CHONNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY – GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
OPERATIONS AND SUPPLY MANAGEMENT
CASE: HANK KOLB
DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE
1. Park Sun Hwa
2. Choi Hee Ung
3. Wi Min Keun
4. Pascual Marie Charmaine
5. Doan Thu
Gwangju, October 1st, 2010
1. THE CASE SUMMARY
Hank Kolb had been hired as a director of quality assurance. Before Kolb started his job, he was advised by Morganthal, a general manager, that Greasex manufacturing plant lacks quality attitude and Kolb’s main job is to try to do something about it. Therefore, he is here to put an end to the firm’s downward quality-productivity- turnover spiral
After the seminar, Kolb went to the plant to investigate on the industrial products plant (Greasex) quality problems. He found out from Mark Hamler, his immediate subordinate as the quality control manager, that there were some cans found with high pressure that were supposed to be sent to the rework area. But, since the production planning did not want any delay, the cans were manipulated by Wayne Simmons, first line supervisor, by venting them out so that they could be shifted in time.
As he wanted to do more investigations, he talked to the following departments and learned some information. There were various problems involved from personnel to marketing, but what bothered Kolb the most was the safety issue of the high pressure in the cans. He had no way of knowing how much of a hazard the high pressure was. Although some tests had been done that proved that there was no danger, there were still many questions in his mind such as the reliability of the test or whether or not the same quality problems will end or continue.
The seminar he attended did not clearly emphasize what should be done in this situation. As he is quite unfamiliar with the plant, its products and the workforce there, he was uncertain about how to address the problems.
2. ANSWERS FOR THE QUESTIONS
1. What are the causes of the quality problems on the Greasex line? Display your answer on a fishbone diagram.
Causes of the quality problem can be summarized as following:
• From the personnel – the operator for the filling equipment had no formal training and has low responsibility with his work (he didn’t exist at his place on working time).
• From the plant maintenance – unreliable equipment since it had been purchased for another product, but had been switched to Greasex; it also has nonstandard downtime but the firm does not even have any maintenance procedure.
• From purchasing – the plastic nozzle heads for the Greasex can were found to have slight burrs, on the inside rim and caused some trouble in fitting the top of the can. The purchasing Dept. is slow in feedback with the vendor about its quality component.
• From product design and packaging – the can design had been contoured for better gripping, but there had no test on the effects on filling speed from a high pressured filling head
• From manufacturing manager – the high pressure from the GM for cost improvement and reduced delivery time push the manufacturing manager to skip checking products’ quality, he is also too confident about his staff and praised Simmons for the work he did.
• From marketing – there’s a need of high production for its promotional advertising campaign due to the high demand of marketplace. That’s why the introduction has been rushed to the market.
2. What general step should Hank follow in setting up a continuous improvement program for the company? What problem will he have to overcome to make it work?
To set up a continuous improvement...
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