Ivey Publishing

Operations, Strategy, and Technology: Pursuing the Competitive Edge

Hayes, R., Pisano, G., Upton, D., Wheelwright, S. (United States, Wiley, 2005)
Prepared By Thomas K. Yeung, Ph.D. Candidate (Production & Operations Management)
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
Operations Management Confronts a New Millennium

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Erika Lundholm

Product Number: 9B06D016
Publication Date: 8/30/2006
Revision Date: 9/16/2009
Length: 11 pages

The owner and founder of Boman Communications, was proud of the company's business concept which utilized technology to allow flexibility and efficiency in the production of marketing materials. However, despite this strategic advantage, the company had been unable to attract more than one large client. More importantly, recent events had led the owner to believe that many of his own employees did not understand the company's business concept. If they did not understand the company's business concept, how could they sell it to customers? Bowman knew he had to address these issues soon but was unsure how to do so.

Teaching Note: 8B06D16 (8 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Corporate Strategy; Advertising; Technology; Personnel Management; Management of Change; Marketing Communication; Management of Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Larry Menor, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B01D004
Publication Date: 2/2/2001
Revision Date: 12/17/2009
Length: 19 pages

Blinds To Go (BTG), a Montreal-headquartered producer of made-to-order window coverings, had made the decision to enter the Florida market by opening eight retail stores. As a result of this decision, the senior vice-president (SVP) of operations for BTG was faced with the dilemma of deciding if and when an assembly plant should be built to support these and future Florida retail stores. The most recent plant, built in Lakewood, New Jersey, had experienced operational problems during its startup, resulting in the eventual replacement of most of the supervisory staff and a significant portion of the plant employees. This led to additional start-up costs and customer service problems. Faced with this expansion into Florida, the SVP set about devising an operating plan that would achieve the goals of the Florida expansion without the growing pains of past efforts. As the stores were to be opened in six months, a plan would have to be finalized soon.

Teaching Note: 8B01D04 (14 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Service Operations; Operations Management; Action Planning and Implementation; System Design
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Mary M. Crossan, Trevor Hunter

Product Number: 9B00M033
Publication Date: 10/19/2000
Length: 16 pages

Workbrain Corporation was a young firm that offered Web-based time and attendance management systems solutions to companies with a blue-collar workforce. The company was the only player in a market niche that it created, offering proprietary systems that relied on technological excellence and alliances with third party vendors. Currently, it was developing a product at the same time as it was preparing a Request for Proposal for a large potential client. Workbrain Corporation didn't have the human resources, organizational infrastructure or external alliances they needed to present the product they envisioned or grow the company into what the chief executive officer envisioned. The newly-hired vice-president of corporate development was responsible for the strategic growth of the firm both internally and externally. He was faced with the task of organizing and re-orienting the company, and needed to develop a plan to grow the company into a market-oriented organization from the project/product-oriented one it was.

Teaching Note: 8B00M33 (13 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Corporate Culture; Organizational Structure; Growth Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 2:
Operations Strategy: Origins and New Directions

Larry Menor

Product Number: 9B04D022
Publication Date: 12/20/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 16 pages

With the hope of changing the way Canadians think about purchasing flowers, the owner of Bloom the Flower Company recognized the importance of the Wow! factor and the European florist model in her design of Bloom. Opened in 2002, the Toronto-based florist was continually stocked with a unique array of exotic, cut flowers for everyday purchase or individual or corporate events. Bloom's service delivery was based upon a friendly, welcoming and laid-back approach that focused on providing meaningful solutions to an individual's floral needs. Bloom's success had not gone unnoticed as several additional younger and hipper floral shops had been started in the area since Bloom opened. A number of business and service management issues have to be addressed in order for Bloom to grow.

