Research Paper: Supply Chain Management

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Supply Chain Management

What does it mean when we say that a process is capable?

In the context of Supply Chain Management and lean manufacturing, when a process is said to be capable, it is within the boundaries of performance as defined through statistical process control (SPC) or Six Sigma methodologies. Process capability is the characteristic of a given workflow to produce a similar level of product quality over duration of production run or process (Parry, Mills, Turner, 2010). Process capability is very important in reverse logistics strategies manufacturers use for recycling packaging and components, ensuring these items meet minimum criterion for use in production again (Cheng, Lee, 2010). In industries where the inventory turns are many times more often than once a week on average, process capability is often translated directly into inventory optimization savings over time (Hong, Tran, Park, 2010). When a process is capable it is also more likely to be replicable as well, which means it can scale across an organization much more effectively than more complex workflows (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). Statistical process control techniques are often used for ensuring a high level of consistency and predictability to inbound supplier inspections, one of the most prevalent area where process capability is relied on in many manufacturing companies. In conclusion, when a process is capable, it also can be forecasted from a cost and performance perspective as well, which translates into greater accuracy of financial performance over time (Parry, Mills, Turner, 2010).

References

Cheng, Y., & Lee, F.. (2010). Outsourcing reverse logistics of hightech manufacturing firms by using a systematic decision-making approach: TFT-LCD sector in Taiwan. Industrial Marketing Management, 39(7), 1111.

Paul Hong, Oahn Tran, & Kihyun Park. (2010). Electronic commerce applications for supply chain integration and competitive capabilities: An empirical study. Benchmarking, 17(4), 539-560.

Jacobs, Robert, & Chase, Richard. (2010). Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 13th Edition.

Glenn Parry, John Mills, & Celine Turner. (2010). Lean competence: integration of theories in operations management practice. Supply Chain Management, 15(3), 216-226.

Contrast the Personal Attention Approach to service to the Production-Line Approach. In your opinion, which is superior? Why?

The Personal Attention Approach to service is oriented towards creating greater customer loyalty and lifetime customer value by giving a customer undivided attention and time to focus on their needs. Implicit in the adoption of a Personal Attention Approach is a focus on meeting or exceeding the customers' perception of timeliness of service and its quality (Juster, 2009). It is commonly argued that the Personal Attention Approach is excellent for building goodwill with customers and making a brand more human and focused on the immediate needs of customers (Dasu, Chase, 2010). This is contrasted to the Production-Line Approach that treats each iteration with a customer as a finite event needing only so much time to be done. Studies of how the Production-Line Approach is used in contact centres show the significance of defining workflows and minimizing the variation within them (Smith, Ball, Bititci, van der Meer, 2010). The Production-Line Approach is effective where the product or service being provided has little variation within it (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). In defining which is superior, it is important to consider the product or service being sold. A Personal Attention Approach is highly effective for high-end, expensive and requiring much support for the sales person and customer support teams. An expensive automobile would be an example of this type of product. The Production Approach however is much better suited for airline travel where there is little if any variation in service levels on many budget airlines today, and where the expectations of customers align with this approach. The decision to use either of these is defined by the product or service being offered.

References

Dasu, S., & Chase, R.. (2010). Designing the Soft Side of Customer Service. MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(1), 33-39.

Jacobs, Robert, & Chase, Richard. (2010). Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 13th Edition.

Thomas Juster, F.. (2009). Some Perspectives on the Study on Time Use. Social Indicators Research, 93(1), 19-21.

Niall Piercy, & Nick Rich. (2009). Lean transformation in the pure service environment: the case of the call service centre. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 29(1), 54-76.

Marisa K. Smith, Peter D. Ball, Umit S. Bititci, & Robert van der Meer. (2010). Transforming mass production contact centres using approaches from manufacturing. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 21(4), 433-448.

One of the most important aspects of any quality improvement program is clearly signaling to everyone in the organization that quality is important. How is that emphasized in the textbook?

The textbook provides many examples of how to effectively communicate a quality improvement program, from having the CEO be the champion of thee effort to pervasive education of the program's benefits throughout the organization (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). All of these are excellent strategies, and it is useful to evaluate how companies have used Six Sigma-based data to more effectively communicate the status of their quality management efforts, giving those involved an opportunity to own the result (Parast, 2010). The best practices in this area of having quality improvement programs adopted and integrated into the culture begins with setting measurable, verifiable goals that give each member of the quality process an opportunity to define themselves professionally through their results (Qui, Tannock, 2010). Studies indicate that quality management programs become much more pervasive when autonomy of the tasks surrounding them, mastery of the process steps themselves and purpose for the change are all integrated into the improvement program (Qui, Tannock, 2010). When autonomy, mastery and purpose are all integrated within a program, change management strategies stand a higher possibility of succeeding over time. In addition, quality management programs must be very clear about the strategic vision they have in order to be successful. This is the critical area of getting employees to buy into the vision and see their contribution to it (Parast, 2010).

References

Jacobs, Robert, & Chase, Richard. (2010). Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 13th Edition.

Parast, M.. (2010). The effect of Six Sigma projects on innovation and firm performance. International Journal of Project Management, 29(1), 45.

Yun Qui, & James D.T. Tannock. (2010). Dissemination and adoption of quality management in China: Case studies of Shanghai manufacturing industries. The International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 27(9), 1067-1081.

Is office layout more akin to retail service layout or to manufacturing layout? Explain your answer

An office layout is more akin to a manufacturing layout as the production of materials and the generation of knowledge is occurring there. It is feasible to see how it could be considered a retail layout, yet that structure connotes the sales of merchandise and the inventory turns associated with them. The book makes the analysis of these two approaches to office layouts yet shows how the production workflows are just as critical for productivity to occur for knowledge workers as it is for production workers (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). At the intersection of ergonomics and lean design workflow concepts are the current best practices in defining retail service vs. manufacturing ones (Ruiz-Torres, Ho, Ablanedo-Rosas, 2010). The design of an office layout needs to take into account ergonomics, the more advanced forms of lean workflows and best practices, and the concepts behind the development of knowledge base on collaboration (Van Buren III, Greenwood, 2010). Studies of integrating lean manufacturing concepts into an office layout show that knowledge can be created through more effective collaboration, including more efficiency in attaining shared, yet challenging, objectives. An office layout also resembles a manufacturing layout in that there are departments located more closely together to ensure greater communication and knowledge sharing. As in manufacturing centers each step in the production process are located next to each other, the same holds true in knowledge-based work.

References

Jacobs, Robert, & Chase, Richard. (2010). Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 13th Edition.

Ruiz-Torres, a., Ho, J., & Ablanedo-Rosas, J.. (2010). Makespan and workstation utilization minimization in a flowshop with operations flexibility. Omega, 39(3), 273.

(Van Buren III, Greenwood, 2010)

Harry J. Van Buren III, & Michelle Greenwood. (2010). Bringing stakeholder theory to industrial relations. Employee Relations, 33(1), 5-21.

What are some reasons why project scheduling has not done well?

The primary reason why project scheduling is failing in many organizations is the high level of resistance to it at the user and manager levels. Resistance to change is what is the primary catalyst for project scheduling not attaining its greatest potential in many organizations (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). A second key factor in this area is the perceived vs. actual costs of improvement that the project scheduling is attempting to attain over time (Brady, Maylor, 2010). Third, the legacies and inertia within many companies is what brings any project scheduling activity to a grinding halt (Casamatta, Guembel, 2010). When all of these factors are… [END OF PREVIEW]

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