Overview of case
As a result of Kramer Sports’ struggle to keep up with demand, decreasing profits, and fierce competition, the CEO, Tim Wilcox, decided to change the organization’s production environment to follow the lean production method. This method had allowed other companies to reduce their inventory by at least fifty percent, cut production costs, and improve customer satisfaction, quality, and employee morale.
Since the bicycle production area involved a more elaborate process with products that had various frames, size, and color combinations, it was more difficult to adapt to the lean process method. In fact, each of the two final assembly stations were capable of building one bike at a time best when implementing batch processes, not lean processes. Plus, more than one color could not be applied on the rack without getting overspray on other bicycle frames. This predicament demonstrates that Kramer should have implemented batch production in addition to lean processes. After studying their supply chain and implementing lean or batch processes based on which would be more efficient for the particular supply chain segment, Kramer could achieve a balance that would produce their most effective supply chain to date.
Additionally, since Kramer’s workforce has much more power compared to other companies, it is very difficult to make changes because managers do not want to disrupt the feeling of security and, subsequently, morale of their employees. Therefore, Kramer should have focused on changing the supply chain process as well as the company’s structure. Managers would feel more comfortable contributing to these changes because their employees would be informed and involved in the change to the lean process, reducing the risk of decreased employee morale. Also, Kramer needs to make changes to employee scheduling and board members involved in the decision making if they are going to continue with lean...