Teaching Note: 8B04D22 (11 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Services; Growth Strategy; Service Operations; Retailing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chris J. Piper, Tetsu Imigi

Product Number: 9B04D018
Publication Date: 8/10/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 9 pages

The president of Daikin Industries Residential Air Conditioning Shiga Factory was confronted by the prospects of an unseasonably cold summer, at a time when the Shiga Factory had large quantities of its products in inventory in anticipation of strong summer sales. The president was concerned not only about pending losses in the current year, but also about the factory's long-term survival. Unprofitability was unacceptable and Daikin was caught in a stagnant market in which it was increasingly difficult to build share by product differentiation. The Shiga Factory had been forced to use large inventories to cope with uncertain demand and a long and unwieldy supply chain. The president must decide whether to reduce the number of models, build a lower-cost factory outside Japan, or exit the business. He must also determine if there are any other options.

Teaching Note: 8B04D18 (23 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Supply Chain Management; Inventory; Operations Strategy; Lead Time
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Terence Tsai, Borshiuan Cheng, Donna Everatt

Product Number: 9A99M009
Publication Date: 4/6/1999
Revision Date: 5/24/2017
Length: 15 pages

The Acer Group is one of the world's largest PC and computer component manufacturers. The vice-president of Global Operations is pondering whether the timing and environment is conducive for Acer, based in Taiwan, to commence full-scale manufacturing operations in the Chinese mainland. Students are asked to examine the criteria on which Acer should base their decision to manufacture overseas, and in so doing, create the framework for a corporation's global manufacturing strategy. The teaching objectives also include having students consider the political, economic and social environments of a global manufacturing strategy. A related case entitled Acer Group's R & D Strategy - The China Decision (9A99M007) is also available.

Teaching Note: 8A99M09 (10 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Globalization; Plant Location; Competitiveness; Manufacturing Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 3:
Capacity Strategy

P. Fraser Johnson, Ken Mark, Jordan Mitchell

Product Number: 9B06D004
Publication Date: 2/6/2006
Length: 13 pages

The technical director of Laboratorio de Analisis Argentina is responsible for ensuring that an average of 5,000 samples are processed daily. The samples have three sources: samples collected on-premises, samples sent from the organization's other 40 labs and samples sent from external labs. In one week the technical director has to give her boss a recommendation about dealing with the lab's capacity problems.

Teaching Note: 8B06D04 (6 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Capacity Analysis; Service Operations; Process Analysis; Operations Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Amanda Balodia, Sara McCormick

Product Number: 9B04D007
Publication Date: 4/5/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 9 pages

During the summer, a popular hotel and restaurant must turn away customers whenever it offers its once a week family pizza buffet. With summer season fast approaching, the managers and owners of Bala Bay Inn must evaluate the process and capacity of the restaurant and identify bottlenecks in the process to determine what can be done to accommodate the demand.

Teaching Note: 8B04D07 (7 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services
Issues: Process Design/Change; Capacity Analysis; Bottlenecks; Process Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Carol Prahinski, John S. Haywood-Farmer, David Wright, Kevin Saskiw

Product Number: 9B02D024
Publication Date: 1/10/2003
Revision Date: 11/30/2009
Length: 15 pages

Quinte MRI is a small service provider of medical diagnostic technologies. After just six weeks in operation at a medical centre, the company developed an extensive waiting list, and physicians began referring patients to competing facilities. Quinte MRI's business development coordinators must provide recommendations and an action plan to deal with this process and productivity problem in a setting with extreme variability.

Teaching Note: 8B02D24 (22 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Bottlenecks; Scheduling; Process Analysis; Capacity Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 4:
Determining Organizational Boundaries: Vertical Integration and Outsourcing

Paul W. Beamish, Jing'an Tang

Product Number: 9B04M005
Publication Date: 3/4/2004
Revision Date: 11/18/2014
Length: 12 pages

Palliser is Canada's second-largest furniture company. The company has production facilities in Canada, Mexico and Indonesia, and has experimented with cutting and sewing leather in China. The company is looking at further expanding the relationship with China. Ever since Palliser set up a plant in Mexico, the company has faced increasing competitive pressure from Asia, especially from China. The president of Palliser must decide what form this relationship should follow. Should it be an investment, either wholly or partly owned, or should it be through subcontracting?

