(4 pages of text)
Bruce Ballantyne had recently joined C.R.P. Products (CRP), a furniture manufacturer in Stratford, Ontario, to help review the company’s operations and assess what changes were necessary to keep up with demand. Although it was early 2011 and the peak season was still four months away, Ballantyne knew that he would have to determine what equipment was needed over the next three weeks to ensure it was delivered and installed before the peak season. Jamie Bailey, the owner of CRP, had also concluded that CRP did not have the financing available for both the new equipment needed to make its unique design of outdoor furniture and the seasonal working capital required to support inventory and accounts receivable. He had turned to Ballantyne to develop a solution that would keep up with demand, keep inventory low, and work within the available financing.
Students are challenged to find ways to increase capacity in order to keep up with demand without investing any new money. Through an analysis of the manufacturing process, students will be required to identify the bottleneck and how misallocation of resources can impact capacity. This case also teaches the effect of batch size on inventory, setup time, and capacity. In addition, students should be able to identify the trade-offs in process design and the need to implement different process structures given different product characteristics. Finally, this case highlights the interconnected nature of operations and finance, and the need to look at operations as a solution to larger business issues. The case can be taught as a single case or together with C. R. Plastics, an accounting and finance case (product #9B11D016).
Ontario, Canada, Medium, 2011
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