1. Washburn adopts priority rules in manufacturing, which deviates from traditional Manufacturing process. What quality management method or tool would you think Washburn could use to optimize its manufacturing process and why?
Answer: Washburn is a well-known guitar manufacturer in the United States of America, it is successfully operating its businesses in the United States since 1883 from Chicago and is quite well-known there, and a lot of pop stars and great music sensations are its valued customers (Washburn, n.d.). Washburn is providing its customers with one of the greatest music instruments .
Washburn instruments are quite famous in the United States for their quality and their unique design but as it is that everything good has its drawbacks too so even Washburn is doing good but there is a drawback too that the one thing which is holding Washburn back from making immense profits and that is that it adopts priority rules in its manufacturing process and that sometimes results in a loss ,as priority is given to a certain item over the other items, the priority may be given due to the new items price ,might be because of the order’s urgency that other in line orders are delayed and preference is given to the new order .
The manufacturing process at Washburn guitars is an synthetic process ,synthetic actually means that for different types of instruments the machinery has to be changed or if the machinery is not changed then it usually undergoes certain modifications in which new parts are added and new modifications are made to manufacture different type of the instruments.
Since Washburn don’t have enough capabilities to have each machine to manufacture the different type and also it is a lot more difficult as each instrument is a little different from the previous one and also when we are manufacturing instruments on demand and we are running a business in which there are a lot of custom orders also we would have orders from famous musicians then the order has to be according to their needs and for that special attention has to be paid but Washburn is lacking a proper system for its manufacturing process that is the preference factor ,Washburn usually gives preference to some instruments on the basis of their price , due date and some other factors what Washburn needs first is having a beneficial supplier relationships that is important for the availability of raw materials and special parts for the instruments as currently for some instruments it takes Washburn almost 90 days to purchase parts for some new models,soWashburn need to have good supplier relationship to have the parts delivered to the manufacturing site as soon as possible and secondly its scheduling ,rather proper and organized scheduling should be done since scheduling has a big impact on the productivity of any item that is manufactured in the manufacturing process the most important benefit of scheduling is that it reduces production time and also the production cost of the manufactured item so Washburn need to have backward scheduling as it is planning the tasks from the due date to determine the start date or any changes that are required also to minimize prefrencing they should have dedicate separate workers and some separate machinery that would coupe with immediate orders for the instruments and the total manufacturing would be least affected so by proper scheduling they could have increased efficiency ,increased production, a low labor load , accurate delivery or the final dates and most importantly no preferencing.Washburn needs backward scheduling ,good supplier relationships to have the parts delivered with in no time ,timely analysis and a separate work force or a system that would coupe with special orders and that’s how Washburn could easily optimize its manufacturing process.
2. Does flexible manufacturing (changing the process in order to produce different Products) counteract the effort of quality control system? Discuss.
Answer: “People can order any color of car as long as it is black.” (Henry Ford)
In the 1960’s and the 70’s the most important concern for the buyer as well as the manufacturer was the cost but with time people become more and more aware and they want products according to their own individual needs and with it the priority and the speed of delivery also got immense importance for the customers and the markets became complex and the manufacturing processes of the companies became even more complex so along time firms realized the benefits of a flexible manufacturing system in which there is always some amount of flexibility which makes the entire system to react accordingly in case of any changes.
Here at Washburn the machine flexibility is used in which the system is able to produce new product types, and cope with different order types. The flexible manufacturing system does not in any way counteract the quality control system rather it helps the firm to manufacture different instruements and to fulfill different orders at the same time according to the quality standards and the status quo of each of the instruments is equally maintained (BBC, 2001).