Teaching Note: 8B04M05 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: China; Expansion; Imports; Outsourcing; Plant Location
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Larry Menor, John MacDonald

Product Number: 9B00D021
Publication Date: 12/7/2000
Revision Date: 1/8/2010
Length: 14 pages

Fell-Fab Products is a manufacturer of interior coverings for airlines, bus companies and passenger rail services. A secondary business for the company is the manufacture of other sewn and welded textiles such as mail bags, tents, etc. One of Fell-Fab Products' important airline customers asked the company if it was interested in diversifying into service by taking on a contract to manage all aspects of the interior coverings business. The president of Fell-Fab Products must assess the differences between service management and manufacturing, decide whether Fell-Fab is capable of doing a good job at service and determine whether the business makes economic sense for the company. This case and the accompanying Fell-Fab Products (B) case (product 9B00D022) explore some of the implications of manufacturers diversifying into services.

Teaching Note: 8B00D21 (12 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Strategic Change; Manufacturing Strategy; Growth Strategy; Outsourcing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Lyn Purdy, Joseph Schiele

Product Number: 9A98C020
Publication Date: 10/27/1999
Revision Date: 1/25/2010
Length: 15 pages

The assembly supervisor at Navistar faces a critical supply problem; one that not only affects the bottom line but more importantly the customer. This case requires a student to determine what is and is not important, to think creatively about how to use the information provided, and to formulate a recommendation with respect to solving the current supply problem. The student must review: (1) a process flow chart in detail, (2) numerical data with respect to costs and frequency of specific causes for trim shortages, and (3) a number of identified causes for the supply problem. Navistar must look at value added activities, its internal policies and practices, storage of materials, a Just-In-Time inventory system that may be too tight, and communication difficulties that arise when last minute design changes occur.

Teaching Note: 8A98C20 (8 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Automotive; Supplier Relations
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 5:
Designing and Managing Operating Networks

Carol Prahinski

Product Number: 9B04D020
Publication Date: 9/12/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 2 pages

Necanko Inc. is a large international food manufacturer. A buyer-scheduler for the company must forecast sales demand to determine production planning, inventory management and distribution for the year. Sales were normally predictable and stable, but the company has just come back from a three month layoff due to slow sales and they are now experiencing a sales increase three times greater than usual. The buyer-scheduler is uncertain why the sales are spiking and must decide what action to take.

Teaching Note: 8B04D20 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Production Scheduling; Bullwhip Effect; Uncertainty; Marketing Channels
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Tieying Huang, Junping Liang, Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9B04M033
Publication Date: 5/14/2004
Revision Date: 10/14/2009
Length: 6 pages

Jinjian Garment Factory is a large clothing manufacturer based in Shenzhen with distribution to Hong Kong and overseas. Although Shenzhen had become one of the most advanced garment manufacturing centres in the world, managers in this industry still had few effective ways of dealing with the collective and deliberate slow pace of work by the employees, of motivating workers, and of resolving the problem between seasonal production requirements and retention of skilled workers. However, the owner and managing director of the company must determine the reasons behind the deliberately slow pace of the workers, the pros and cons of the piecework system and the methods he could adopt to motivate the workers effectively.

Teaching Note: 8B04M33 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: China; Productivity; Employee Attitude; Piece Work; Performance Measurement; Work-Force Management; Peking University
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Paul W. Beamish, Jae C. Jung, Joyce Miller

Product Number: 9B02M033
Publication Date: 11/29/2002
Revision Date: 6/28/2011
Length: 14 pages

A senior manager in a U.S. manufacturing firm must make a recommendation about whether 57 labour intensive jobs should be moved from the existing California plant to a new facility in a Mexican maquiladora. If the Mexican opportunity is pursued, decisions are also required regarding the entry mode (subcontracting, shelter operator or wholly-owned subsidiary) and location (border or interior).

