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Operations management

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Deliverable Length: 4-6 paragraphs
You have been tasked with assisting the three facilities in Oregon. The "T" facility manufactures toner cartridges, the "P" facility manufactures PC printers, and the "S" facility manufactures stamped metal parts, injection molded plastic parts, and some assemblies for the T and P facilities. The T and P facilities are located in the same building, but are run as separate businesses. The S facility is located about seventy miles (at least 90 minutes) and across a major body of water from the other two facilities. Organizationally, all three facilities answer to a vice-president who is located at the P location.
The T facility has one major customer which accounts for over 98% of its production. Shipments to this customer are covered by long term contracts and require virtually the same quantity to be shipped every production day. The production process is a dedicated production line. The remaining (2%) business is opportunistically scheduled when time, materials and facilities permit. The T facility produces a total of four tone cartridge models. The T facility operates two shifts a day, five days a week. There is comparatively little space for storing incoming parts or materials.
The P facility has the same major customer which accounts for 100% of its production. Similarly, shipments are covered by long term contracts which require virtually the same quantity to be shipped to that customer every production day. The production process is a combination of assembly line and cellular manufacturing. The P facility currently produces a total of three PC printer models, but negotiations are underway to introduce a new, more configurable, PC printer line. The P facility operates two shifts a day, five days a week. This location has virtually no space for storing incoming parts or materials.
The S facility is starkly different from the T and P facilities. It has three departments: stamping, molding, and assembly. The stamping department consists of about twenty large stamping, bending, cutting, and welding machines. These twenty machines produce over fifty distinct parts for the T and P facilities. The stamping department is virtually a job shop in which any given part may be processed on up to seven different machines, all of which require significant time and expense to convert from producing one part to another. The molding department produces over thirty distinct plastic parts for the T and P facilities using twenty molding machines and twelve different plastic resins. In practice, eight of the twenty molding machines are dedicated to producing five of the parts, leaving the remaining twelve machines to produce the remaining twenty eight parts. Like the stamping department machines, the molding machines require significant time and expense to convert from one part to another. A further constraint is the availability of molds which are periodically removed from service for maintenance, cleaning, or rebuild. The assembly department produces sub-assemblies for the T and P facilities using certain parts from the stamping and molding departments and certain "accessory" parts. The "accessory" parts are small pins, springs, clips, and screws which are actually purchased by the P and T facilities and shipped to the S facility. The molding and stamping departments operate three shifts a day, seven days a week. The assembly department operates one shift a day, five days a week. This location has comparatively more storage space for parts / materials, but that space is generally consumed by WIP (work in process) in the stamping and assembly departments.
There are normally eight semi-trailer load shipments from the S facility to the T and P facilities every operational day. They leave the S facility every two hours with parts. Once a day, "accessory" parts are "back-hauled" from the P and T facilities to the S facility.

Based on the facts presented above, conduct and informal performance assessment. Identify the problems, their significance, and the relative benefits of solving them.

Deliverable Length: 2-3 pages, plus discussion

Here is some more information you have obtained from management:
? Facilities P and T both claim that parts from the S facility sometimes do not arrive on time, causing costly production shut-downs which periodically lead to missed contractual ship dates.
? The S facility has records that those same parts were loaded onto trailers and that the semi-trailers left on time.
? Facility S habitually runs out of the "accessory" parts which are shipped from the T and P facilities.
? There have been recent instances where over seven shifts of production from a single molding machine have been defective due to a malfunctioning mold.
? Similar quality problems have occurred when the wrong plastic resins have been used for some molded parts.
? Work-in-process (WIP) within the stamping department is sometimes misplaced or lost, disrupting downstream manufacturing processes and leading to missed shipments to the T and P facilities.
Upon arriving on site and interviewing the production and inventory planning staffs at all three facilities, you hear the following:
? Facility S claims that there have been instances where they have been over one day ahead of their shipping schedule for specific parts, and that the T and P facilities were still claiming they were out of that part. Then, the "missing" parts were located in a still loaded semi-trailer in the yard adjacent to the P and T facilities.
? The production and inventory planning staff at the T and P facilities claim to be shipping the "accessory" parts to the S facility on a JIT (Just in Time) basis and that their shipments should be adequate to support the S facility's requirements on a level production plan.
? The small quality control group at the S facility point out that they do not have the equipment or training to perform quality checks to the same level that facilities P and T are able to perform.
? Due to recent economic conditions, only a single supervisor is available in the stamping department and in the molding department during midnight shifts and on weekends.
Group Portion, Part One You are called to a meeting with your colleagues to discuss your approach to a Summary of Findings and Recommendations Report for the divisional vice president. The divisional vice president has only been in that position for about three months and has no personal experience in stamping or molding operations and is not specifically familiar with any of the three facilities. He is not concerned with the specific implementation details of your recommendations and they should not be included here.
Individual Portion:
Delegate aspects such as communications, materials and inventory, order entry, supervision at the plants and general production flow to each member of the group. Summarize your individual findings and

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Solution Preview

The problem makes several assumptions, first the problem never mentions any financial constraints, a situation which may not be true, for instance the problem never mentions any rate of return, the cost of making improvements or the increase in revenue from additional production. Second, the objective is implied to be maximizing production, however this may not be the case always, there could be the problem of cost reduction or better utilization of facilities. Thirdly, the problem presupposes that the production is profitable and selling extra production will not be a problem. There is no evidence to support it, there can be marketing problems or even profitability problems which this case is not mentioning. Fourthly, the problem presumes that there is no downtime for machines and usually the production lines working smoothly. This may not be true always, for instance in S there is not downtime in the stamping department, there are stamping, bending, cutting, and welding machines, however the problem presumes that there is no down time for repairing or breakdowns and the production continues for three shifts, every day of the week!
1. Performance assessment for T: - Problems: There is only one major customer, there is the same quantity of production and shipment every day and one shift is not used. Further there is not extra space for materials or incoming parts. Significance:-Only two third of the production capacity is used, more customers can be served and this plant is over dependent on one customer. Relative benefits: - Extra production if the one extra shift is used, more than one customer would bring a bout security, and solving of the extra space problem may be the important step in increasing the production to a three shift continuous production seven days a week.

2. Performance assessment for P: - Problems: There is again only one major customer, the same shipments have to be made, and there is no storage space for parts or materials. Significance: Only two thirds capacity is used, more than one major customer can be served and dependence on one customer can lead to insecurities of various types. Relative ...

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