Case Study - Hazel - Bus Operations

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  • Topic: Lawn, Grass, Management
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Case Study #1 – Hazel

BSC 405: Business Operations
Professor Jim Beam
August 5, 2012

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By: Joe Mama| |
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Hazel
Hazel worked for a fortune 500 company for the past 15 years. The company itself has been slow during the down economy of the last few years, but recently things were beginning to turn around. Customer orders were on their way up and quality and productivity have dramatically improved as well. Things were looking pretty good for the company and the employees.

During the down period the company hired a new CEO to turn things around. It came as quite a surprise to Hazel and 400 other workers when he decided to lay them off in an effort to cut costs and downsize the company. Hazel was devastated. Hazel began the search for a new job after the shock of being laid off wore off.

Hazel worked hard at her job search for over eight months with no bites. She was living off of her savings and was quickly running out. In an effort to bring some money in she began cutting her neighbors lawns. This helped to keep her going. She was talking with a neighbor and they mentioned not having any kids around to cut grass. Hazel joked that she would do it and ended up cutting several of her neighbor’s lawns as a result.

She only took on the lawns of five neighbors so she could also concentrate on finding a “real” job in her spare time. As time went on, she piled up more and more rejection letters. She began to consider cutting lawns as a fulltime job and possibly a business. As the scare of being her own boss subsided, she began to take on the lawns of more neighbors. Many of her neighbors began using her services and even moved from using professional services to hers.

Hazel discovered at the end of her first year that she could make a living at this. As time went on, she even began adding other services to her business; weeding, mulching, fertilizing, tree trimming, etc. Her business grew so much she even hired two part-time employees to help. (Stevenson, 2012) 1. (Page 38 – Hazel) In what ways are Hazel’s customers most likely to judge the quality of her lawn care services?

Hazel lives in the community and cuts many of the lawns in her community. She could pass out a few approved addresses to potential clients so they can evaluate her work to help make their decision. 2. Hazel is the operations manager of her business. Among her responsibilities are forecasting, inventory management, scheduling, quality assurance, and maintenance.

What kinds of things would likely require forecasts?
She would need to forecast fuel usage, equipment maintenance, dump fees, and equipment costs at the very least. She would also need to forecast what additional equipment (trucks, trailers, etc) that might be needed as she expands. She would also need to forecast fertilizer timeframes several times a year. A. What inventory items does Hazel probably have? Name one inventory decision she has to make periodically.

Inventory needs would include gasoline, oil, lawn mower replacement blades, fertilizer, weed killer, hand tools, and enough power tools for all of her workers. B. What scheduling must she do? What things might occur to disrupt schedules and cause Hazel to reschedule?

Hazel would need to work up a grass cutting schedule for each house on her list. She would also need to schedule weeding and fertilizing per house and vehicle refueling and maintenance.
Weather can impact her schedules and is probably the biggest impact overall. If it rains one day and all of the houses could not be cut that day, it is possible that they will need to be cut the following day. This would add more work to the remaining days in the week. C. How important is quality assurance to Hazel’s business? Explain.

Quality assurance is huge for Hazel’s business. It is probably the number one thing that will keep her successful in her business. There...
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