Teaching Note: 8B02M33 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Corporate Strategy; Plant Location; Third World; Subsidiaries
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Andrew Fletcher

Product Number: 9A96D005
Publication Date: 6/28/1996
Revision Date: 2/9/2010
Length: 11 pages

The president has to decide where to relocate his water park manufacturing company's production facility. Not only has the company apparently outgrown its current site, but residents near it have complained about unpleasant odors. The company has investigated three potential sites which students have to evaluate both financially as well as from a strategic point of view: should the company own or rent its facility? Should the manufacturing facility be located near customers, suppliers (including labor), or the company's head office?

Teaching Note: 8A96D05 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Plant Location; Site Selection; Expansion; Corporate Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 6:
Information Technology and Operations

Carol Prahinski, Eric Olsen

Product Number: 9B06D005
Publication Date: 4/11/2006
Revision Date: 9/16/2009
Length: 16 pages

The materials manager at the Wilkins plant in California is surprised to find out that an auditor's report recommends a second annual physical inventory count. He had concerns about the level of the inventory that was conducted, he knew changes were needed and must decide what alternatives to consider. Students are exposed to the difficulties of managing inventory as well as typical problems that occur in growing businesses. Students will diagram the bill of material, conduct a materials requirement planning explosion and determine appropriate levels of safety stock, and address concerns associated with the high level of inventory.

Teaching Note: 8B06D05 (14 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Inventory Planning/Control; Material Requirements Planning; Materials Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Richard M. Kesner

Product Number: 9B05E023
Publication Date: 1/13/2006
Revision Date: 11/11/2015
Length: 21 pages

The KL Worldwide Enterprises Inc. case provides a rich context within which to explore the information technology (IT) issues that confront a global enterprise engaged in the manufacture, sales, and distribution of durable goods. The primary purpose is to give students a real-world, hands-on simulation of an IT systems development process that spans the entire lifecycle of an IT project from initial project scoping and justification through acceptance testing and deployment. The KL case emphasizes the design and delivery of enterprise resource planning, supply-chain management, decision support system, and e-commerce solutions for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. The case leads the reader into a consideration of the many opportunities to improve KL�s performance through the better design and integration of IT-enabled processes and services, including designing a new e-commerce or DSS capability and reengineering KL�s supply-chain and product design practices.

Teaching Note: 8B05E23 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Operations Management; E-Commerce; Information System Design; Information Systems; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chris J. Piper

Product Number: 9A88D012
Publication Date: 1/1/1988
Revision Date: 6/27/2003
Length: 25 pages

Problems had come to a head at the Fokker aircraft company's parts fabrication facility. Backlogs had gone from essentially zero two years previously to a size that was threatening the economic viability of not just the company's two new aircraft programs, but the company itself. At the centre of the problem were: a manufacturing information system whose information was being questioned by all sides; a production planning department that was swamped with work; and a manufacturing function whose capacity to keep up with demand was in dispute. A decision and action plan is needed.

Teaching Note: 8A88D12 (14 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 7:
Creating an Edge through New Process Development

Larry Menor, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B04D011
Publication Date: 5/14/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 19 pages

The president of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust had just returned to his office after meeting with Britain's Prince Charles, who was on an official visit to Mumbai. The Trust was the managing organization of the dabbawallah meal delivery network. The dabbawallah's service was cited internationally by management scholars and industry executives as an exemplar in supply chain and service management. The service had acquired a reputation for its delivery reliability in Mumbai. International interest in the dabbawallahs was largely due to a 1998 article published by Forbes. However, many observers now expressed concerns over the future viability of the dabbawallahs' service given the difficulty in duplicating its delivery network elsewhere, the emergence of other lunch competitors in Mumbai, and an array of environmental changes affecting both its customers and the workforce. The case allows a discussion of service and supply chain management issues related to operational excellence.

