(4 pages of text)
The chief operating officer at Westridge Cabinets, a Canadian cabinet manufacturer, needs to improve the company’s on-time delivery performance and reduce costs. Customers’ orders vary widely, in terms of both order size and product mix, leading to complications in planning and scheduling the plant. As part of their analysis, students are required to 1) recognize how the company’s order process integrates with production planning and control; 2) understand how manufacturing lead times affect flexibility and delivery performance and 3) calculate capacity in each department to identify and resolve potential constraints.
This case is well-suited for an introductory undergraduate or MBA operations class dealing with throughput time, process flow and/or capacity analysis in the context of a manufacturing business. In an industry where on-time delivery is essential, developing operational capabilities (e.g., flexibility) can help address challenges related to the variability in order volumes and product mix. The instructor can delve into strategic issues related to the contribution of operations to both business performance and strategic operational priorities, and explore alternative approaches derived from the quantitative data provided in the case.
Canada, Medium, 2015
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