From: Kristie Bowman
Subject: Gate Turnaround at Southwest Airlines
Date: February 27, 2013
Capacity planning is a necessary function of an organization to ensure that the highest rate of output is reached through the current processes taking place within an organization. These strategically defined processes must have the ability to provide flexibility to meet future capacity demand, whether due to opportunity growth or adjustments to make decreases to maximize profits. “Capacity decisions related to a process need to be made in light of the role the process plays within the organization and the supply chain as a whole, because changing the capacity of a process will have an impact on other processes in the chain” (Krajewski, Ritzman, & Malhotra, 2013, pg. 220). The purpose of capacity planning is to provide an effective flow of procedures to produce completion of the chain from order to delivery.
Long-term capacity planning is also an essential part of strategic operations management and is vital to the success of an organization. Operations managers must be prepared for fluctuations that may occur at any given time. In planning and implementing a capacity strategy, multiple factors must be considered to provide flexibility to make decisions that produce a continual flow of operation. The factors consist of: * Cushion variable for unplanned events/demand
* Utilization of lead Capacity strategy
* Utilization of lag Capacity Strategy
* Utilization of match capacity strategy
In determining how these factors contribute to any given situation, an operations manager must first have the ability to measure the current processes capacity to have baselines to govern how and where these factors could affect the process, positive or negative, and what strategic decisions need to be made. (Murrary, 2013)
When dealing with an airline such as...