The Bayfield Mud Company has had some problems with their 50-pound bags of treating agents. They sent shipped some bags to Wet-Land Drilling, Inc. that were found to be short-weight by approximately 5%. Wet-Land first did their own study on how many bags were short and by how much. They randomly sampled 50 bags and found the average net weight to be 47.51 pounds. Wet-Land then contacted Bayfield Mud about the situation. Bayfield gave a 5% credit to Wet-Land for the mistakes. Wet-Land was not completely satisfied with the credit because the errors in the weight of the bags could have hurt their operations. Wet-Land informed Bayfield Mud that if something like this happened again, they would take their business elsewhere.
Bayfield’s response to all this was to expand from a one-shift to a two-shift operation. Then, they had to expand to a three-shift operation. The additional night-shift bagging crew consisted of all new employees. The most emphasis was placed on increasing output. It was very likely that only occasionally were bags double checked on their weight. This is where the statistical control has come into place.
The problems that Bayfield Mud faces include the possibility of losing a customer in Wet-Land, Inc. Another problem is putting out a product that is not acceptable. This problem could lead to more than just the loss of one customer, but perhaps an even greater amount.
Based on the information given in the following charts and numbers, especially the control chart, it is obvious that the bag problem is out of control. Out of the 72 times that samples were taken, 14 were out of control. That is unacceptable for a company who intends on satisfying the customer and maintaining business. Something must be done in this company to correct the problem that has arisen.
Some recommendations that I have would be to focus more on the quality rather than the quantity. The managers are so intent on getting the most products, that they are willing to sacrifice the quality. It may be time to have a meeting with all managers to reemphasize that the focus should be on the quality. If the people in the upper positions do not care about the product, only that they produce a lot of it, then it may be time to think about hiring some employees in those positions that will focus on quality. A recommendation that is not as severe would be to take the time to weigh more, if not every, bag. The company needs to ensure that the bag really does weigh 50 pounds.
If they are going to offer a 50 pound product, then make it 50 pounds. It seems that the times that most of the bags are less than 50 pounds are around the nighttime shifts. Also, the times that it seems more bags are over 50 pounds are during the daytime shifts. They need to develop a system to ensure the accuracy of weighing the bags. Whatever they would implement would have to increase quality, while not hurting the output numbers. There is a large demand for their product, so they must be able to meet the demand.
Bayfield Mud Company has a lot of improving to do. After looking at the charts and numbers on the following pages it is obvious that something needs to be done. For the samples to be that out of control is very unacceptable. Perhaps Bayfield needs to change their strategy or even do an entire makeover of their management team. Obviously something needs to be done to ensure the success of Bayfield Mud Company.