Mt435

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Unit six Written Assignment

MT435 Operations Management

Kaplan University

1/22/13

Introduction

Albatross Anchor was formed in 1976 by four family members in a small town in Smalltown, USA. The operations consist of one location that sits on about 12 acres. Originally, the company was modest in size but has grown quite rapidly since its inception and now employs one hundred and thirty people. As operations and customer base evolved, Albatross as struggled to keep up with those evolutions. The work areas are crammed, technology is out dated, space is at a premium and the company has struggled as a result of that. Quarters are quite dusty and are not up to safety standards anymore. The layout of operations has also presented a challenge since the company has grown.

Question One
Carefully review the assignment scenario/case study. From the limited information in the scenario/case study, along with your answers to the unit three written assignment, identify at least three direct and specific long-term and three direct and specific short term operations changes that Albatross Anchor must make to gain a clear and sustainable competitive advantage (provide detailed information to validate and support each recommended change) Long-Term Operational Changes

(01) Technology
It is essential for a company to stay at least on par with other companies in terms of technology to stay competitive. Albatross has fallen behind the times when it comes to technology, thus leading to an operational hindrance in efficiency and profitability. The technology world is ever changing and ever evolving, but Albatross is still stuck in old ways and using out dated processes for its operations. Using the dated processes causes unnecessary delays in getting the final products to the customers. And in the business world, those unneeded delays can cost a company a lot of money. Along with not keeping up with technology, Albatross has also become quite unorganized and dusty. This too has led to inefficiency and delays in the company. Not only is this dirty, unkempt method of operation leading to delays but it is also leading to workplace hazards. Certain safety criteria are not being met in the company due to the issues listed above. So the first long term change should be to address the out dated technology and messy workplace. Put a plan in place to invest in up to date technology that will increase efficiency and output, leading to a growth in terms of dollars and performance. If you want to compete in today’s business world, then, it’s important to keep up with technology in order to get the most out of the technology you have, to keep abreast of emerging new technology, and to find the information that will help you make the right buying decisions (Nichelson, B). A five year plan to replace 100% of outdated equipment is suggested to allow time for the changes to take effect slowly and effectively, allowing the manufacturing environment time for adaptation to the new technology.

(02) Equipment
It is stated in the case study that there is a 36 hour delay when switching equipment over to meet operation demand when going from one process to another. That 36 hour delay alone can erase any competitive advantage Albratross may have had to begin with. Investing in new equipment that will allow the manufacturing line to be more flexible will lead to a vast improvement in efficiency and output. The product will get off the line faster and also to the customer faster. There will also be less of a backlog in storage of raw materials waiting to be processed when sitting idle due to the 36 hour delay. This change will be keeping in tune with the updates in technology mentioned in the first suggestion. The long term goal would be to reduce the change over time by 85% over the next 3 years.

(03) Different manufacturing areas
The way I understand it, at any given time there is only one type of anchor being manufactured at a time....
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