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Critical Path to Understand Performance Issues

There are 12 distinct operations involved in processing and shipping orders. Some can be performed at the same time as others, whereas others have to be performed in sequence- meaning, once can not take place before the other is completed.

Based on the information provided below, analyze the order-processing and shipping operations. Review the supplied data below and then answer the questions.
**Note - When reviewing the chart you will notice that PRECEDENCE (P) RELATIONSHIPS has a ** beside it, the explanation for this area is as follows:
(Tasks on the right of the < cannot begin until tasks on the left are completed)

Task Description Duration (in days) P Relationships**

A Order received / Entered in system 0.25 A < D
B Decision, Fill from Warehouse OR
Direct ship from factory 0.50 B < C
C Print pick ticket / order 0.30 C < H
D Verify customer credit 0.35 D < G,E
E Check / determine buyer discounts 0.15 E < F
F Prepare invoice, enter in accts. receivable 1.00 F < K
G Decision - mode of shipment and carrier 1.65 G < J
H Pick order at warehouse 0.75 H < I
I Pack and label shipment 1.20 I < L
J Notify carrier, prepare shipping documents 2.25 J < L
K Transmit copy of invoice to shipping dock 1.20 K < L
L Transport order to customer 3.50

1. Arrange the tasks as shown above into cycle paths. HINT there are 3 path possibilities
2. Identify the critical path?
3. Which path is the quickest to complete?
4. Considering your answers to questions 1 and 2 which path offers the best opportunities for reducing the order / ship processing cycle? Why?
5. Since speed to the customer is the issue, should you source faster transportation or look at the identified paths for improvements?
6. Realizing the chart doesn't tell you how many workers are assigned to each task; are there any tasks that could be identified for reducing the number of employees assigned to them and if so where would you reassign them to?

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Solution Preview

I have created the chart for you (very basic) in Word and answered questions as guide. I did not give complete answers to 4,5,6 because these ...

Solution Summary

A critical path is created and then analyzed through answering specific questions about the chart. I did not give complete answers to 4,5,6 because these are areas of analysis where the real answers may vary dependent on class focus. Response includes a Word document.

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