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Case Study: Making Hot Plates
Chapter 7

Melissa Richtel
March 21, 2011
Production and Operation Management
Professor Gaal
Review:
10 workers were responsible for assembling hot plates; each worker had the responsibility to assemble one part of the hot plate and then were to place it on a moving belt so that the next worker could assemble the next step. At the end of the moving belt an inspector would look over finished product to ensure that it was assembled properly and would then place it in a cardboard box for shipping. The morale of the company was low and there was a high percentage of badly assembled hot plates. The company decided to change manufacturing techniques so that instead of one worker only completing one part of the hot plate they were to finish the entire hot plate themselves. Through this manufacturing change productivity rapidly increased and morale seemed higher; the amount of badly assembled hot plates also decreased.

Questions:
1. What changes in the work situation might account for the increase in productivity and the decrease in controllable rejects? The most important change in the work situation that would account for the increase in the productivity and the decrease in controllable rejects was the change in manufacturing technique. Originally the hot plates were manufactured step by step and each worker was responsible for one part, the new technique required that each worker assemble the entire hot plate. Before the new technique was applied specialization was an essential part of the company, specialization allows for employers to hire with low education and skill requirements due to little responsibility. Specialization could account for the decrease in controllable rejects; specialization does not allow workers to take control over their work and does not provide opportunity for advancement. 2. What might account for the drop in absenteeism and the increase in morale? The hot plates were being assembled by 10...
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