National Cranberry Cooperative

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National Cranberry Cooperative
When Hugo Schaeffer, vice president of operation at the National Cranberry Cooperative (NCC) went through last fall’s process fruit operation at receiving plant No. 1(RP1) with the superintendent Will Walliston, he found that overtime costs and the time waiting to unload were still two big problems. Walliston gave two options to avoid these problems next fall is to buy and install two new dryers, and to convert dry berry holding bins so that they can store either water-harvested or dry berries. Schaeffer asked his assistant Mel O’ Brien to take a hard look at the that operation and find out what NCC need to do to improve operations before 1971 crop comes in. One of the most important trends of cranberry industry was the increasing mechanization of cranberry harvesting. Water-harvested berries became more and more popular. This would challenge RP1’s process and the scheduling of work force. The process of RP1 could be classified into several operations: receiving and testing, dumping, temporary holding, destining, dechaffing, drying, separation and bulking and bagging. Process capacity of each operation was given. The truck and drivers of growers usually need wait during unloading. During the peaking season, RP1 had to hire seasonal employee from Teamsters Union. However the efficiencies of seasonal employee were quite different. Together with the absenteeism, it was not easy for scheduling the work force. Questions

What are the problems facing receiving plant No. 1 (RP1)?
PR1 is facing two problems. One is that overtime costs are still out of control. The other is that the trucks of growers spend too much time waiting to unload.
What are the sources of the variability that NCC is subjected to? From the case, we can learn that there are several sources of the variability as follows.
Peaking time is a season of a year. It is not a regular supply.
Even peaking season, the supply quantity and time are also different...
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