When anyone thinks about the most efficient supply chain and booming performance, what comes into their mind? Large companies such as Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut instantly pop into majority of people’s heads. While, if anyone thinks about a meal delivery system and a cultural structure, then Mumbai, India would be the home to the most successful supply chain around the world in few people’s mind.
DABBAWALA (Dabba means Lunch box or tiffin while dabbawala means the person with lunchbox) is the name given to that person whose work is to collect the lunch boxes with freshly cooked food from the houses of office workers, deliver it to their individual workplaces and to return the empty lunch boxes to their residence back by using different transport modes such as public trains, bicycles, and walking, etc.
Dabbawala is considered as the world’s top performance supply chain, based on barefoot men who use public trains for delivering reusable containers in whole city having a population of 12.5 million people approximately.
Not a single piece of paper is used during this whole process. All dabbas have different numbers, colors or other symbols so the dabbawalas can remember where to deliver a specific dabba.
Dabbawalasis an old industry for 125 years, which is recognized by Forbes at the six sigma level in 2002. There are about 4500 to 5000 dabbawalas who deliver more than 175000 lunch boxes per day across Mumbai. They deliver dabbas at the distance of 75 km. Their customers consist of 11% students, 15% businessmen, 36 % Government, 38 % employees of private sectors. The most inspiring thing is that there is only one mistake in deliveries of every 6 million. That’s an efficient supply-chain management.
The reason of the successful supply chain is that they don’t use modern technology but barefoot men and trains. They just use SMS and web technology for orders and don’t have any social network or computer chips. They focus on the entire system as well as flow of information and products, not the individual parts. They have accurate timing and high teamwork for completing their task.