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Plant management II

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Describe the following characteristics to be included in the plant management process:

- Medium- and short-term demand forecasting techniques (moving average, etc.)
- Manufacturing planning process (S&OP, etc.)
- Medium- and short-term capacity planning alternatives (master scheduling, MRP, etc.)
- Production activity/shop floor control
- Inventory policies (order quantity/replenishment frequency, etc.)
- Plant/equipment maintenance
- Workforce skill/training requirements
- Techniques to improve operations (TQM, Six sigma, JIT/Kanban, lean/agile, TOC, etc.)
- Metrics to measure plant performance
- Cost
- Quality
- Productivity/efficiency/utilization
- Safety/security
- Other metrics.

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For this research the organization being analyzed is the Dole Food Company, the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Specifically, this research will focus on Dole's fruit manufacturing process that predominately takes place in Hawaii, Central America and the Philippines (Company Spotlight, 2012).

Dole's history spans more than 150 years, having first been founded by James Dole as the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in the mid 1800's, Dole was originally a small fruit growing company in the Hawaii islands. The initial focus of the small company was on pineapple farming but as the company grew in size and popularity James Dole created the Standard Fruit Company which began also producing other fruits such as bananas and strawberries (Dole, 2012).
It was in the mid 1960's that the true potential of the company was being realized and this led to James Dole selling his share in the company to Castle and Cook, a major manufacturing company focused on numerous industries globally. Castle and Cook successfully continued to grow the company into the 90's where they were eventually spun off and the food giant moved its headquarters from Hawaii to California where it remains today (Dole, 2012).

•Alignment with corporate/business-level manufacturing strategy

Today, Dole Foods is recognized as the world's leader in the production of fruits and vegetables for consumption having operations and sales in more than 100 countries across the globe. The largest bulk of Doles success has always been in its fruit manufacturing processes. From its superbly grown pineapples and bananas to its state of the art canning and packaging operations, Dole has been the industry leader in fruit farming and manufacturing for decades (Industry News, 2012).

In 2010, Dole's CEO David Murdock announced that the company was facing some challenging financial times based on an unstable global economy and some other key factors that were impacting the company's ability to meet its sales obligations. This was especially true for its European operations where demand for Dole fruits had tripled in the last decade (PR, 2013).

In response to these trying economic times, Murdock announced a corporate strategy that outlined a fundamental change in the operation strategy of the company. Specifically, there were some major initiatives that were being implemented within the fruit manufacturing division of the business (PR, 2013).

To meet the increasing demands for fruits globally that were being ordered, Murdock announced that Dole intended to streamline the production processes inside of its fruit divisions to enable the farms and production facilities the flexibility needed to react to changes quickly and successfully. Examples of Doles inability to react to natural disasters was noted by Murdock as the company struggled to recover from natural disasters that struck in Central and South America in the form of hurricanes and wiped out much of the crops in the early 21st century (PR, 2013).

Another strategy Murdock announced was to privatize many of the operations within the fruit division and take the control "away from the stock market and place it back with the employee" (Odell, 2012). Murdock's contention was that the continued volatility in the global markets was placing undue stress on manufacturers to meet stock holder profit demands at a greater cost to the company than was necessary. Therefore, Murdock decided to branch off the fruit production divisions into a privately held entity that was wholly owned and controlled by Dole (Odell, 2012).
This meant that beginning in 2011, the Dole fruit divisions were now operating similar to an independent company within the Dole family which gave the company a lot of room to make improvements to its operations and its overall management structure and how it operated to meet the global demands Murdock had alluded to. Manufacturing plants were consolidated and streamlined and the overall marketing strategy to sale the products took on a whole new mission to sale the message of Dole fruits as the healthy alternative to snack foods (Odell, 2012).

•Customers (external and internal)

By taking on healthy food initiatives, the fruit division of Dole and its marketing team were now poised with a whole new set of challenges, specifically, customers. In order to improve sales by marketing the Dole fruit products as a whole and healthy food source, the company had to begin marketing to a completely new set of standards. The focus of the message to the customer now became one of calorie content and health benefit rather than just great taste and fun to eat (Shea, 2012).

To help capture customer's attention with their new healthy food initiatives, Dole made a wise marketing choice to market its healthy fruits to schools across the globe. By focusing on children's health and pushing that message, Dole has been able to capture a whole new segment of its external customer base. So, the external customer focus shifted from predominantly being ...

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The solution discusses plant management.

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