Rajarambapu Patil Sugars: Not So Sweet Conundrum
(7 pages of text)
In 2017, the general manager of Rajarambapu Patil Co-operative Sugar Factory, a 50-year-old sugar plant in India, needed to recommend a strategy for the factory’s upcoming production cycle. For the aggregate production plan, he was considering three options: a chase strategy, a level strategy, and a subcontracting strategy. The company faced multiple challenges, including a limited pool of skilled labourers, employee poaching by competitors and allied manufacturers, the wide availability of job options in metro cities, and pressure from the labour union. Company management wanted to optimize profits, while reducing risks and incurring no extra costs. How should the general manager decide which strategy would best meet all the criteria?
This case is suitable for discussing aggregate production planning in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in operations management, supply chain management, industrial engineering, production management, or inventory management. It is also suitable for discussing issues and challenges in family businesses or for depicting sugar production in an undergraduate or postgraduate production management course. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- understand the aggregate production planning process, including the level, chase, and subcontracting strategies;
- design an aggregate production plan, by applying a level, chase, or subcontracting strategy;
- understand the basics of inventory management;
- forecast product demand, while considering the effects of seasonality; and
- model the labour requirements using linear programming’s optimization technique.
India, Medium, 2017
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