Decision-making at A-Cat Corp.
(3 pages of text)
The case describes the situation faced by the vice president of A-CAT Corp. The company was a mid-sized manufacturer and distributor of domestic electrical appliances, largely catering to the price-sensitive rural population. The firm operated two medium-sized facilities in a remote district in Vidarbha, India. A-CAT manufactured a wide range of electrical appliances including TV signal boosters, transformers, FM radio kits, electronic ballasts, battery chargers, and voltage regulators. The focus was on its flagship product, the VR500 voltage regulator. The team planned to identify potential suppliers/vendors with their attendant strengths and weaknesses and to do so in a well-documented and structured manner. Analytical hierarchy process was a technique that could be used to meet this challenge.
This case can be used in core courses in quantitative techniques, decision sciences, and/or production and operation management at the graduate level, preferably during or after a basic statistics module. The case focuses on the use of decision-making technology that deconstructs the problem into a hierarchy of more easily comprehended sub-problems, each of which can be analyzed independently. The case can also be effectively utilized in elective courses on business process reengineering, actuarial sciences, value analysis and engineering, concurrent engineering/management, quality management (quality function deployment, benchmarking), lean and six sigma, and financial engineering (techno-economic feasibility analysis).
The learning objectives include:
- Understanding the relationship between considered criteria and available alternatives.
- Grasping the basics of decision-making and decision analysis.
- Using decision-making and decision analysis in assessing the scope for cost reduction.
The case provides a good illustration of a small industry in a “backwards” region that has proactively undertaken several innovative steps towards improvement. It presents an example of how a small/medium-sized organization, even with resource constraints, can employ techno-economic analysis in various activities.
India, Small, 2010
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