporate headquarters, where customer master

files are maintained and order verification or rejection is

determined. Once processed centrally, order data are then

fed to the appropriate local processing plant minicomputer.

Healthlite has 20 sales regions, each with approximately 30

sales representatives and a regional sales manager. Healthlite

has a 12-person marketing group at corporate headquarters.

Each salesperson is able to store and retrieve data for assigned

customer accounts using a terminal in the regional office

linked to the corporate mainframe. Reports for individual

salespeople (printouts of orders, rejection notices, customer

account inquiries, etc.) and for sales offices are printed in the

regional offices and mailed to them.

Sometimes, the only way to obtain up-to-date sales data is

for managers to make telephone calls to subordinates

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