Forefront Manufacturing

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Forefront Wood Products is a producer of high quality wooden door-sets based in China. The company faces significant operations issues resulting from its processes and culture. As a consequence, the company struggles to be profitable. Forefront’s parent company, The Forefront Holding plans an initial public offering (IPO) in 2007. To solve all the problems and to prepare the company for the upcoming IPO, Forefront hired a new operations manager with the task to turn the factory around. During his first weeks on the job, the new operations manager found many serious problems in the manufacturing facilities, production processes, and within the workforce mentality. In addition, Forefront had significant problems with high costs, unreported defects, equipment that fails, and an overall inefficient supply chain management.

Issues at Forefront Manufacturing

Forefront Manufacturing´s business concept was to build and deliver large orders of doors. In my point of view, Forefront has its core problems in the field of supply chain management, company culture, and maintenance standards. The supply chain is the path which the company’s product takes from concept to the customers. All businesses are under pressure to make their supply chains more efficient and optimization is essential for accomplishing this goal. With supply chain optimization, a company can break down the boundaries that have separated supply chain participants from each other. In Forefronts case, the entire supply chain process seemed unorganized and full of problems.

Starting with the raw materials that Forecast was obtaining from suppliers from Europe and North America is in my point of view a disadvantage. The delivery took about two to three month. This method could work if a company has an organized supply chain management. However, in Forefront case was not much time between a customer order and the required start of deliveries. So, the engineers had to work out production...
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