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Strategic planning for repurposing kitchen equipment production operations during COVID-19 pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the worldwide economy, affecting businesses’ productivity and market demand. As a result of this negative impact, several organisations decided to repurpose their manufacturing processes to first fabricate necessary equipment (e.g. ventilators, masks), whereas others decided to penetrate in a new market and elaborate new products with the same available processes. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to develop a repurposing strategic plan considering scenario analyses for possible yet uncertain post-pandemic futures in a kitchen equipment manufacturing company (KEMC). To address this aim, the authors conducted an action research using the innovative DMADV (define–measure–analyse–design–verify) problem-solving methodology and business strategy tools (SWOT/PESTLE and Hoshin Kanri) to achieve this goal. As a result, the authors identified four different products to repurposing KEMC manufacturing operations: Ghost Kitchen, Touchless Style Design Products, Ventless Hood Systems and Touch-Free Style Beverage and Ice Machines. The product opportunity evaluation matrix showed Ghost Kitchen as the best business alternative; therefore, organisation leaders elaborated a strategic plan to introduce Ghost Kitchen products to KEM portfolio. However, after analysing this proposal, the organisation’s headquarters considered a different facility to implement the Ghost Kitchen project. From a theoretical perspective, this paper support previous research work showing evidence that customer needs changes during crisis time creating new business opportunities. On the other hand, the originality and paper practical contribution of this paper is found in the integration methodologies and tools from two different fields, such a continuous improvement and strategic planning.

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Correspondence to Fernando González-Aleu.

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González-Aleu, F., Hernandez, J.V., Ramirez, R. et al. Strategic planning for repurposing kitchen equipment production operations during COVID-19 pandemic. Oper Manag Res 15, 1241–1256 (2022).

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  • COVID-19
  • Operational planning
  • Ghost kitchen
  • Hoshin Kanri