1. Briefly describe the cookie production process.
The company uses batch processing system, wherein the process begins when the management gets orders from its distributors. Production schedules are then made which are based on the orders received. In the beginning of every shift, a list of the cookies to be made that day is delivered to the person in charge of mixing. The ingredients needed are activated through a master list containing all the ingredients to ensure accuracy. The ingredients are then transferred to the mixers then to a cutting machine. After that, the cookies are heated to an oven and moved to a cooling rack. When the cookies are all cooked, they are manually packed. Lastly, the packaged cookies are labelled and sealed.
2. What are two ways that the company has increased productivity? Why did increasing the length of the ovens result in faster output rate?
First, the company has increased productivity by cutting the non-filled cookies diagonally, so more cookies can be baked any time. Second, automating the ingredients lead to reduction in the waste of ingredients and helps on the cut back with human error when mixing the ingredients. Increasing the length of the ovens result in faster output rate since it enables more cookies to be baked at once. The bigger the oven, the more cookies we can bake in it which means the faster the output rate.
3. Do you think the company is making the right decision by not automating the packing of cookies? Explain your reasoning. What obligation does a company have to its employees in a situation such as this? What obligation does it have to the community? Is the size of the town a factor? Would it make a difference if the company was located in a large city? Is the size of the company a factor? What if it was a much larger company?
I think that the company is making the right decision by not automating the packing of the cookies. It should resemble the human factor in its product. One of the most important steps before packing the cookies is the removal of broken or deformed cookies. An automated process is unable to conduct this critical step. It is critical that this step is done as it would depict the image of the company producing a good product. All companies have a moral obligation towards their employees. If the company has built on a structure that would help employees stay gainfully employed, the company should honor the commitment it has on its employees. A company that is committed to its workforce sends a message to the community that it cares and is dedicated to its employees. People of a community would be more proud to support such a company with integrity and commitment.
Yes, the size of the town is a factor. If the company is located in a small town, it is much easier for them to penetrate the market and to actually show the values it has within its company. Yes, I think it would matter if the company is located in a large city, as it is quite challenging to catch more customers in larger cities, because of the increase in competition. Yes, the size of the company is a factor. The bigger the company is, the easier it is for them to hook customers, as the customers would perceive that it is already established and trusted. It would benefit the company more if it were larger, since it could hire more people and has capacity to help the community more. However, it is very important for companies to take note that whether it may be big or small it should always focus on productivity and efficiency to provide absolute customer satisfaction.
4. What factors cause the company to carry minimal amounts of certain inventories? What benefits result from this policy?
Minimal amounts of inventories are caused by many factors. First factor is the quality of the cookies. Since the company is set on providing a product that is high quality and does not use preservatives or additives, they use minimal inventories to retain the freshness of the product and to avoid waste of resources. Second, lower inventory costs, the lesser the inventory the lower the costs. Third, less need for storage space, since there is minimal inventories used, minimal space is also utilized. Lastly, satisfied customers, because of the freshness and high quality of the cookies the company provides satisfaction to its consumers.
5. As a consumer, what things do you consider in judging the quality of cookies you buy in a supermarket?
The main factor in judging the quality of the cookies is by its quality or freshness. Fresh or high quality cookies would catch more customers. Second, the ingredients, if natural ingredients are used I would be more enticed to buy cookies. Third is the packaging of the product, its outer appearance tells a lot about a product. I would buy a product which has a really nice and neat packaging.
6. What advantages and what limitations stem from the company’s not using preservatives in cookies?
By not using preservatives, the product would appeal more to customers, as more people now are health-conscious. It would also lessen the costs of the company, since fewer ingredients are needed. On the other hand, not using preservatives limits the shelf life of the cookies.
7. Briefly describe the company’s strategy.
Mainly, the company focuses on providing high quality cookies that appeal to a particular market niche. The company also centers on its customers and employees. Through this, it gives a possible effect on its community and gains the support of the people.