Cookie production starts as soon as orders from distributors are received by management. These orders are used to schedule production. At the beginning of each shift, the person in charge of mixing will receive a list of cookies to be made that day. The master list indicates the ingredients necessary for each cookie type. This information is entered into a computer which determines the amount of each ingredient according to the amount of cookies ordered. The data are sent to storage silos, which contain flour, sugar, and cake flour. These ingredients are sent automatically to giant mixing machines where they are combined with proper amounts of eggs, water, and flavoring. Once ingredients have been mixed properly, the batter is poured into a cutting machine. Individual cookies are then cut. The cookies are dropped onto a conveyer belt and transported through one of two ovens. An additional step of filling and folding is required for filled cookies such as apple, date, and rasp-berry. The non-filled cookies are cut diagonally rather than round. As they come out of the ovens, they are fed onto spiral cooling racks. Once off the cooling racks, the cookies are placed into boxes manually by workers who also remove broken or deformed cookies. Wrapping, sealing and labeling of boxes is done automatically.
Productivity has been improved by giving the cookies a diagonal-cut which requires less space than straight-cut cookies. An increase in length of each oven by 25 feet also increased the rate of production. The quantity of cookies produced was as a direct result of the oven’s increase in length.
The company is making the right decision. This is because automating the packaging process means foregoing quality. Broken or deformed cookies are removed on the last stage of production just before packaging.
In such a situation, companies would have to lay off workers once automated packaging began. Its obligation to the employees was to safeguard their source of income. The company feels obligated to employ the 30 women from the community who do the boxing manually.
The size of the town matters. Since it is located in a small town, the labor costs are low due to the presence of unskilled labor. If it were located in a large city, the labor cost would be higher. Yes, the size of the company is also a factor. If it were a larger company, production would not necessarily begin when orders arrive because the company would be supplying many distributors and would need to have a stock supply. It would also need a larger work force for their operations.
The competitive advantage Hazel has over professional lawn care services is that she started working on her neighbors’ lawn. Once people realized she was available, they wanted her to work on their lawns, which means they felt somehow more assured to have someone they know work for them. This is also evident from the fact that other people switched from professional lawn care services.
Hazel has to consider how each equipment makes on its own has an advantage over the other. The edgers’ increase productivity while the chain saw is used for tree pruning. While pruning may lead to strong, healthy, and attractive trees, if she were to focus on a short term gainful result then whatever increases her output is advisable. With edgers, she can work faster and save on time and costs.
She definitely needs a mission statement. Hazel believes she can expand further if she wanted. To do that she will need to know what she wants, how to attain them and the benefit to the customer. A targeted mission statement will certainly improve performance. She must also consider the fact that she will be going up against professional lawn care services on a larger scale than just her neighborhood, and they will undoubtedly have a mission statement.
The first problem that would need an overhaul is Jimmy Joe Sorely’s policy of dividing the inventory among the warehouses. One regional warehouse having an ample supply while another has no stock clearly shows that, in one area, the demand for the grills is higher. Next, looking into the monthly or quarterly sales per warehouse would show which one would need a slightly higher supply than the other, since it has more “actual customers”. This also removes the need of a safety stock in regional warehouses that do not need them and will reduce the inventory holding costs. The main warehouse would then have to ship the actual quantity of orders requested on time, to curb the loss of sales. The company should, therefore, have a timeline on when the barbecue grills will be delivered to a particular regional warehouse from the time an order is placed.