Flexible manufacturing is a process which enables Washburn to perform multiple tasks at once enabling it to deal with greatly mixed and different parts ,producing a variety of products like it is the same machine builds guitar necks, drills holes for the fret board, body, and
electronics, and handles this task for a variety of different models this makes the process a lot easier and has a lot many benefits for the firms with no effect on the quality control as it is all done by machine and if the input is right then the output would definitely be exactly what we would have given it to do although a lot more care and checkups and tunings are required but the quality remains the same if all the things are working fine. The flexible manufacturing has a lot of benefits first of all there is the most important time factor it reduces the time and also effort in manufacturing the instruments, the greater productivity, greater machine efficency,lower per unit costs and even improved quality. Flexible manufacturing may counteract the quality control system in some situations like in mass production but for Washburn a firm that deals in small sets of products the flexible manufacturing is the best application.
Describe the concept of sole sourcing. How are the concepts of sole sourcing
And strategic partnerships related? Critically evaluate the importance of sole
Sourcing to an organization’s profitability.
Answer : The term sole sourcing is used when a firm manufactures and sells a certain product itself without the help from any other firm .It is actually a non-competitive purchase or a process of getting the possession of something after soliciting and negotiating properly but with only one source which is also called sole source neglecting all other sources and all the other firms only negotiating with a single source .For example if we talk about a sole source item then it would be defined as an item which only has a single supplier (rfptemplates.technologyevaluation, 2010).
Often it is observed that firms send requests basically want Only single source purchases which are only those items that are made by only one manufacturer but also distributed by one supplier if the item is distributed from many different suppliers then it is not called a sole source item sole source rather it would be said that the item has a sole has a sole manufacturer but it does not have a sole supplier.
In an organization sole sourcing is said to be done when the organization decides to work with only one (single) vendor for its products or services. Sole sourcing contract is usually very beneficial for both the company and for the customer in many ways the benefits include cost savings, fast and smooth communications and operational efficiency but every company has to do significant research of the market before entering into a sole source contract (Schwartz, 2008).
With a sole supplier it is a lot easier for a company to deal with the errors and to maintain good relationships whereas when the company does not have a sole supplier it faces many problems, problems like Shipping errors, damaged product and it takes a lot of time to establish smooth communication with the supplier. Also with a sole source supplier it’s easier for a company to bring in the new products the process of implementing new products becomes easier because the supplier already knows what to do and how to do, so the company can easily implement new products, focus more on customer service and repairs on that product . Another big advantage of sole sourcing for the companies is that they have themselves a central location for any support and they do not have to wander here and there to get the solutions for example if we talk about a sole source computer provider will be able to support all of computers of the company also if there is any upgrade then it would also be supported so the company would not have to go anywhere else (Enderle, 2008).
The term strategic partnership is similar to sole sourcing strategic partnership is defined as an alliance that is formed between any two or could be more than two companies by a business contract but it’s not a legal partnership. Strategic partnerships are formed usually when both the two companies have some interest in the other companies assets .For example a manufacturer forms a strategic relationship with a wholesaler so both of them got together in a contract and establish a closer relationship where they mutually participate in many activities like advertising, marketing, branding, product development and many other .the partnership of an automobile manufacture with its parts supplier is an strategic partnership some other examples of strategic partnership include Shell group of companies with KPI(Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd),Nokia and Yahoo,Fiat and Chrysler,Fujitsu with Symantec,Prima Solutions with HCL Technologies,Temenos with Cognizant.
A strategic partnership is just like sole sourcing that is companies get together in contracts and mutually work although in the strategic partnerships both the companies have to work mutually and equally so a strategic partnership is between firms resources and its capabilities to obtain mutual interests and in sole sourcing also the same thing is there but only there is no competition and only one source is considered and in this new changing age both the strategic partnerships as well as sole sourcing helps business to proceed forward by the help of the partners resources which saves time as well as boost the productivity and reduces the costs (www.cathygreen.org, 2010).
