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Operations Management Essay

1. Discuss how just-in-time manufacturing might affect a Job Shop (Consider both positive and negative impacts on both internal and external operations).

Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing may affect a Job Shop both positively and negatively. The most important affect is that it improves the performance of job shop production. JIT also eliminates waste and/or decreases work in progress (WIP) in that same sense. JIT allows for products that are produced to fulfill an immediate demand for them. JIT emphasizes on quality. Quality is very important in JIT manufacturing because it decreases or eliminates costs and increases profits by producing high quality products the first time around. JIT allows for quality products to be transformed from raw materials into finished goods as expediently and efficiently as possible without delay.

Some of the negative affects are unskilled or untrained workers. They may not make quality products because they are not trained properly or often. It may affect external operations by promoting competitive bidding between vendors to provide needed inventory. Sometimes this can cause friction between long-standing vendors and the company when they’re out bid by another vendor. It can tarnish the business relationship.

2. You operate a dairy farm, raising cows for the production of raw milk products. Briefly identify the levels of vertical integration that you would anticipate being possible for such an operation (include both backward and forward integration in your response).

Operating a dairy farm, raising cows, would be a very challenging business to conduct. The competition for market share is outrageous. One level of vertical integration that I would anticipate is to possibly setup my own distribution center. I would face some challenges because I’d have to hire workers with this type of expertise, along with the knowledge of farming. Though I’d have to invest more capital and purchase or allot warehousing space for the added inventory, in the long run it would be much more economically beneficial to my farming business. I would become my own distributor, thus passing these savings to my customers, while gaining market share. Another level of vertical integration would be that I’d purchase more land to have grass to feed my cows, instead of purchasing feed from a feed company. That type of integration is called forward integration.

3. Discuss the concept of the “Process Spectrum”. Use examples where appropriate.

The Process Spectrum is made up of five major types of manufacturing processes that a company may use to get to an end product, or a finished good or service. The continuous flow process is characterized by the flow of material. During this process, the material hardly ever stops, but moves constantly from one process to another. Using the continuous flow process, the time to transform raw material into a finished project can be easily estimated. The Job Shop process is the most flexible of the processes. Unlike the continuous flow process, the Job Shop process it group’s similar equipment together. This most often allows for products to flow from one machine to a different type of machine and back to a previous type of machine, if needed, unlike the continuous flow process.

This process fulfills an outside customer’s order by an agreed-upon date and whatever quantity ordered. The batch flow process is most similar to the job shop process, in that the equipment is grouped by function rather than product. Unlike the job shop process, it produces products in an established lot size that move into an inventory from which further production or final customer orders are filled. The Line Flow process mostly resembles a moving assembly line, such as in the auto industry. In contrast to the continuous flow, the line flow is more flexible, less automated, and more labor/worker driven. The hybrid process is where the first part of the flow of materials resembles the batch flow process, while the latter part resembles a line or continuous flow process. In a hybrid process, on process separates the inventory by parts or semi-finished inventory, to be passed to the other process for assembly or finishing.

4. Compare and contrast the “Worker Paced Line Flow Process” and the “Machine Paced Line Flow Process” as relates to capital use, process speed, pacing, and materials requirements.

In comparing and contrasting the “Worker Paced Line Flow” and “Machine Paced Line Flow” processes in reference to capital use, it is fairly cheap to manufacture and or service the customer base in the worker paced line flow than the machine paced line flow. Though the equipment is specially designed to produce the quality products of the company, the difference in capital use is greater in the machine paced line flow because the operations are most likely larger in size than the worker paced line flow process. In a worker paced line flow, the process of making raw material into a finished product is increasingly fast, such as in a fast food restaurant. The customers expect to be served in a decent time frame and expect their food to be fresh, hot, and in good or great quality.

The product flow depends on the immediate demand. The greater the customer base, the greater the need to produce products and in a faster pace. However, it is still dependent upon the pace of the workers and their pace is monitored and adjusted by management as deemed fit for customer demand. In a machine flow process, the process of speed is fast. This is based upon the speed of the machine producing the product. However, machines can be set to achieve a set goal by management. In reference to materials requirements, in a worker paced line the amount of material or inventory needed or required is closely estimated by the amount of sales. In a machine paced line flow process, the amount is not known for certain until a production plan is established.

5. Briefly discuss the concept of the “cost of quality”. Consider both positive and negative costs associated with a typical quality program in a manufacturing facility.

My understanding of the term “Quality is Free” is to make the product to specifications the first time, as to avoid the costs associated with correcting all of the defects. Poor quality could lead to poor customer relations, which is bad because most businesses are advertised through “word of mouth”. To scrap means to start over from the beginning. That’s not good because you’ve made the product twice at twice the cost. Costs can be mitigated when the products are inspected and tested to detect defects at different stages of WIP, before rolling out to the market. This is a good process to have in place. Ensuring workers are properly trained and cross-trained is a good preventative measure to have in place. The more processes a worker can perform, the more productive the company can be.

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