The final project for this course is the creation of a comprehensive case study analysis. Every business—whether a beauty salon, automobile manufacturer, or
professional baseball team—has an operations component that creates goods and services by transforming inputs into outputs. There are a wide variety of tools and techniques that operations managers draw upon to increase efficiency and effectiveness, creating value for customers. Operations management professionals are in high demand across a variety of industries. Having basic knowledge of operations functions and their integration capabilities is critically important in the world of business. For example, applying the limitations of production in marketing and sales is a routine task. Managing the equipment and supplies needs of operations management is a basic skill looked for in finance and accounting workers.
For your final assessment in this course, you will analyze a case study that addresses several key operations management fundamentals. You will use the tools and techniques that operations managers use and incorporate your instructor’s feedback into the final summative analysis. You will address the typical problems that operations managers face using the knowledge you have gained from this course. Finally, you will discuss the emerging concepts of sustainability in business management, specifically the topics of corporate responsibility and environmental compliance.
The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, and Five. The final project is due in Module Seven.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
- Evaluate the influence of operations functions on generating value for a firm and its customers
- Explain theories and techniques used by operations managers for informing production processes
- Accurately apply problem-solving and decision-making skills to real-world problems using quantitative and qualitative methodologies
- Integrate emerging principles into operations management functions by addressing corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability
Using the knowledge you have gained from this course, you will write a comprehensive analysis of the case study we have been analyzing throughout this course (located in the Reading and Resources area of Module One) by addressing the critical elements below.
Imagine that you are hired into the role of the operations manager at the company described in the case study. Although there are many issues facing the company, you have some experience and are well qualified to provide direction in solving these problems. To address many of the questions below, you will want to review your submissions from previous modules and incorporate instructor feedback. Using the case study, course materials, and outside sources, prepare a cohesive case study analysis for submission as one document.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
- Evaluate how the company in the case study uses operations management functions to provide products and generate value for its customers.
Support your claims with examples from the case study or outside sources.
- Assess how this company achieves a competitive advantage using operations management. Provide examples found in the case study or outside
sources to support your reasoning.
- Compare and contrast service operations and manufacturing operations at the company in the case study. How are they the same? How do they
differ? How does each of these operations provide value for their customers?
Theories and Techniques
- Explain how gross-to-net calculations are processed for material requirements planning (MRP). What specific input files would the company in
the case study need to include in this process for a successful MRP? How would you use the MRP information to improve the operations as the
manager of this company?
- Compare and contrast the critical path method (CPM) and the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). What types of projects at this
company would favor PERT over CPM? Why? What types of projects at this company would favor CPM over PERT? Why?
- Explain the four primary priority rules for job sequencing. In what instances at the company might each rule be most advantageous? When
would each rule be most disadvantageous? Support your claims with citations from your textbook or outside sources.
- Explain the five steps of the theory of constraints (TOC) process. To what processes might the company in the case study apply TOC? Why would
applying TOC to these processes be advantageous?
- Explain the steps used to develop a forecasting system. How would these steps be specifically utilized by this company? What do you predict
would be the result of implementing a forecasting system for the top-selling product line at this company?
- List the major categories of supply chain risk and associated risk-reduction tactics. How could the company mitigate exposure to supply chain
disruptions caused by natural disasters?
- Summarize the following theories: just in time (JIT), Toyota Production System (TPS), and Lean. How are these concepts related? Describe the
advantages and disadvantages for using each of these concepts at the company presented in the case study.
- Describe how total quality management (TQM) principles and tools can be used to improve quality in the latest line of products in the context of
the case study.
- Draw a hypothetical process (time-function) map for producing a recently released (within the past two years) product manufactured by the company. As an operations manager, how will you use the value map? Be sure to include your process map within your case study analysis.
- Draw a cause-and-effect diagram that assesses why some of the company’s supply chain partners might have struggled to implement some of the company’s newly developed materials. Summarize your findings from the diagram.
- Considering the data and options below, determine where the company should locate its new manufacturing plant. Explain why this would be the favorable location.
Political Risk Transportation Costs Labor Productivity Rental Costs Labor Costs Taxes
Weight Mexico City
.25 70 .20 40 .20 85 .15 90 .10 80 .10 90
D. The company believes that it might have some inefficiencies in its inventory management process. Develop an ABC classification system for the following 10 items. Based on this information, what do you recommend for improving inventory management?
I5 D1 A2 E9 J8 C7 B8 G2 H2 F3
10.00 10.00 50.00 20.00 5.00 45.00 12.00 1500.00 20.00 500.00
- Describe how the emerging concept of the triple bottom line can be used to enhance operations management at the company. Be sure to
address each component of the triple bottom line.
- Explain how the company integrates ISO 14000 standards in its manufacturing plants. Support your explanation with citations from your textbook
or outside sources.
- Describe ways through which the company can integrate corporate responsibility principles into their operations. Which of these do you believe
to be the most effective? Why? Support your opinions with citations from your textbook or outside sources.