Case Study #1
1. Earth buddy is the new toy to have this summer. What it is, is this bald human head that, when submerged in water for a few days, sprouted grass and you could groom it and cut it how you please. It had originally been sold in Toronto area flower shops but then took off nation wide as stores such as K-Mart, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart and is now expanding into the United States. The toy is produced with a “hybrid batch flow process”. 6 Machines make the heads then operators place the heads in boxes of 25 heads each. Then operators shape the eyeglasses through a simple jig. Those two operations are occurring simultaneously. Next, moulding operators remove the heads from the boxes and make the ears and nose. Then from there, two people put the eyeglasses over the nose and the product is then fashioned with a red mouth and then dried for 5-7 hours. So the production takes some time and the Co-Owners of Earth Buddy, Anton Rabie and Ronnen Harary, are telling the production director, Ben Varadi, to remain flexible without building up too much inventory because they want to minimize expense. The challenge for Varadi is to guess how much he needs to order produced in order to fulfill the vague directions given to him by the co-owners. 2. The challenge confronting Ben Varadi deals with how much to produce. His only advice that he was told by the owners was “Remain Flexible. We could get an order for 100,000 units, but if the order doesn’t arrive, we would have to put the workforce on hold. We can’t afford to carry large inventories.” With that advice, he needs to find a way to increase capacity while staying flexible and minimizing expense, which is much easier said than done. Increasing capacity is a challenge because of the weather affecting drying times as well as worker productivity so estimating how long it takes to make a finished product. The hot, humid summer days take a toll on workers...
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