Mini Iron & Alloys Private Limited: Springing into a New Future
(6 pages of text)
The case details the challenges of running a small manufacturing enterprise in India. The current operations at Mini Iron & Alloys Private Limited (MIA), which produced springs for rail wagons, were stable, and business had grown. However, the demand for springs was expected to increase with the Indian government’s announcement, in early 2019, to establish a rail freight corridor. The proprietor of MIA mused on the firm’s readiness to undertake the surge in demand. He also ruminated on the prudence of relying on a single customer in a captive market.
The case is suitable for use at the graduate level, in an operations management course or an operations strategy course. Its use can be considered to have various levels of complexity: as an exercise in process improvement or in developing a company’s operations strategy. The major objective of the case is to bring about an appreciation in students of the universal applicability of operations improvement techniques and the dynamics of choosing between strategic options. The information in the case juxtapositions two strategies- improvement and diversification- such that the protagonist can weigh them before selecting one or even both. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to understand the following:
- Spring (wagon component) production.
- Challenges in running a small and medium enterprise (SME).
- The formulation of a process improvement strategy.
- Choosing one strategy over another.
- Diversifying a manufacturing business.
India, Small, 2019
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