Sole sourcing is extremely important as well as a lot profitable for the organization .sole sourcing helps the organization in many ways, it has a lot of benefits and a lot of things through which the organization could gain advantage. First of all it is through sole sourcing that an organization gets itself a reduced decision cycle , that is that contracts are given more quickly and the time required to search here and there to give the contract is eliminated easily and the organization rapidly gives the contract to the sole supplier so a lot of time as well as efforts are eliminated ant decisions are taken quickly also there is a low administrative cost as the procurement process is being reduced to minimum also there is an improved delivery system of the products and services as well as the raw materials and the organization does not have to worry about defected or damaged materials , and also to establish smooth communications , the cost saving is yet another advantage of sole sourcing which is most beneficial for the organization as well as the time saving also it is because of sole sourcing that organizations have become a lot more efficient and updating of materials have became very easy ,the errors have been reduced and there is a little opportunity for errors also the documentation process have become simpler ,easier and constituent and when a newer version of any product is being launched then instead of complete rewriting and extra proof reading only modifying the existing document is needed which speeds up the whole process and saves a lot of time also it is through sole sourcing that errors are minimized as the documentation is not re-written ,it is due to sole sourcing that re-negotiating an existing contract becomes easy for the organization and sole sourcing is most important for its consistency as it provides the organization with consistency so it is believed that sole sourcing is the quickest route to outsourcing a deal
4. “Quality leads to better business results” bring your arguments and critically evaluate this statement with academic references and practical examples?
Answer: For any business the most important are the customers , no business could be run if there are no customers, they are the ones who make the business run if there would be no customers there would be no sales and no sales means no profits which means no business at all so for any organization customers are of the most importance and with the passage of time customers have became more and more aware ,in the last decade only price of a certain item was considered to be the main and deciding factor but now the customers want quality. They want quality for their money so whether it is a large organization or even a small glossary store quality has now became the deciding variable for the success of the business and it is quality that brings one organization to its knees and it is the same quality that transforms another organization to one of the best organizations. Nowadays only those businesses are prospering which are continually providing products and services of the highest quality and so for organizations to secure their future it is only possible through providing the highest quality of the products and services. The term quality is not limited only to customers but rather it is understood differently by different people as for the customers , their focus is on the quality of the product and service and its value for money but for producers it is the conformance quality that is to what extent the product or the service was correctly produced but usually the term quality of a product or service refers to the degree to which the product or service meets the customer’s expectation so quality is all about customer’s perception and it is said that quality is the eye of the beholder that is your customer. Quality does matter in fact it is the quality that drives the customers toward the product so entire businesses are standing today on their quality , for example in the airlines business the 4 star rated airline Emirates well-known through out the world and the British Airways , both one of the most luxurious airlines of the world entire business revolve around quality , if some one has to travel form United kingdom to the United states of America then most probably he would prefer these two airlines so the major question is why ? why only these two although there are numerous other airlines traveling to the same destination at the same time with the same aircrafts with the same ticket price but people choose those two because of their quality and their in flight services .Quality is not only just one word quality means quality of work, quality of service, quality of information, quality of process, quality of division, quality of people, including workers, engineers, managers, executives, quality of system, quality of company, quality of objectives, etc.”(BBC, 2010) .today in this fast moving and competitive world only those organizations are able to run their business properly which are more efficient , more responsible and produce better quality products form its competitors so we can say that the company which will have the best quality would always be successful in the fast moving world so the better the quality the better would be the organization and its business for example if we take a look at the news paper business we will soon prove our point that quality results in better organizations and better businesses .in the united kingdom there are hundreds of different newspapers but the majority of the people focus on the Times why is that ? basically because of the quality of the newspaper and the news in it, people know that it is the best value for their money so they purchase it and it is quite famous throughout the world too for the same reason and since it is providing its customers with the highest quality so it is the top newspaper in U.K. and there is no doubt that their business revolves on their quality which they deliver to their customers.
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www.cathygreen.org (n.d.). Advantages of Single Sourcing. Retrieved August 19, 2010, from http://www.cathygreen.org/tech/SingleSource/Advantages.html
Rob Enderle (2008). Pros and Cons of Sole Sourcing. Retrieved August 19, 2010, from