Car Lube Operations

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CASE: Car Lube Operations to accompany CHAPTER 3: Process Strategy

Professor Smith can expound at length about the merits of timely preventive maintenance. After all, what good is a process that is performed by less-than-reliable equipment? When it comes to his own vehicle’s preventive maintenance, however,
Smith has been known to be less than meticulous. It takes him three months just to muster up the energy to take his car for its recommended three-month oil change!
Smith usually takes his car to Instant Lube, a nationally reputed oil change company, where the service is offered for $29.99. The last time he drove in, he arrived without an appointment. The car being serviced in one of the 4 bays at the shop was just leaving, so he did not have to wait more than a few minutes. He stopped his car near the entrance to the bay, left his keys with the mechanic, and proceeded to the customer seating area to browse some magazines. About 15 minutes later the mechanic came to get Smith, and explained that the radiator coolant level was low, so he would need to top it up. He authorized the top up. Smith had barely resumed his magazine when he was summoned by the cashier. Just as he was paying his bill, the mechanic arrived with his keys. The mechanic hurriedly explained to the cashier that the coolant top up had not yet been entered into the computer. The cashier had already printed out the bill, however, so he smiled and said “It’s free.”
For his next oil change, Smith noticed that Tireco, a nationally reputed tire company, had advertised an oil change service for $12.88. Sensing a good deal he drove into the shop, but was told that he had to return in two days for the earliest available appointment. Smith reluctantly fixed an appointment. Experience had taught him that his appointments for oil change rarely matched his mood for oil change (or lack thereof), so he often ended up canceling. But it was too good a deal to pass up, even if it meant

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