Productivity and Year Output Input

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Chapter 2
StRATEGY and sustAINABILITY

Review and Discussion Questions

1. Can a factory be fast, dependable, flexible, produce high-quality products, and still provide poor service from a customer’s perspective?

Yes, if a customer’s needs are not considered and does not influence strategy development, an organization could be delivering the wrong service or product. Even though the product is of high quality, delivered quickly, and offers many options and features, overall service could be rated “poor” by a customer who demands a different mix of features and attributes. It also could be a factor of how the product is delivered to the customer. Rude or inattentive salespersons, incompetent technical support, or difficulty in obtaining warranty service can all negatively impact the customer’s impression of a firm’s service, regardless of the ultimate quality of the goods and the speed of delivery.

2. Why should a service organization worry about being world class if it does not compete outside its own national border? What impact does the Internet have on this?

As the environment changes, firms can find themselves faced with competition from outside their industry, or from outside their home country. Even if they do not, the principles of a world-class firm can be applied to any and all manufacturing and service concerns. Benchmarking or rating your firm’s performance to the best in your industry or class can provide future strategic directions for improvements.

The Internet is global by its very nature. Retail stores must now compete with Internet stores. Local auction houses will be in competition with Internet auction sites such as eBay. Virtually all organizations will be impacted in some form by the Internet. It is important that this impact be considered.

3. What are the major priorities associated with operations and supply chain strategy? How has their relationship to each other changed over the years?

Bad question, sorry for assigning this one.

If you know the competitive priorities, what they mean and how they affect an overall strategy, you will be OK (this is what we covered in the class and is on the slides)

10. Identify an operations and supply chain - related "disruption" that recently impacted a company. What could the company have done to have minimized the impact of this type of disruption prior to it occurring?

Hurricane Isaac is a current example, not sure yet what the disruptions will be.

The March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan was geographically concentrated but had global impact on multiple firms, many of which had no physical presence at all in the affected area. Examples include firms that had sole source agreements with suppliers in the affected area. The tsunami left these companies scrambling to find new suppliers to feed into their supply chains. These firms could have reduced the impact of the tsunami by having a few high-quality, dependable suppliers located in different geographical regions. There are many other examples that could be taken from this one event. A simple Internet search will provide plenty of material for discussion.

Problems

1. As Operations Manager, you are concerned about being able to meet sales requirements in the coming months. You have just been given the following production report.

| | | | | | | |JAN |FEB |MAR |APR | | | | | | | |Units Produced |2300 |1800 |2800 |3000 | | |...
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