Operations Management

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Tom and Mason Miller realized that the electronics industry they supply, along with their own business, was changing. The company began to struggle as manufacturers began developing strategic partnerships with parts suppliers rather than the traditional route of making their own parts. This new approach ensured the timely delivery of high-quality, cost-effective parts and allowed funds to be diverted to other uses that produce a higher return on investment.

The sales mix was changing as the orders for multiple mold fabrications decreased and the order size for plastic parts increased. However, because of limited capacity, the company concentrated its sales on supplying parts that were used in limited quantities for research and development efforts and in preproduction pilot runs rather than accepting larger orders and mass producing parts.

Custom Molds also had issues with timely delivery and product assurance. The company was weeks behind in delivering parts to its customers, which in turn caused disruptions in the production process. It was difficult for the company to anticipate where the bottlenecks would occur, as they always seemed to be moving from one operation to another. Additionally, there had been recent quality assurance issues as two orders were returned because of the number of defective parts.

A company’s overall performance depends on how well its core and supporting processes function within the firm. Increased coordination and effort by every area to understand the needs of the clients combined with a proper operations strategy will yield desirable outcomes for the external customer and help the company stay ahead of competition. Certain operational dimensions must be part of a process or supply chain to achieve success. These are known as competitive priorities and they are critical to a firm’s goal of maintaining and building market share, as well as provide benefits in allowing other internal processes to be...
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