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    One Tuesday morning, your supervisor, Mr. Walters, has assigned you to investigate the product quality issues at the Denver facility. He summarized what little he knows by saying:

    "The Denver facility produces a wide variety of liquid chemical products. Raw materials arrive at the Denver facility by railroad tank car. Most shipments are made in single or multiple compartment semi-trailer tankers.

    * Denver is having problems with delivered product quality
    * Their production systems appear to be out of control at times.
    * There are too many (non-Canbide) vehicles driving through the plant. It does not seem that those drivers are fully aware or observant of the proper safety measures to be followed in case of a plant emergency
    * The Denver community relations office has been getting many complaints from neighborhood residents and from the local police station about trucks blocking the streets in front of the plant, awaiting clearance to enter the plant. The road blockages are usually short lived, but they consistently occur during the morning and late afternoon drive times
    * Our automotive customers are insistent that the laboratory testing report on each SKU accompany each shipment. The Denver laboratory is reportedly very slow in producing those lab reports
    * Trucks carrying noncompliant products have been released from the Denver facility, with a lab report that says the products are non-compliant
    * The plant transportation operations group (dispatching and scheduling) does not know when trucks will arrive at the front gate
    * About 20% of the trucks arrive with no advance notice and with no order on file, but with purchase order in hand
    * Denver periodically runs out of certain products without warning
    * The facility has requested funds to build a new truck scales, but the need has never been justifiable on a cost/benefit basis."

    Please refer to the file, Denver Trip Notes, for details of your visit to the Denver facility.

    Part 1:

    Within your group on the Small Group Discussion Board, conduct a root cause analysis of the various issues that Mr. Walters presented. As you analyze these issues, you will recognize that they to some degree are all inter-related. Discuss how the performance of the various areas impacts one another. Identify and agree upon a reasonable solution(s) to address the problem(s) You will need to work together to come up with mutually agreeable and beneficial solutions.

    Part 2:

    Individually, draft a trip report for Mr. Walters of your group's preliminary recommendations. Be sure to clearly identify the underlying (root)cause of the problems and provide a reasonable and acceptable solution. Since this report is going only to your boss, and not the plant manager, your explanations should be complete and to the point. If possible, you should identify who at the plant should be responsible for implementing the final solutions.

    The trip report should include the following sections: Dispatching, Transportation and Scheduling; Quality Control Laboratory; Production Units and Operational Departments; Product Loading Facilities and Operations; Product Loading of Polyols.

    2 pages

    Please provide references

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    Solution Preview

    Let us each problem, its root causes and the people responsible for it as well as recommendations to resolve these problems.

    ? Denver is having problems with delivered product quality

    This is a serious quality issue related to the Quality Control Laboratory at the Denver Facility and the production units at the Denver Facility. Some of the important observations from the Denver trip helped in identifying the root causes for this important problem. First of all, it has been observed that there is a serious lack of coordination between the various shifts in the production units. The processes followed by each shift are not consistent with one another. Further, there is often overlapping of efforts due to miscommunication leading to poor coordination and thus, poor quality in production of goods. Another important cause of this problem is the overburden on the quality control laboratory with respect to their routine tasks and activities. It has been observed the laboratory employees are overburdened with requests from various departments, thereby often leading to instances where they have to forgo one task for another. For example, the quality check on Work in progress is often given last priority, thus clearly explaining the poor quality of the products being manufactured.

    This problem often results in other regular problems such as production facilities going out of control due to delays in quality check, which will be later discussed in detail. Further, the problem of noncompliant products going out of the facility is also a result of this problem. Further, slow production of lab reports is also a consequence of such serious set of problems within the quality laboratory.

    In order to resolve the issues with product quality, one of the most important changes required by the facility is to hire more employees in the laboratory department and then clearly allocate authorities and responsibilities in the laboratory with respect to various routine and emergency tasks so that every task can be met with utmost efficiency and priority. Further, quality requests should be streamlined and formalized in order to better meet the needs of various production units. In the production unit, there is a serious need to coordinate the various shifts in a better way with respect to communication, production processes and other important issues. Proper protocol and communication methods between various shifts should be established and strict rules should be put in place with respect to maintaining consistency in production processes. Effort should be made to avoid duplication of efforts.

    ? Their production systems appear to be out of control at times.

    The root cause of this problem is the various bottlenecks existing in the Denver Facility, for which almost all the departments are responsible in one way or the other. Confusion and clutter existing in the facility due to improper arrival and departure pattern of trucks, issues within the quality laboratory with respect to proper checking of incoming, outgoing and work in progress materials, poor layout of the production facility, lack of coordination and inconsistency in production processes between various shifts, etc. are all important causes fort this problem. Further, most of the other problems in the facility stem out of this problem. The production units and operational departments, transportation and scheduling department as well as the quality laboratory department are all responsible for this problem.

    One of the major recommendations which will not only help in mitigating and solving this issue but will also help in eradicating the root cause of other severe issues is ...

    Solution Summary

    Need help for identifying dispatching problems by identifying the root causes and a reasonable solution