Earth Buddy (Assigned to Sections 001 and 002, Thursday)
1. How many Earth Buddies can Ben expect to produce in one shift? How many if the factory works two shifts? Three shifts? How many if it operates three shifts a day, seven days a week? Which operation is the bottleneck?
2. If Ben asks his workers to produce at the same rate as the bottleneck operations, how long will each operator be idle during a shift? What would each operator’s utilization be? What is the average utilization of the total system?
3. On average, how long does it take for a typical Earth Buddy to move through the standard process (assuming a three-shift operation)?
4. Anton has just received a large order from Wal-Mart and, while anticipating more orders, has asked Ben to increase production to 4,000 units per day. How should Ben respond if one shift must product the units? Two shifts?
5. Would your response to #4 change if Ben’s workers were cross-trained and able to switch between jobs when otherwise idle? Which, if any, workers would you cross-train?
6. A good customer has arrived at the factory and just made an urgent request for Ben to produce a special Earth Buddy. A “secret” ingredient has to be added to the usual grass seed and sawdust mixture. How long will it take to produce a batch of 25 specials? If the customer must leave the factory in 45 minutes, will Ben have his samples ready in time? Assume that one filling machine, one moulder, one eye installer, the painter, and the two packers can be pre-empted as soon as they are required and can be dedicated to the job.
7. Although no longer a serious problem, it was not uncommon in the firm’s early days to reject 15% of the units. Assuming the defects occurred on or before the filling operation, but were not detected until packing, what was the impact on capacity? Would a special inspection after filling help?
8. Are there any process improvements that you could suggest to Ben?
Benihana (Assigned to Section 003, Wednesday)
1. What is Benihana selling?
2. What are the keys to Benihana’s success? (Compare operating ratios with those of “typical” service restaurants given in Exhibit 1). How do these keys arise?
3. Examine Benihana’s operating system.
a. Draw a diagram of the production process
b. Where are the flows? Where in the process are inventories held?
c. What role does the bar play in the process? Based on the flows through the system, how large should the bar be? Why?
d. What dessert would you offer at Benihana? Why?
e. How does Benihana build process and operational control into its system?
4. Which of its opportunities should the firm now exploit?
5. How do you feel about Benihana’s future? Would you buy its shares?
McLeod Motors LTD
1. Using the inventory purposes (or functions) identify the types of inventory that would be found in organizations for which you have worked and in each of the cases we have studied to date: Necanko, Benihana and McLeod Motors. Functions include: safety stock, pipeline, cycle, anticipatory, and decoupling.
2. In addition to specifying its function, also indicate its form (i.e., raw material, work-in-process, or finished goods). For each inventory function and form, identify what risks are associated with it, what determines how large it should be, what trade-offs are necessary to manage it, and what factors give management flexibility to manage it.
3. Identify each step in the BN-88-55 production process and identify where inventory exists in the system. What function(s) does it serve?
4. How many hours does it take for a batch of BN-88-55s to go through the McLeod manufacturing process (the throughput time)?
5. How much work-in-process inventory of BN-88-55’s predecessors might the company have had before it started producing BN-88-55s? How much BN-88-55 work-in-process inventory could it have now? Why might the inventory level at McLeod have changed? How low could McLeod get it?
6. What action should Sue Reynolds consider taking and what should she tell John Ingram?
Note: The 17 days referred to on page 4 of the case is the time that each batch waits to be processed. This does not include the time required to process the batch.
1. What is your analysis of the cause of the current backlog?
2. Where is the bottleneck in the process?
3. As Dave Wright and/or Kevin Saskiw, what would you recommend?
Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling
1. Draw a process flow chart for beer and spirits manufacturing. How are the beer and whiskey processes similar/different?
2. Calculate the current capacity of Ranger Creek’s plant for beer and spirits and identify the bottlenecks. Comment on your findings.
3. Forecast sales for the 2014 to 2019 period.
4. Discuss the needs for equipment if Ranger Creek is to achieve the forecasted volumes for the 2014 to 2019 period.
MSU Culinary Services
1. The fishbone diagram enables the user to identify the root cause(s) and reduce or eliminate the process variation that affects performance. What is the specific problem statement (or effect) that should be examined?
1. In a small group or team environment, draw a fishbone diagram. Determine the main categories as well as many possible reasons for the process fluctuations or problems. Brainstorm and use the “five why” method by asking why five times to expose possible root cause(s).
1. What is the current demand forecasting method? What are the consequences, if any, when the forecast is inaccurate?
1. Create a demand forecast for hamburgers for next week. Calculate the naïve forecast, the moving average forecast (n=5 days), exponential smoothing (α = 0.2; smoothed statistic for March 31 was 31.5), and linear regression. For the linear regression forecast, assume the food truck is located at The Rock. The forecasted high temperatures are 60°F on Monday, 60°F on Tuesday, 54°F on Wednesday, 51°F on Thursday and 46°F on Friday. The forecasted rainfall for Tuesday is 0.07″ and for Friday is 0.04″. Otherwise, rainfall is projected to be zero.
1. As Paul Finegan or Neal Williamson, recommend the number of patties to load on the truck on Monday, March 31. Why? How would you convince management to follow your recommendations? Develop an action plan.
1. Create a table of the normal approximation of the beef patty demand distribution at the Rock. Use intervals of 10 hamburgers.
1. Analyze the data using the newsvendor problem (a stochastic single-period model). Assume the salvage rate is 95% and that the truck inventory cannot be replenished during the day. Based on your analysis, what conclusions can you draw?
1. Modify your analysis in question #7 so that the salvage rate is 10%. What conclusions do you draw?
1. As Kari Magee, what changes would you implement to improve the inventory management at MSU On-The-Go Food Truck? Develop an action plan.
International Decorative Glass
1. What is IDG’s current operations strategy? How critical is the development of an international supply network?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the three alternatives (China expansion, Canada expansion, Vietnam entry)? Would you consider any other alternatives?
3. Does a joint venture arrangement make sense? Why?
4. As Frank Lattimer, what would you do?
1. As Frank Blake, what is your assessment of Nardelli’s changes at Home Depot? Which had the greatest impact?
2. How did Nardelli’s changes affect profitability, labor productivity, and customer service?
3. What caused the decline in customer service?
1. How has the competitive environment for niche auto manufacturers been changing over the past few years? What factors are affecting the competitiveness of niche manufacturers such as Pininfarina with volume manufacturers in Europe?
2. As Renato Bertrandi, what do you see as the most significant challenges facing Pininfarina over the next five years? What are Pininfarina’s options?
3. Should Bertrandi accept the Mitzubishi business? How should Pininfarina position itself to complete in the future?
1. What is the third way? How is this concept different from outsourcing and vertical integration?
2. How is power managed within the supply chain?
3. Who is the customer?
Make-up Case: TBD
The probing questions for the make-up case, to be discussed during final exam week, will be provided on D2L at about the same time as the directions on which case to buy and how to buy it.