As one of the largest cooperatives for cranberry growers in North America, the National Cranberry Cooperative (NCC) encompasses operations in five states as well as two locations in Canada. Last year, sales from the United States alone reached upwards of $138 million, making 1995 NCC’s most productive season to date. The development and increased use of cranberry bogs in particular—commonly known as “wet harvesting” as opposed to the more traditional practice of “dry harvesting” by hand—has brought higher yields to the NCC while creating new challenges for its receiving plants to keep pace. One such site, Receiving Plant No. 1 (RP1), experienced unprecedented levels of overtime costs during the 1995 season due to delivery backups at the plant’s loading docks. These additional costs have caused significant frustration among the cooperative members, and growers have demanded that RP1 identify the cause for these delays within the plant and implement a solution before the new season begins.
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