Teaching Note: 8B04D11 (13 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Process Design/Change; System Design; Service Operations; Supply Chain Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Larry Menor, Jacob Cho

Product Number: 9B03D007
Publication Date: 9/25/2003
Revision Date: 10/19/2009
Length: 6 pages

The owners of Country Paws Boarding Inc., a large boarding facility for dogs, customarily took every opportunity to get to know each dog's likes, dislikes, behaviors and tendencies in order to minimize separation trauma. This required ongoing dialog with each dog owner and observation of each canine. The owners were always eager to chat with those boarding their dogs at Country Paws in the hope of identifying potential new services and improving existing offerings. In response to dog owner expectations for canine socialization and recreation, new offering being considered was the community playground. They must determine how this offering would fit with their current line of services and what other services were worth considering.

Teaching Note: 8B03D07 (8 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Small Business; Product Design/Development; Process Design/Change; Services
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Michiel R. Leenders, Robert Klassen, Natasha Ebanks

Product Number: 9B02D011
Publication Date: 9/20/2002
Revision Date: 11/9/2009
Length: 12 pages

ING Direct Canada is a retail banking operation and a subsidiary of one of the top global providers of integrated financial services, ING Group of the Netherlands. ING Direct Canada needs to meet the operational demands of a growing client base, while maintaining its current staffing levels, physical space and commitment to same-day processing of accounts. The senior vice-president of operations must implement procedures to cope with the immediate challenges of the company's growth, as well as develop a long-term strategy. Options to consider included new technology, increased efficiencies, or relaxing the same day processing requirements.

Teaching Note: 8B02D11 (15 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Process Analysis; Process Design/Change; Service Operations; Scheduling
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 8:
Creating an Edge through Superior Project Management

Carol Prahinski, Thomas K. Yeung

Product Number: 9B05D014
Publication Date: 10/13/2005
Revision Date: 9/28/2009
Length: 7 pages

The senior manager of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Ontario Division is working on the next fundraising event, the bicycle tour. She must plan the routing activities, while also concerned about cyclists' safety and enjoyment while participating in the event. Students will apply project management tools such as PERT/CPM diagrams and critical path while recognizing and managing for uncertainty in task duration times.

Teaching Note: 8B05D14 (15 pages)
Industry: Social Advocacy Organizations
Issues: Critical Path; Uncertainty; Project Management; Planning
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chris J. Piper

Product Number: 9B06D002
Publication Date: 1/11/2006
Revision Date: 9/16/2009
Length: 6 pages

CPSim2 is a Critical Path Simulator that runs under MS Windows. Participants use the simulator to manage the construction of an automated factory - a fairly complex, 43-activity project that must be completed in 107 days if penalties are to be avoided. As project manager, students must make effective trade-offs between the costs incurred by crashing (speeding up) activities, and the financial penalties for late completion. Unforeseen delays and speedups occur during the project, which require timely response. Although these appear random, each user of the simulator is exposed to the same events during the project. This allows performances and strategies to be compared within a class and between classes. CPSim2 maintains a current display of the project's CPM network, as well as the critical path(s) and activity slacks. The time required to complete the exercise is controlled by CPSim2, and does not exceed 60 minutes. This product provides the student instructions on the running of the simulation; the software itself is distributed with a site license for an additional annual license fee (product 7B06D002) - contact Ivey Publishing for pricing and distribution information.

Teaching Note: 8B06D02 (14 pages)
Issues: Critical Path; Computer Assisted Cases; Simulation; Project Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Lyn Purdy, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9A98D020
Publication Date: 10/27/1999
Revision Date: 1/27/2010
Length: 10 pages

The assistant brand manager for DayQuil cold medication is under the gun to meet the deadline for a sampling experiment designed to increase DayQuil's market share. The case discusses managing timelines, identifying bottlenecks, and developing project management skills. DayQuil Sampling Operations serves to introduce students to project management issues and the decisions that have to be made, including crashing timelines and identifying parallel processes. This case can also serve as an excellent introduction to the use of Microsoft Project. DayQuil Sampling Operations is part of a three-case series about the DayQuil brand of cold medication made by Procter & Gamble. The other cases are Procter & Gamble Canada: DayQuil Brand Sampling (9A98A029) and Procter & Gamble Canada: Managing DayQuil Sampling (9A98C015).

