PRODUCTIVITY AND PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

Assignment Overview

Case: The Excellent Manufacturing Company & Productivity

Note:Click the following link for information on the Excellent Manufacturing Company (EMC). You will find information on(A) EMC—Background Information; (B) Product Brochure; (C) Plasti-Brack Information; (D) Manufacturing Processes; (E) Basic Financial Information about EMC; (F) Organizational Chart; (G) Plant Layout

Scenario

Company E-Mail

FROM: Gerald Garcia

SUBJECT: Annual Productivity Plan

The Plasti-Brack product line is an important part of our business and with your qualifications, I am looking for some good things to happen with these products.

I am announcing the annual productivity plan and goal, which is for EMC to improve productivity this year by 5% overall. I am asking each manager to develop a productivity plan for their areas. This plan is to identify areas of productivity, the productivity measurements, and provide a plan for how the productivity will be accomplished.

I want you to consider using this multi-factor productivity measure: (Total Production of Plasti-Bracks) / (Total Paid Labor Hours). Using the most recent data available, this Productivity Measure is 332.73 pieces produced per paid people hours, for Plasti-Brack. You can review the detailed data to see how I determined this measurement. A 5% increase translates to 349.37 pcs/pd ppl hr.

You can plan on a 3% to 5% increase in demand for the next year.

Here is the data that has been collected and analyzed for the Productivity Index for Plasti-Brack.

Note:There is a lot of non-production time. I am sure we can eliminate some of this and convert it into productive use.

Given this overall productivity measure and the 5% goal, you should consider your next steps. First, do an assessment of the current situation. Then determine other subordinate productivity indices or factors that will be measured in your area of responsibility. What are the main issues and concerns about improving productivity this year? What are some of the possible processes that should be considered for process re-engineering or “lean” analysis? What improvements do you plan on making, and how will they achieve the 5% productivity goal?

Please do this analysis for your area. You should consult with the production managers as necessary. I want a report that provides an assessment of productivity measures and process improvement issues for the Plasti-Brack product line and related production processes. Your report should include the following sections: Review of the Current Situation, Goals & Objectives, Action Plans, and Explanation/Justification.

Since you are new to EMC, your report also should include a process flow diagram of several key Plasti-Brack processes. (See Section C: Plasti-Brack Information, Figure 2.)

I will be looking for your report in the next several weeks. Thank you. ~GG

PS– I know you are new to EMC and you may not be familiar with how we write reports. So I have attached a copy of a blank report template that I would like you to use: Report Template for Case Assignments.

And I also have attached a copy of a report that was done awhile back by Manny Jones. It is a report providing a plan to solve a big problem we were having in the Zinc Die Cast Machine Group. It is not about productivity, so you will need to taylor your report with appropriate content that I am looking for. Manny Jones Sample Report

Case Assignment

Analyze the processes that are used to produce the Plasti-Brack product line. Determine appropriate productivity measures and then develop a productivity & process improvement plan. Justify your plan. Write a report to the VP of Operations.

Assignment Expectations

  • Use the information provided in the Background readings. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
  • Review the information about the Excellent Manufacturing Company and become familiar with the products and processes.
  • Analyze the processes and determine productivity measures for the various processes.
  • Determine a plan for improving productivity via process improvement and lean thinking.
  • Justify your plan based on the concepts of process improvement.

READ the information provided by the resources and references on the Background page. Understand the theory and concept of productivity, productivity measures, process improvement, productivity improvement, and lean manufacturing.

Study the information about the Plasti-Brack product line. Understand the manufacturing processes and the Productivity Measurement that G. Garcia is using. Look for ways to Increase OUTPUTS and/or Decrease INPUTS (paid people hours).

NOTE: If you use the references provided in the Background, you do not need to include a Reference section. If you do decide to use additional references, then you need to cite them and include them in a Reference section.

The report should be 4–5 pages and submitted by the Module 1 due date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 1 – SLP

PRODUCTIVITY AND PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

In this Session Long Project you will be able to use your creativity. You will choose a specific type of non-manufacturing business from the list below. You will use this business type and create your own organization around it. In each SLP module you will create issues about the specific Operations Management topic and discuss these issues and how you would solve them.

