Located in Greenville, NC, in an old country store that almost looks abandoned, lies one of the greatest Eastern-style barbecue joints in North Carolina. How do I know? Partly because it has been featured in newspapers, books, magazines, and television programs for years; partly because of the line out the door every day at lunch; and partly because, like many others, I go out of my way to get their barbecue.
Process optimization has long been used by manufacturers to streamline processes, ensure quality control, and increase profitability. Companies like Motorola and GE, for example, were early adopters of Six Sigma, a quality improvement methodology aimed at reducing the number of defects to the point that they become statistically insignificant. As business improvement tools and methods were refined in the last part of the 20th century, the broader corporate world began utilizing various techniques to measure and optimize all types of processes – from customer service procedures to personnel evaluations to how organizations are structured and staffed.