Teaching Note: 8A98D20 (5 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Brands; Critical Path; Project Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 9:
Evaluating and Justifying Capital Investments

Robert Klassen, Nitish Bahl

Product Number: 9B02D016
Publication Date: 10/29/2002
Revision Date: 8/21/2018
Length: 16 pages

Electrosteel Castings Limited, based in India, had been the largest domestic manufacturer of iron pipes for over four decades. Although it had achieved solid growth in recent years, the market was under increasing pressure as overall growth slowed and new competitors entered the market. The chief executive officer believed that international expansion was critical to future growth and would also provide additional currency for further investment in new process technologies. After extensive study, management had narrowed the options to Europe (France) or Southeast Asia (Vietnam). Given limited resources, Electrosteel could only enter one market, either with a new marketing office or a new manufacturing plant. Building an overseas plant was particularly attractive, as it would effectively translate into Electrosteel being considered a local competitor in that market, reducing costs and improving customer service. In recent weeks, the need for a decision had increased significantly, as management had become aware of foreign competitors investigating similar international expansion options. (A video highlighting the manufacturing process of the iron pipes is available, product 7B02D016.)

Teaching Note: 8B02D16 (16 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Operations Management; Capital Investment; Facilities Planning; International Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

James A. Erskine, Michiel R. Leenders, John S. Haywood-Farmer

Product Number: 9B02D001
Publication Date: 4/5/2002
Revision Date: 11/9/2009
Length: 9 pages

The Carmen Canning Company Limited was the major fruit juice canning company in Jamaica. The plant manager learned that the press manufacturers were offering new machinery for cover making. These new presses were capable of higher speed production and required less maintenance than the existing equipment in the cannery. If he wanted to convert to the new presses, he would have to present a feasibility report to the board of directors meeting. If he did not wish to invest at this time, he would still have to explain his reasons to the president who had been interested in this study right from the start. (This is the fourth in a series of cases titled Carmen Canning Company Limited (A), (B) and (C), product numbers 9A82D008, 9A82D009 and 9A82D010.)

Teaching Note: 8B02D01 (5 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Capacity Analysis; Capital Investment
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Andrew Fletcher

Product Number: 9A95D013
Publication Date: 6/12/1995
Revision Date: 2/16/2010
Length: 9 pages

The director of the Book Store, was trying to decide what to do about a recent customer survey that had revealed student dissatisfaction with long line ups and the hours of operation. The vice-president administration had been actively encouraging all operating units to adopt total quality service (TQS). The director of the book store was considering several options, trying to decide how the principles of TQS applied to his situation.

Teaching Note: 8A95D13 (8 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Capital Investment; Services; Quality Control
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 10:
Sharpening the Edge: Driving Operations Improvement

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Alex Antoniou

Product Number: 9B04D006
Publication Date: 6/24/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 17 pages

Canadian Tire is a large automotive parts, sports and leisure, and home improvement retail store chain. With the rise in the number of large retail outlets, the company needed to look at ways to maintain and increase sales. Continuous improvements were made to store design and in-store operations. The vice-president of store planning and merchandising was evaluating checkout configurations. He needed to make his decision soon to avoid delaying the construction of four new test stores. He has three options; continue using the current tandem system, add self check-outs or switch to a single line configuration. He must analyze the three options to determine the benefits and trade-offs of each.