NOTE: When choosing your business, you need to consider that it will meet the criteria for ALL SLP assignments.

It must use inventories (Module 2), requires some effort to achieve quality (Module 3), and have the ability to expand its capacity (Module 4).

Session Long Project

Choose one of the following types of service organizations: hospital, car repair, computer repair, generic family restaurant, generic convenience store (could be a franchised store), or another organization type with Instructor Approval.

Create/Invent a company of this type. Be creative. Make this company real. Generate some numbers that specify the productivity.

Identify several key processes in a process flow diagram. (To see an example of a process flow diagram, see Section C: Plasti-Brack Information, Figure 2.)

  • Identify and discuss at least three productivity issues that this company faces. Include the various productivity ratios that would be calculated. Generate some numbers indicating the current level of productivity.
  • Identify and discuss how this company would deal with improving its productivity.
  • Discuss the key processes and how these processes would be analyzed.
  • What are some ways the processes could be improved?
  • Discuss concepts and ideas from process improvement and lean thinking.

This paper should be approximately 3–5 five pages in length counting the introduction, body, and summary. You should include references and cite them properly in the paper. Generally, at least three references should be used. Find references about productivity in your type of business. Use ProQuest. Also check IBISWorld available through the TUI library.

INVENTING YOUR COMPANY FOR THE SLP

The SLP project in this course requires that you INVENT your own non-manufacturing company. This is your company, so be inventive and creative. USE YOUR IMAGINATION!

First, make sure that it follows the guidelines specified in SLP1 – it should have some type of inventories so that you can do SLP2.

The most important aspect of inventing your company is determining the key PROCESSES. What is the work being done to provide your services to your customers? What are the repetitive processes of obtaining the materials, supplies, etc., and moving them through the company via processes to generate the outputs?

Also, consider that the business does not have to be a new startup. It works better if you invent a company that has been in business for a while. You should generate some numbers for your business. You can’t operate a business without doing the numbers. How big is it? How many customers, how many employees, what is the sales volume, what are the costs, etc. If you spend time early in SLP1 and invent the company with some numbers, you will find it easier as you move through the other SLPs.

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • First discuss some background about your company. You can give it a name. How big is the organization – people, size, etc.? What is its mission? Who are its customers?
  • Then identify at least one area of concern for productivity. Identify at least three productivity measures. While it is not required, if you want, you can also create some numbers and show the calculation of the productivity measures.
  • Identify the key processes. What are the steps involved in the processes? Do the processes interact?
  • What are some possible ways that these processes could be improved for productivity? Consider how you can produce more output and/or reduce the inputs, so that you can increase productivity.
  • What are some problems or issues that you might encounter as you attempt to change the processes? How could you overcome these problems/issues?

Review all of the resources for this module. Use them to help you create/invent issues about productivity and processes and how you would improve.

You should look for additional references about the type of business you are operating with specific information about improving processes and productivity.

Example

Would you like to see an example? Click to see an example based on a Ford Dealership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 2 – Case

INVENTORY

Assignment Overview

Case: The Excellent Manufacturing Company & Inventory

Note:Click the following link for information on the Excellent Manufacturing Company (EMC). You will find information on(A) EMC—Background Information; (B) Product Brochure; (C) Plasti-Brack Information; (D) Manufacturing Processes; (E) Basic Financial Information about EMC; (F) Organizational Chart; (G) Plant Layout

COMPANY EMAIL

FROM: Gerald Garcia

SUBJECT: Inventory Project

I am looking over your productivity and process improvement plan. I can see that you put some effort into it.

I want to put in writing what we discussed the other day about inventory issues in the Plasti-Brack product line. I want you to do a thorough analysis of the inventory situation in the processes that generate these products. I want you to use your expertise and knowledge about inventory operations to determine a plan for improving the flow of the product, holding down inventories and costs, and making sure that we are accurate in our inventory records. Your analysis and plan will be used as a pilot and example for the other product managers to follow. So I am looking for an exemplary report with your plan, recommendations and justification.

