Just in Time for the Holidays, Hbr

Topics: Manufacturing, Brand, Production line Pages: 2 (549 words) Published: June 27, 2013
Case Study: Just in Time for the Holidays
Problem: North Pole Workshops’ production capacity cannot meet the surging demand for Timmy CDs on Christmas Eve. The management team gets stuck in mapping a solution to fulfill such demand because team members have their own solutions and they oppose the others’ solution. Reasons:

- Weak demand forecast ability (the actual demand is 20% over the company’s assumption) - Weak production planning ability
- No links between demand and production planning
- Do not have compelling product strategy, sales & marketing strategy, operation strategy Suggested temporary solution:
- If the company can use current production lines of Meorwrrr or change them to produce Timmy CDs, the company should stop producing Meowrrr and produce Timmy CDs. - If the company can not use other production lines to produce Timmy CDs, it should sell Moewrrr in the US market instead of Timmy CDs as proposed by Fiffledip. Suggested long-term solutions:

Production strategy:
- Redesign products so that all products can share as many common components as possible. This will help the company use a production line to produce various products. - Redesign production process to make it become flexible to produce many types of toys. - Diversify product lines so various products can substitute each other when one product is not available on sales.

Operation strategy:
- Adopt a flexible manufacturing system such as cellular manufacturing to achieve mass customization and reduce production lead time. - Outsource some unimportant components in the US.
- Outsource toy production with tight control over product quality to China. This will help the company fulfill surging demand in the Asian market, cut production costs and reduce pressure of over capacity. Branding strategy:

- Create and maintain successfully a strong brand to deliver the “soul” of the company’s toys to children and make them understand the core brand values rather than a single product...
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