Acetate Department Case Analysis

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The old acetate department located in an old four storey building follows a workflow that is heavily based on shifts/rotations because production is based on a per batch basis. A typical shift, the group leader and his crew would complete two or three batches. The night shift usually has lesser work because no deliveries were made.

In the new system, the management wants to improve productivity. The department was redesigned from batches to continuous processing. Technical changes allowed the department to reduce its workforce due to acquisition of machines. The new system expects an increase in production capacity to 25 million pound per year. There was also an increase in pay for the remaining employees. No one was dismissed, but other employees were transferred to other departments in the company. With the new system being implemented, the anticipated increase in actual production did not materialize and is still close to what the old technology was producing. Absenteeism is also causing setbacks and substantial losses resulted from several judgmental errors by operators.

Point of View
Department Head is the overall in-charge. He sees the changes or problems that hinder the progress of acetate department

Statement of Problem
Why didn't the department's innovations improve output and performance? How can the New System of Acetate Department be effective?


1.To eliminate judgmental errors by operators in a month.
2.To achieve zero absenteeism in the next three months.
3.To increase actual output in six months.

Areas for Consideration

1.Force Field Analysis
-A useful technique for looking at all the forces for and against a decision. The Analysis will be used in order to identify the problems that hinder the new system in the Acetate Department to work.

Forces against change:Forces for change:
Total: 15 Total: 12

To help eliminate errors (- 2 points), additional seminars or refresher training can be conducted (+ 2 on training). Less supervision (-2) can be addressed by bringing back a group leader to train and supervise the employees (+2 on training). Absenteeism (-1) can be addressed by providing additional bonus to the employees with perfect attendance (+1 on employee rewards and benefits). These changes would swing the balance from 15:12(in favor of the forces against the change) to 10:17 (in favor of the change).

2.Traditional Approaches to the Measurement of Organizational Effectiveness of the New System

Goal Approach
-Consists of identifying an organization’s output goals and assessing how well the organization has attained goals.

IndicatorsNew System
Market ShareYes
Social ResponsibilityYes

Profitability- the positive gain from business operations
Market share- the proportion of the market the firm is able to capture relative to competitors Growth-the ability of an organization to increase its sales, profits, or client base over time Social Responsibility-how well the organization serves the interests of society as well as itself.

*With an increased capacity in the new system, it is expected that the company will earn more profits unfortunately actual output is below capacity and production is identical to that of the old system.

Resource-based Approach
-Looks at the input side of the transformation process. It assumes organizations must be successful in obtaining and managing valued resources in order to be effective.

IndicatorsNew System
Bargaining PositionNo
The abilities of the organization's decision makers to perceive and correctly interpret the real properties of the external environmentYes The abilities of the managers to use tangible(supplies, people) and intangible (knowledge, corporate culture) resources in day-to-day org activities to achieve superior performanceNo The ability of the organization to respond the changes in the environmentYes

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