Be sure to use the same report template that I provided in the first assignment.

Let me know if you have any questions as you proceed. Thanks.

–GG

Case Assignment

Analyze the inventories that are used to produce the Plasti-Brack product line. Determine an appropriate plan for improving the inventory situation. Justify your plan. Write a report to the VP of Operations. Use the Report Template provided. Consult EMC Financial Info for COGS and the Notes about Inventory at EMC.

Assignment Expectations

  • Use the information provided in the Background readings. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
  • Review the Notes at the Excellent Manufacturing Company and become familiar with the various inventories for the Plasti-Brack product line.
  • Analyze the inventories including the raw material inventories, work-in-process, and finished goods. How could you apply the EOQ method? What are the implications of process set-up times?
  • Determine and discuss other inventory issues that you think are occurring in the processes for the Plasti-Brack product line, i.e., direct and indirect (overhead) costs, inventory turns, inventory accuracy, and inventory storage and movement.
  • Determine a plan for improving the inventory situation in the Plasti-Brack product line.
  • Justify your plan based on the concepts of inventory management.

READ the information provided by the resources and references on the Background page. Understand the theory and concept of inventory, inventory turns, EOQ, and Lean.

Study the information about the Plasti-Brack product line and inventories. Understand the EOQ formula and how it can be used to reduce the shop order quantities. Calculate the current Inventory Turns. Estimate how much you can increase turns by using the EOQ. Determine other ways you can improve inventory management.

NOTE: If you use the references provided in the Background, then you do not need to include a References section. If you do decide to use additional references, then you need to cite them and include them in a References section.

The report should be 3–4 pages and submitted by the Module 2 due date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 2 – SLP

INVENTORY

SLP2 is focused on inventory management in your company.

Session Long Project

Continue using your fictitious company from SLP1 and continue to develop the company profile and operating information.

Identify how your company uses inventory. What are three different inventories of products or supplies that the company maintains? What do you think is the total amount of inventory on average that is maintained in comparison to the annual income of the company? What do you think are some key methods that your company could use to manage and track inventory, e.g. technology systems, and/or lean methods?

This paper should be approximately 3–5 pages in length counting the intro, body, and summary. You should include references and cite them properly in the paper. Generally, at least three references should be used.

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • First discuss the recap your company and add any additional information about it that will add necessary and/or interesting information as background to the discussion of inventory.
  • Then identify at least three different inventory types based on the products, supplies, or other materials needed, used, or provided to the customer. Note: capital equipment (machines or fixtures used to provide services) are not inventory. The cost of this equipment is depreciated and included in the overhead costs of providing the service.
  • Determine the average value of the total inventory maintained by the company and how this compares to the annual gross income of the company. Discuss inventory turns and overhead costs if something is produced for inventory.
  • What are the key issues or problems with inventory, such as accuracy of inventory records, maintaining, storing, moving and controlling inventory, assuring quality from suppliers, getting on time deliveries, etc.
  • Discuss the key methods that the company uses or could use to manage and track inventory, e.g. technologies, methodologies, etc. And how does the company attempt to solve its inventory issues.
  • Look into similar companies for comparable inventory turns.

Review all of the resources for this module. Use them to help you create/invent issues about inventory and how you would improve.

You should look for additional references about the type of business you are operating with specific information about improving inventory operations.

Example

Would you like to see an example? Click to see an example based on a Ford Dealership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 3 – Case

QUALITY MANAGEMENT & SIX SIGMA

Assignment Overview

Case: The Excellent Manufacturing Company and Quality Management & Six Sigma

Note:Click the following link for information on the Excellent Manufacturing Company (EMC). You will find information on(A) EMC—Background Information; (B) Product Brochure; (C) Plasti-Brack Information; (D) Manufacturing Processes; (E) Basic Financial Information about EMC; (F) Organizational Chart; (G) Plant Layout

Scenario

Company E-Mail

FROM:Gerald Garcia

SUBJECT: Quality Improvements

The new Quality Manager begins shortly. We need to be ready when she arrives.

