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Master of Agribusiness

Bimbo Bakeries USA Productivity Savings Project

Melissa Frick,  Fontana, Calif., defended her thesis, “Bimbo Bakeries USA Productivity Savings Project,” Friday, April 14, 2006. Frick is a Production Superintendent for Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) in Montebello, Calif. She graduated from Kansas State University in May with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB).

Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) is part of Grupo Bimbo, which is the leading baker in the continental U.S. Due to the extremely competitive nature of the baking industry, it is important to pursue methods to cut costs and improve efficiency. Frick’s research looked at increasing the running speed of the production line while keeping production hours constant.

When BBU experimented with varying its running speed by different units per minute, she found the company experienced a decrease in total cost and an increase in total production at certain speeds.

Dr. Bryan Schurle,  Fricks’s thesis advisor, said, “The market environment has gotten ever more competitive in recent years, so that improvements in efficiency have become ever more important in order for companies to survive and prosper.  Melissa’s thesis explores how costs of production can be influenced by changes in production line speeds for a bakery.  Average total costs dropped by nearly 23% as line speeds were adjusted up to the maximum potential of the equipment and workers.  This reduction in costs feeds directly into increased profits for the company, and an improvement in the competitive position of the company in the baking industry.”