Rewiew of Alpha Toiletries

Topics: Manufacturing, Innovation, Lean manufacturing, Kanban / Pages: 4 (864 words) / Published: May 15th, 2013
Alpha Toiletries Limited is an organisation which specializes in a wide range of toiletry products. The company has been in business for over fifteen years, and it can be said that they are doing fairly well, but they would obviously do better if they adjust some of their operational strategies They need to look into the following areas;
1) Lean Production/ Just in time; This firm manufactured products ahead of customers orders, thereby they kept high inventory. There has been a lot of occasions when the firm had to sell-off their stock to customers at a very huge discount, as high as 50% discount. Lean production, which originated from Toyota in Japan, is all about elimination of waste and to create value (Murman et al, 2002 cited in Duque & Cadavid, 2007). Hence it aims to meet demand exactly the way customers desire it, in the right quantity, at the right time and delivered at the right location. Slack & Lewis (2011) gives us four elements of lean as
a) Customer-based demand triggers; This is about letting customers pull for the product, in order words the firm does not push its products to the customers, this ensures that the demand is squarely met at the right proportions.
b) Synchronised flow. This describes the perfect flow of products from production to the customers warehouse, it does not accumulate or wait as inventory. This flow eliminates the issues of inventory, it equally exposes any issues in the production line instantly.
c) Involvement behaviour; The synchronised flow which results to no inventory motivates colleagues to work better and help themselves
d) Waste elimination; Lean production ensures that all wastes are eliminated. This eliminates the four major types of wastes, namely; (i) wastes that result from irregular flow (ii) wastes that result from over-supply. (iii) wastes that result from inflexible response. (iv) wastes that arise when there is variability in quality.
2) Procurement policy. Alpha toiletries mostly made use of

Cited: in Carlo,Lyytinen & Rose. 2012). Any firm that refuses to innovate will in no time lose its customers to its competitors. Heeks (2012) tells us that to effectively serve the world markets, we will need to do new things and this is achieved with the help of technology. Hence Alpha needs to innovate accordingly and see to it that its staff is given the proper training to be able to comprehend how the technology works. Technology has been said to be divided into two, Sustaining technology and Disruptive technology. Sustaining technology are those technologies that improve an already recognized product, while Destructive technologies are those ones that does not measure up to customers expectations in the short term, but will meet up in the long term. Reference. Carlo, J.l., Lyytinen, K., & Rose, G.M. (2012) A knowledge-based model of radical innovation in small soft software firms. MIS quarterly Vol. 36 no 3. Pp. 865-895. Online, available from (accessed 08 May 2013) Duque, D.F.M & Cadavid, L.R. (2007) Lean manufacturing measurement, the relationship between lean activities and lean metrics. Estudios Gerenciales Vol.23 No. 105. (pp 69-83) Online, available from (accessed 08 May 2013) Feng, Q. & Shi, R. (2012). Sourcing from multiple suppliers for price-dependent demands. Production & operations management Vol 21 no 3 pp547-563.. Online, available from ( accessed 08 May 2013) Heeks, R. (2012) Emerging markets. IT innovation for the bottom of the pyramid, new ways to develop technologies for the emerging growth markets. Communication of the ACM Vol. 55 no 12. Online, available from ( accessed 08 May 2013) Slack , N. & Lewis , L. (2011) Operations Strategy. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.( pp 91,92)

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