I want each Product Manager to review the quality situation in the processes that are used for their product lines. In particular, I want a plan on how to implement process capability, process control charts, and Six Sigma. Which processes should we start with and how do we proceed?

Also, what problems do you know about regarding the incoming raw materials and purchased parts? What would you suggest for improving the quality of these?

Finally, I want you to provide your assessment of implementing a TQM program and/or going for ISO9000 certification. What do you recommend based on your specific department and EMC overall?

Be sure to use the Report Template I provided in the first assignment.

I will look for your report in about two weeks.

Let me know if you have any questions as you proceed. Thanks. ~GG

Case Assignment

Analyze the quality situation in the processes that are used to produce the Plasti-Brack product line. Determine an appropriate plan for implementing a quality plan and improving the quality situation. Justify your plan and make recommendations regarding TQM and ISO9000. Write a report to the VP of Operations. Use the Report Template provided. Review Notes about Quality at EMC.

Assignment Expectations

  • Use the information provided in the Background readings. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
  • Review the notes about quality at the Excellent Manufacturing Company and become familiar with the various quality issues for the Plasti-Brack product line.
  • Analyze the possibilities of doing process capability studies and implementing statistical process control. How would you implement these?
  • How would a six sigma program be utilized in your area? How would you utilize certified Blackbelts and Greenbelts?
  • Read the background readings about TQM and ISO9000 and determine your recommendations for the Plasti-Brack process and EMC in general.
  • Determine a plan for implementing quality in the Plasti-Brack product line.
  • Justify your plan based on the concepts of capacity management.

READ the information provided by the resources and references on the Background page. Understand the theory and concept of Quality management, process capability, process charting, TQM, ISO9000, and Six Sigma.

Study the information about the Plasti-Brack product line and its quality issues. Determine the current quality problems facing Plasti-Brack products. How can you use various quality tools to improve quality? What can you do to assist the new Quality Manager in implementing TQM, ISO9000, and/or Six Sigma?

NOTE: If you use the references provided in the Background, then you do not need to include a References section. If you do decide to use additional references, then you need to cite them and include them in a References section.

The report should be 3–4 pages and submitted by the module due date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 4 – Case

SOLVING A COMPLEX PROBLEM BASED UPON CAPACITY PLANNING AND FORECASTING

Assignment Overview

Case: The Excellent Manufacturing Company & a Complex Operations Problem

Note:Click the following link for information on the Excellent Manufacturing Company (EMC). You will find information on(A) EMC—Background Information; (B) Product Brochure; (C) Plasti-Brack Information; (D) Manufacturing Processes; (E) Basic Financial Information about EMC; (F) Organizational Chart; (G) Plant Layout

Scenario

Company E-Mail

FROM:Gerald Garcia

SUBJECT:Major Issue pertaining to customer orders backlog

As we discussed the other day with Philip Lesh, the Director of Materials, we have begun to experience a growing backlog of customer orders in the Plasti-Brack product line.

For the last two to three months apparently we have had a slow creep-up of order backlog in the MLD250 department, specifically the Plasti-Brack molding group. It seems that we now have a 5 to 6 week backlog which is entirely unacceptable to our customers. As you know, our customers have been accustomed to getting orders shipped almost immediately or within a week of placing their orders. So now they don’t like to have to wait. William Graham and I think that this could possibly adversely affect our business since these items are so popular.

It is my opinion that we need more capacity in Machine Group 251. As you know, we have four 250-Ton plastic injection molding machines which run these six parts. However, lately one of the machines seems to be experiencing excessive downtime. There also seems to be some tool wear causing low productivity. I suggest you talk to Philip Lesh to get more details on the order backlog and his scheduling system. Talk to Tom Gunner in Engineering or one of his Manufacturing Engineers about the machines and tools. And you should also check with Robert Weir and someone in the Plastic Injection Molding area about the tools. And while you are talking with Robert, ask him about his opinion of capacity. Ask Philip Lesh his opinion as well.

