Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. has earned international recognition as a leader in the field of plastic injection molding with its pioneering plastic designs. Products include plastic beverage containers manufactured at its plant in Albany, Georgia, modified plastic parts produced at its plant in Pontiac, Michigan, and plastic fan parts manufactured at its facilities in Hangzhou, China. Research and development for the company is carried out at its corporate headquarters in San Jose, California. Altogether Riordan Manufacturing employs 550 people within its four facilities, including 125 corporate members. Extreme precision and quality control standards exceeding ISO 9000 allow Riordan to maintain a customer base of automotive parts manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, the Department of Defense, beverage makers and bottlers, and appliance manufacturers. Riordan Manufacturing takes pride in forming long-term relationships with its customers by providing meticulous quality controls, modern solutions, a receptive business attitude and competitive pricing.
In an effort to continue this high quality of operations, Hugh McCauley, Chief Operating Officer of Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. recently requested changes be made to improve their manufacturing and inventory processes. His goal is to use computer systems technology to make the process more efficient. The purpose of this project is to illustrate the current inventory and manufacturing systems while defining the areas that require improvement and outline the changes that are recommended to optimize the procedures.
Although adequate in the past, the inventory system at Riordan has become cumbersome and inadequately slow as production requirements and sales have increased. These have mandated the necessity of a larger supply of raw materials to support manufacturing and the timely availability of finished product to meet the needs of customers. Without improvements in these areas Riordan Manufacturing could lose market share secondary to poor customer service. Also, costs will increase because of the inefficiency of the current inventory system. In order to increase productivity and on-time deliveries, it is necessary to make revisions in the areas of inventory, receiving, shipping and manufacturing.
The current receiving process requires five individual steps to input raw materials for inventory. First, when truck drivers arrive with raw materials they must contact the receiving supervisor. The supervisor will then compare the contents of the shipment to a weekly report of ordered items. After the supervisor completes the review, the material is offloaded the truck and taken into the warehouse to await use for production. At the end of the day, the supervisor forwards his list of items received to an inventory clerk who inputs the information into the inventory system. This process has several issues that must be addressed and improved. Because supervisors are required to inspect shipments they are sometimes kept away from their regular duties. The inventory adjustment is also very slow because items are not entered into inventory until the end of the day. This could mean that manufacturing might be delayed if the system does not indicate that an item has arrived until late in the day. The system also has several opportunities for human error. A shipment might be refused if it was not included on the weekly report to the receiving department. Also, inventory clerks might make an error that would indicate a shortage of a product. The individuals in charge of ordering raw material might order more product than the warehouse has the ability to store if the inventory is incorrect.
Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. maintains a policy to always provide total customer satisfaction by meeting shipping deadlines. Shipping metrics for the last three years indicated that the plant in Albany, GA made on-time shipments at an...