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Production Capacity Requirements

Research a manufacturing organization of your choice, and describe its strategic manufacturing policy. (NOTE: You may choose a private sector or public sector organization; however, more information will be available for a private sector, publicly traded company). Your description should consider long-term issues (1-5 years), and include a discussion of the following topics:

Markets and customers
Suppliers/vendors/supply chain partners
Facilities (plants, distribution centers, etc.)

Describe the following characteristics to be included in the strategic planning process:

Alignment of manufacturing strategy with corporate/business-level strategy
Product/process alternatives (make-to stock, make-to order, etc.)
Inventory policies (service levels, order quantity/frequency, etc.)
Capacity planning alternatives (chase, level, etc.)
Long-range forecasting techniques (quantitative and qualitative)
Make or buy decisions (outsourcing, etc.)
Interfaces/coordination with other business functions (marketing, etc.)
Initiatives to improve operations (continuous improvement, lean/agile, TOC, etc.)
Metrics to measure manufacturing performance
Other metrics

Finally, what manufacturing strategy improvements would you suggest for this organization?

Solution Preview

Step 1
The company is Dell Inc. It is a computer technology company that makes, sells, repairs and supports computers and related products. It has become one of the largest technological corporations in the world. Currently, it is the third largest computer maker in the world.
Markets and customers: The market share of the computer markets is 16.0% HP, 14.8% Lenovo, 10.7% Dell, and 10.4% Acer. These are 2012 figures. The computer markets include the sale of desktop and laptop computers. This includes netbooks but does not contain tablet computers. During the recession of 2008 there was a glut in the demand for PCs and this led to a decline in the demand for PC and price cutting among PC makers. Specifically, Dell accepts its orders through the internet and through telephones. This is direct marketing. In addition, Dell offers sales promotions such as price discounts, and free bonus products such as Dell printers. It also offers free shipping. One of the strongest marketing efforts of Dell is to custom make computers. The computers are made in response to orders and are shipped to the customer.
Suppliers and supply chain management is important for Dell. On one side it helps the company reduce its inventories to a few days inventory. It also helps introduce just in time techniques in its supply chain. On the other hand it uses the supply chain to increase its global reach. It uses a continuous optimization framework. Dell studies the business of its customers and designs supply chain to match its customer requirements. It enables the supply chain capability and stabilities the system so that it will continue to keep working. Dell's supply chain and logistics costs amount to $2 billion every year and serves 13 million unique customers.
Facilities for assembling desktop computers for North American market were in Dell ...

Solution Summary

Dell production and marketing is discussed step-by-step in this solution. The response also has the sources used.