What I expect you to do consists of three main activities: 1) check out our capacity problem. See what we need to do to increase capacity. There is a capital budget available for the MLD2500 group – see Harvey Lund for more details. 2) We have to get our delivery time down to acceptable levels – see Philip Lesh for the details. 3) And while you are at, see what you can do to improve productivity and lower our costs. I expect your report in about two weeks with your recommendations and justification.

Be sure to use the Report Template I provided in the first assignment.

Let me know if you have any questions as you proceed. Thanks. ~GG

As a result of this assignment, you have investigated over several days and taken some notes. Click to see your notes.

Case Assignment

Analyze the situation in the Plasti-Brack product line. Diagnose the problem and possible solutions to the capacity and order backlog. Determine an appropriate plan for correcting the problem. Justify your plan and make recommendations using your knowledge of productivity, process improvement, inventory, capacity, forecasting, and quality. Write a report to the VP of Operations. Use the Report Template provided.

Assignment Expectations

  • Use the information provided in the Background readings from Module 1 through Module 4. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
  • Review your backlog notes from your investigation about the Excellent Manufacturing Company and the various opinions, policies and data surrounding this backlog issue for the Plasti-Brack product line.
  • Explore the possibilities of spending some of the capital budget on machines and or tools. Also consider improving setup time, improving quality, increasing capacity, and determining EOQs.
  • Determine a plan for solving this problem in the Plasti-Brack product line. Consider there may be both a short-term solution and a long-term solution.
  • Analyze the capacities including the rates of production, the amount of physical space and needs for equipment and people. At what level of capacity are these processes operating? What are some of the possible bottlenecks?
  • What impact does the forecast have on future capacity needs? What are the implications if the forecast is inaccurate (too high or too low?)
  • What are some possible ways of increasing capacity and what are the implications for the short term and long term such as costs and investment in capital?

Read and review all of the references and resources on productivity, processes, inventory, quality, and capacity.

Study your notes carefully to obtain all of the important information about this problem. Think through this situation carefully and determine how all of the various operations ideas interact with each other to make this a complex problem.

NOTE: If you use the references provided in the Background, then you do notneed to include a References section. If you do decide to use additional references, then you need to cite them and include them in a References section.

The report should be 3–5 pages, and submitted by the module’s due date.

 

 

Module 4 – SLP

SOLVING A COMPLEX PROBLEM BASED UPON CAPACITY PLANNING AND FORECASTING

Session Long Project

Using your fictitious company from previous SLP assignments, develop the company profile and operating information.

Your company is faced with an increase in demand.

Identify how your company uses forecasting for purposes of capacity planning and how you can utilize productivity, inventory control, and quality improvements to meet this new demand. Identify different kinds of capacity and capacity constraints. How is forecasting used to generate short-term and long-term information about demand that affects capacity? What are some options that the company has in terms of increasing its capacity?

NOTE: in retail businesses with physical locations where customers are served, capacity can be measured in terms of size of the facility and throughout of customers. What is your current Max Possible throughput – how many customers can you serve with your current capacity? Often there is a trade-off in size of the facility for backroom inventory or kitchen, displaying inventory to customers or seating, and customer space such as aisles and checkouts or bar space and waiting areas. You should consider all of these in your capacity analysis.

This paper should be approximately 3–5 pages in length counting the introduction, body, and summary. You should include references and cite them properly in the paper. Generally, at least three references should be used.

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • First discuss the recap your company and add any additional information about it that will add necessary and/or interesting information as background to the discussion of capacity and forecasting.
  • Identify at least two types of capacity and the constraints that act on them now and in the future.
  • Discuss the types of forecasting methods that your company uses. How do they generate short-term and long-term demand forecasts?
  • Besides using the forecasts for capacity planning, are there other uses of these forecasts?
  • Determine and discuss some options that the company has in terms of relaxing or eliminating constraints and increasing capacity in the two areas you have identified. Which of these options would you recommend and why?

Read and review all of the references and resources on productivity, processes, inventory, quality, and capacity.

You should look for additional references about the type of business you are operating with specific information about improving capacity and using forecasting.

Example:

Would you like to see an example? Click to see an example based on a Ford Dealership.

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