Reltex Report

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Operations Management

--Case 15

In November 1998, Globestelle’s sales office in Cologne received an order from Reltex, which declared the start of Reltex Project. It has been the largest project undertaken by Reltex to carry out Xway connectors.

Throughout the whole of 1999, development progressed on the new product, while two consultants were assigned to head the project. In August, Reltex specified an annual volume of five million pieces. Shortly after this Reltex changed the product specification to add a “leak test” requirement, which led to repositioning of the connector as a result. Afterwards, trials on the pre-production samples of the connector failed a required salt sprat testing in December 1999, indicating that product would never be satisfied if made in magnesium.

In the early 2000, aluminium was found to be the suitable material for the component. After discussion, the first castings in aluminium were being produced and the project had received the go-ahead for expenditure on the first production cell. Unfortunately, one of the consultants retired due to ill health, leaving the project even shorter staffed. Worse even, Reltex informed Globestelle that it had not secured the contract for the further production since Reltex didn’t want to put a problem onto a plant that didn’t have the resources and capacity for current project it was handling. That’s why Reltex asked for a further quote from one potential Leak test manufacturer in June. In order to meet the high volumes of production, Globestelle decided to transfer production to a larger subcontractor who would be able to cope with the large quantity demand. In the end, production trials were going reasonably well, although the project was over budget.

Then the build up of capacity continued through the year 2001. Production was transferred to the new plant in January. The first truck-load of production castings was shipped to the Reltex plant in March, and...
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