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Production Planning and Quality Management for Manychip

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Manychip, Inc., is a specialty memory chip manufacturer located in Southern California with manufacturing plants located in the United States, Europe, Singapore, and Japan. Additionally, Manychip has branch sales offices located in major metropolitan areas across the globe. The market for Manychip's six key products included original equipment manufacturers of personal computers, cellular telephone manufacturers, electronics distributors, and government organizations. The market environment for Manychip's products is extremely volatile, with fluctuating demand and rapidly changing prices. The company uses short term contracts (less than one month) and spot pricing for irregular customers. Internally, the operation is capital-intensive, with depreciation running approximately $1.2 million per day (depreciation has an impact on revenue streams). The six key products had further specialized components, making the possible line mix total 24 distinct products. Further, the manufacturing process required high manufacturing lead times and various product yields. In the high technology memory arena, product life cycles were dramatically shortened because of rapid obsolescence. To coordinate the manufacturing activity, Manychip has an established process and system that helped optimize resource utilization, improve shop floor efficiencies, and manage customer demand.

Manychip is experiencing 10-15% growth in revenues and volume, primarily tied to increased worldwide demand, product type, and market variables. Most significantly, the company received a major pre-order for a new cellular phone memory chip that's schedule to come out in three months. This pre-order is scaled for up to 10 million units and management is concerned the existing process and system may not be suitably optimized for this order. Additionally, the forecast in sales figures for all six key product lines is higher than it has been in the past. With the increase in volume, management is concerned about the quality management process as well-can the existing processes maintain the highest degree of quality needed?

As a new member of the Production Planning Management staff, you'll be expected to help develop strategies to support the expanded growth plans. Your team faces several fundamental issues. First, are the individual plant layouts conducive to the expanded growth expected by the company? Second, are individual plant layouts optimized for the most efficient performance and lowest cost? Third, is the existing supply chain interaction among all the various components optimized in the same manner individual layouts are expected to be optimized? Finally, your group must consider capacity planning and workflow to ensure the company can meet its contractual obligations with the maximum revenue and profitability.Manychip currently uses information systems developed by the company to conduct production planning. You believe that a fully integrated enterprise resource planning tool or specific production planning software would better suit the company in light of its upcoming increase in production.

Using course materials and other resources, research and identify potential software applications with consideration for the following:

1) Should Manychip use an ERP package or specific manufacturing production planning utilities?
2) What are the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action?
3) Identify the candidate pool of software you considered for selection, select a single product, and justify your reasoning.

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In my opinion, for a large organization like Manychip which is experiencing tremendous growth in all its business segments/product lines and needs to gear up to meet future demand, a comprehensive ERP software especially designed for manufacturing organizations like Manychip and covering various aspects of the business such as production planning, supply chain management and accounting should be chosen instead of specific manufacturing production planning utilities.

The primary advantage of choosing such comprehensive ERP package for the entire organization is that it will be able to resolve all the interrelated issues and problems of Manychip and will be able to provide tremendous boost to coordination, efficiency, productivity, quality and cost-cutting measures within the organization. It will eliminate or at least minimize all the chaos associated with such tremendous growth in demand. If the specific manufacturing planing production utilities will be chosen, it will not be able to integrate the various elements of the company and will require lot more coordination and efforts in the long run to sustain such individual planning tools. On the other hand, the comprehensive ERP tool will standardize all the activities in the organization by providing a common tool to each department and employee in the ...

Solution Summary

In my opinion, a comprehensive ERP software especially designed for manufacturing organizations like Manychip should be chosen for specific manufacturing production planning utilities. This solution discusses the benefits to firms from implementing an ERP package, identifies some of the drawbacks, and lists and discusses several software options for the company. 770 words.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Production Planning and Quality Management: Forecasting Techniques for Manychip

As the company prepares to meet demand and capacity requirements for its planned future growth, you've been asked to review the current forecasting strategy and help implement a new strategic plan for forecasting demand. The new forecasting plan ties directly to the overall strategic planning methodology established by the company. The company historically has used a time series method. The forecasting methods under consideration are the following:

Qualitative: human judgment, usually best used when little data is available

Simulation: the use of computer models or judgment to imitate customer behavior

Causal: used when there is a direct tie between demand and an environmental factor, such as cold weather

Time series: the use of historical data to predict future needs

Using course materials and other research:

1. Identify which forecasting technique or multiple techniques should be used in the future for Manychip's strategy. Are there other techniques available that are not listed above?
2. Explain the technique you identify and give an example of how it is used in the manufacturing, retail, and health care industries.
3. Detail if one of the four techniques listed above should NOT be used and why.
4. Evaluate the significance of forecasting error for the technique or techniques you have selected. What is the impact of error on your chosen technique.


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