Albatross Anchor is a small, family owned business located in Smalltown, USA that started in 1976. There staff grew from 4 employees to 130 in no time. All of their operations were ran in the same building with the Admin in the front and manufacturing in the back. The plant is antiquated, worn, dirty technology deprived and no longer meets all the USA standard requirements.
Carefully review the assignment scenario/case study. From the limited information in the scenario/case study, along with your answers to the unit three written assignment, identify at least three direct and specific long-term and three direct and specific short term operations changes that Albatross Anchor must make to gain a clear and sustainable competitive advantage (provide detailed information to validate and support each recommended change)
Long-Term Operational Changes
(01) Improved technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness throughout the plant. Without a doubt, old technology makes it harder for the manufacturing process and takes longer to get the products to the end user. A five year plan to update technology would be more cost effective and can address the technology issues on a predetermined plan over the five year term.
(02) Purchase new equipment to eliminate sharing manufacturing equipment between the two different types of anchors. The new equipment should be state of the art to assist with the technology upgrades and to get the most for the money. The separate equipment will eliminate the 36 hours of down time necessary to change over the equipment between production runs.
(03) Separate manufacturing areas for the snag hook anchor and the bell anchors to increase production. This will tie the technology portion as well as the new equipment portion altogether to create two separate manufacturing areas.
Short-Term Operational Changes
(01) Update US safety and environmental standards. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the compliance and enforcement division releases the average annual fines collected by the EPA throughout the year. It is imperative that Albatross Anchor update the environmental standards of the plant to bring them up to code. The 2011 annual fees for the EPA as of December 8, 2011 was 3 billion in to clean up hazardous waste and 168 million in fines used to deter pollution (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). An investment now will save money in the future.
(02) The most effective short term change would be to have a separate location for the administrative offices. The site could be on site but in a secluded area to make the interruptions minimal and to increase productivity.
(03) Set specific shipping and receiving schedules for international shipping and incoming raw materials. Albatross Anchor shipping and receiving departments should not have materials coming in and going out at the same time. To eliminate mistakes and increase efficiency, set predetermined days to ship internationally and to receive incoming raw materials or stagger delivery of the goods.
From the list of ten operational issues in the Unit 6 assignment instructions select four operational issues. For each of the four operational issues explain in detail that operational issue will help Albatross Anchor improve; 1) job retention, 2) employee morale, and 3) employee dedication.
Operational Issue One: Cross Training
Employees that are cross trained are more valuable to the company because they can perform tasks when employees are out ill or if there is a shortage
of employees in a particular area (Russell & Taylor III, 2011). Cross trained employees are likely to be more involved in their job and are likely to perform better because they have an understanding of many areas of the company. The cross trained employees know they are invaluable because they can do many tasks and they are generally more dedicated because they are willing to learn different aspects of the manufacturing process at Albatross Anchor.
Operational Issue Two: Gain sharing and profit sharing
Profit sharing is a win situation for the employee and the company. This perk benefits the employees because most profit sharing programs incorporate retirement plans as their vehicle. Employers benefit because profit sharing attracts dedicated employees (Hugh, 1990). Profit sharing and Gain sharing both contribute to employee dedication and increasing morale. The performance of the employees can also be directly related to the employees personal financial objective.
Operational Issue Three: Job Design
Right person; right role is a common term amongst many companies today. This directly correlates to job design. Not every employee can perform every function within a company. Some employees are better suited to certain roles than others. Frederick Herzberg identified attributes that make a potential job design a good fit (Russell & Taylor III, 2011). Employees that are well suited to their jobs are more likely to be happy and stay at their job. They will be happier because they will not be ill suited to handle the task at hand.
Operational Issue Four: Ergonomics
Play a vital role in production. Recognizing ergonomic risks factors in the work place is an essential first step in correcting hazards and improving worker protection. In an effort to maintain a steady production rate and remain competitive, the company will need to redesign the machinery and implement new practices, Poor machine design, tool, and workplace design or use of improper tools create physical stress on workers bodies, which can lead to injury.
Albatross Anchors, although a family business still has the potential to turn things around to become a more profitable company. Implementing netter processes and practices along with identifying the Long Term Operational changes needed and the Short Term Operational changes that are needed will result in more efficient and more productive management. US safety and environmental guidelines have to be followed and maintained so the company is never in danger of being shut down. Create a more productive work area for the administrative offices and constructing separate manufacturing areas for production. The company is in need of many required changes so they can be more productive and have better time management. With the new reviews this observation has managed to create, the result will have the required proficient changes that are needed to become a more productive company.
Hugh, L. (1990). Why profit sharing is important
Russell, R. S., & Taylor III, B. W. (2011). Operations Management: Creating Value along the Supply Chain 7th edition. Retrieved November 18, 2011, from Wiley.com: http://bcs.wiley.com/he-bcs/Books?action=index&itemId=0470525908&bcsId=5869 US Environmental Protection Agency. (2011, December 8). Data, Planning and Results. Retrieved December 18, 2011, from US Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/index.html