Teaching Note: 8B04D06 (7 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Process Design/Change; Service Operations; Store Layout; Retailing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

P. Fraser Johnson, Mark Sheppard

Product Number: 9B00D016
Publication Date: 10/20/2000
Revision Date: 10/18/2002
Length: 20 pages

Blue Mountain Resorts had been driving its business with a service quality program for several years, which the vice-president of human resources was responsible for coordinating. With a new ski season underway, and the critical Christmas season approaching, he wanted to continue progress of the program by introducing a new set of initiatives. He had recently gathered together a team of Blue Mountain Resort managers, from a variety of different areas in the company, to identify opportunities to improve service quality. The group provided three proposals that he felt warranted consideration. At the upcoming executive team meeting, he would be expected to set the priorities for the coming year and recommend what action, if any, should be taken for each. He had to decide which programs made the most sense for immediate action and which ones required additional study and analysis. Each of the proposals affected different parts of the organization, so he also needed to be concerned about who else in the company should be involved in further evaluation and implementation.

Teaching Note: 8B00D16 (14 pages)
Industry: Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Issues: Continuous Improvement; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Service Operations; Service Quality
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Henry W. Lane, John Kamauff, David Ager

Product Number: 9A95C018
Publication Date: 8/17/1995
Revision Date: 2/12/2010
Length: 17 pages

The president and owner of a small sandal factory realizes that if his company is to survive in the long-run, the manufacturing operation would need to become more efficient. Relaxed tariff barriers had increased the level of foreign competition in the country, particularly in the footwear industry. He had recently attended a seminar on total quality control (TQC) sponsored by the local trade association. Despite the potential benefits of TQC and its record of past successes, John was uncertain whether the Mexican employees would be able to implement TQC, a system that appeared to be based on different norms and values than those of Mexican workers.

Teaching Note: 8A95C18 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Quality Control; Organizational Change; Management Systems; International Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 11:
Guiding the Pursuit of an Operations Edge

Chris J. Piper, Nigel Goodwin

Product Number: 9B06D020
Publication Date: 10/12/2006
Revision Date: 9/16/2009
Length: 15 pages

ForeFront Wood Products produces high quality wooden door-sets. The company faces capacity constraints and inefficiencies resulting from its processes and culture. As a consequence, it struggles to be profitable. ForeFront's parent company, ForeFront Holdings, plans an initial public offering in 2007. It has recently hired a new operations manager with the mandate to turn the factory around. As the operations manager begins his job he tours the manufacturing facilities to gather information on production processes and factors affecting capacity, cost and conformance. The case describes the firm's manufacturing and managerial processes. Many issues are described, including high costs, low yields, unreported defects and equipment that fails to operate near its rated capacity. Organizational and change management challenges, including high employee turnover, excessive use of overtime and failure of supervisors to observe or report employee errors are also described.

Teaching Note: 8B06D20 (12 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: China; Production Management/Control; Organizational Behaviour; Automation; Bottlenecks; Nanyang
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

P. Fraser Johnson

Product Number: 9B01D014
Publication Date: 3/28/2002
Length: 4 pages

With revenues of over US$1 billion, UPS Logistics Group was a wholly owned subsidiary of United Parcel Service, which offered a full range of supply chain services in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. UPS Logistics was responsible for distribution in Eastern Canada for the Canadian Pharmaceutical Distribution Network, an association of pharmaceutical manufacturers that jointly distribute products to hospital pharmacies. Members of this association are unhappy with the current performance of the supply chain, and have asked UPS Logistics' general manager for operations to establish a set of key performance indicators for the network's distribution operations. The general manager must determine how the logistics would be measured before setting specific improvement targets.

Teaching Note: 8B01D14 (14 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Performance Measurement; Outsourcing; Logistics; Distribution
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chris J. Piper, Narendar Sumukadas

Product Number: 9A97D012
Publication Date: 12/3/1997
Revision Date: 2/3/2010
Length: 15 pages

The vice-president Operations of Spartan Plastics, is facing a trade-off. As an avid proponent of the Toyota production system, just in time manufacturing (JIT), ISO 9001, and continuous improvement, he has reduced setup times, batch sizes, and throughput times. On the other hand, the scrap rate has shot up. This case would be appropriate for use in a production and operations course, to introduce students to the concepts of JIT and world class manufacturing.

Teaching Note: 8A97D12 (6 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Quality Management; Continuous Improvement; Just-in-Time; Operations Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA