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Operations Management: Innovation and Lean Manufacturing

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1. What aspects of Google's approach to innovation can be seen at Libbey Glass Company and Westinghouse Electric Company? The first of the three key principles Google followed was focus on the user. Google felt if you focused on the user, everything else will fall into place (Chaffey, 2012). The second priniciple was it is best to do one things and do it really well.
2. Of the seven attributes of quality which are most related to Libbey and why?
3. What are the reasons for inventory?
4. What are some key programs in lean manufacturing?
5. Why would a company put in quality improvement program or just-in-time system before lean manufacturing?

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1. What aspects of Google's approach to innovation can be seen in Libbey and Westinghouse.

The first of the three key principles Google followed was focus on the user. Google felt if you focused on the user, everything else will fall into place (Chaffey, 2012). The second principle was it is best to do one thing and do it really well. The last of Google's principles to innovation is "You can make money without doing evil" (Chaffey, 2012).

Libbey Glass operates under similar tenets. For years, the Libbey Glass Company focused solely on glass, from cut glass to window glass, containers and bottles. By focusing on one product type the company was better able to be a product specialist and a market leader. In recent years, the company has acquired other companies that include the manufacture of ceramic dinnerware, metal flatware and plastic items, still focusing on table and home goods. As a result, the Libbey Glass ware is a leading producer of tableware products. It is obvious in pursuing the Libbey Glass website they are focused on the customer's needs, offering serving suggestions for their products, as well as gift ideas. One of the company's key values is to "understand the customer and generate customer enthusiasm" (Libbey Glass, 2012). In addition, the company appears to be focused on doing the right thing (another way of saying "making money without doing evil") by having a strong Code of Business Ethics and Conduct Statement, focused on acting with integrity (Libbey Glass, 2012).

Westinghouse Electric Company also focuses on the user, providing power to consumers. It is constantly innovating to please the customer more (holding more than 28,00 US government patents). The company focuses on power, and does an extremely good job of it, having been selected for at least 14 new plants in the U.S. The third Google principle, to make money without doing evil can be seen in the company's initiative called "Customer 1st" in which the company works on reducing waste, errors in production, and improving the product it produces. The results of this program include better results, thus higher profits. This equates to making money without doing evil.

Chaffey, D. (2012). Google mission. Retrieved from http://www.davechaffey.com/E-commerce-Internet-marketing-case-studies/Google-case-study.
Libbey Glass. (2012). Overview. Retrieved from ...

Solution Summary

This solution compares Google's approach to innovation to Libbey Glass Company and Westinghouse Electric Company, as well as determining which of the seven attributes of quality most relate to Libbey, the reasons for inventory, key programs in lean manufacturing, and why a company would put a quality improvement program or just in time system in before lean manufacturing. APA formatted references are included.

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Operations Management Questions: Technology, layout, capacity, MRP, productivity

1- Technology has greatly impacted the world of Operations Management. Discuss some of the potential risks and benefits associated with implementing new technology into an organization.

2- We are living in a rapidly changing global economy. As a result, organizations are being forced to make changes in order to stay competitive. Some businesses have chosen to convert from traditional manufacturing processes to a lean manufacturing environment. What does this mean? How do the two systems differ? What are some of the advantages of using lean manufacturing?

3- Layout decisions can greatly impact productivity, costs, safety, and quality. What are the 3 main types of layouts? Briefly describe each type and explain some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with each type. How can the layout help or hinder productivity?

4- Suppose you are the operations manager for a company. The company has just received a large order for a non-perishable product during its already busy season. As the company now stands, it does not have the capacity to fulfill this order. What options does the company have to try to complete the order? Which is the best alternative? What are the costs involved? Should the company accept the order or tell the customer it cannot meet its needs?

5- Material Requirements Planning (MRP) helps to ease the process of calculating inventory and scheduling needs. What is MRP? What are the three major inputs to MRP? What does MRP calculate? Suppose the Bill of Materials for a finished good is inaccurate. What problems does this pose? Provide an example.

6- A firm that manufactures tables has recently noticed a decline in productivity and is therefore, becoming less efficient. The product remains unchanged, yet the completed items per shift has declined. What are some potential causes to the decline in productivity? What can the firm do to bring productivity and efficiency back to its original rate?

Provide sources.

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