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    Facilities problems

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    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 (on the Small Group Discussion Board) 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.

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    Solution Preview

    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 benefits of solving the problems: First, if the space problem is solved then there can be bulk purchases made for the supply of accessory parts to S. Second, if there is increased production there can be a second customer to service and the profitability would increased. Thirdly the insecurities with there being only one customer can be reduced.

    3 Performance assessment for S: -Problems: This is the bottleneck which is reducing the total production of the three units put together. In particular it is the stamping and molding departments that form the bottlenecks for the entire production facility for the three units. The assembly department has excess capacity. In the stamping department there is time required to change over from one production to another and there is time required to change the molds which have to be removed for cleaning, maintenance ...