36. Operations Improvements
Compile and write a formal technical report, using an appropriate format and Harvard
referencing as indicated in the corresponding tutorial lecture, covering the following:
1. From a company of your choice, identify its operations performance objectives,
and then discuss the internal and external benefits that derive from excelling in
each performance objective. (You may need to infer these by assessing its
performance in the five operations performance objectives (e.g. cost, quality,
speed, dependability and flexibility) (15%)
2. SPAD Ltd is a company specialising in the design, manufacture and installation
of signalling equipment for use in the rail industry. Unfortunately, SPAD has
noticed a significant downturn in demand for its products and services in recent
years. This seemed to be due to a significant increase in competition in this area
of the industry. As a result, senior management initiated a benchmarking study
of its competitors and the results were quite alarming. The findings were as
Cost – Although few direct details of cost were revealed it was clear that
competitors had lower costs. They were installing their equipment at a cost to
the customer which was lower than the cost of manufacture at SPAD Ltd for
Quality – The manufacturing and installation process at SPAD Ltd was
producing ten times as many mistakes as that of its competitors.
Late deliveries– SPAD Ltd noticed a decline in delivery reliability and
increased levels of inventory whereas its competitors deliver their goods and
services on time.
Manufacturing Processes- The loopholes in SPAD’s manufacturing
processes turned into major problems such as raw materials shortage, part
shortage and productivity inefficiencies associated with the recent recruitment
of new employees. This resulted in a serious disruption of process flows
leading to late deliveries of their products.
Poor maintenance – The Company identified there was poor communication between the various department and job grades. For example, maintenance staff believed that production hold ups were caused by operating errors, while operators were of the opinion that poor maintenance was the root cause.
Discuss the applicability for Lean manufacturing for the SPAD Ltd. (20%)
3. From a company of your choice, investigate a particular challenge, issue and/or problem that it is currently facing (or has recently faced in the past) in terms of the quality of its process, product or service. Critically discuss what quality improvement philosophy, methodology or tool (e.g. SPC, ISO 9000, TQM, Six Sigma, etc.) may help your selected organisation to overcome it or to avoid similar quality issues in the future – explain why. In addition, comment on how the recommended quality improvement philosophy, methodology or tool may help your organisation to enhance its quality strategy and market position in the long term. (25%)
4. Using any case study example to illustrate good supply chain operations and explain “How does your case firm achieve success through good supply chain management? (25%)
Notes on the Assignment
Your assignment will be evaluated based on three components: breadth and depth of research; quality of analysis; quality of presentation. The first component reflects the quantity and quality of material you find regarding the answers for the questions and the selected case(s). Use as many sources as possible: textbooks, referred articles, newspapers, company reports, trade journals, the web, etc. The second component reflects coherence of your arguments and the insights of your analysis. The third component reflects the quality of your writing (Report basic requirements).
Report’s basic requirements (Appropriate structure and logical development of discussions, Harvard referencing, introduction & conclusions, formatting, etc.)- (15%)
This is a formal academic report. Therefore, it must clearly demonstrate an extensive research into and a critical discussion of the corresponding theory