Constructive criticism to student initial posting (Megan)
Initial Posting Instruction:
No industry has faced more competitive markets in the U.S. than textiles. The import of foreign textiles made using cheap labor has decreased profit margins for U.S. companies for years, and many have left the industry. In this discussion you will get the opportunity to “run” production operations of a textile company in a simulation scenario. Don’t be afraid of this opportunity, rather you should embrace it.
This scenario illustrates the complexities typically associated with decision-making in a production department. The problems you will be faced with are complex, requiring the active involvement from multiple functional areas to fully understand the nature and scope of the problem, explore viable alternatives, commit to a solution, and then implement, monitor, and make necessary changes to achieve desired outcomes. As an operations professional, you’re responsible for executing due diligence when determining whether or not to support or put forward proposals and new ideas. These proposals can be as simple as modifying existing processes or as complex as expanding the company through “organic” or “inorganic” growth strategies. You need to be able to weigh decisions against existing realities while taking into consideration future uncertainties.Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
Students are to complete Module 1, The Production Process (Scenario) in Practice Operations. Based on their observations in this scenario, and upon a careful review of the available literature, the student is to consider him or herself to be the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Kibby and Strand, the company in the scenario.
The CEO has noticed fluctuations in production under the different shift production managers during the past 6 months. She wants you, the COO, to document the key factors a production manager needs to consider when scheduling production in the organization and to develop a training plan for production managers that emphasizes oversight of these factors.
Students are to create their plan based on knowledge learned in the Scenario, and post it in the discussion.
Instruction Guidance: It would be prudent to consider content covered in chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook; however, there are many other useful resources available on the Internet and in the literature to support the construction of your action plan.
This training plan should be prepared as a Microsoft Word document, and then attached to the unit discussion thread. There is no minimum or maximum in terms of the word count; however, the response should explicitly address all required components of this discussion assignment.
Student Name: Megan Littlejohn
Kibby & Strand Production Scheduling SOP
Over the past six months, the CEO of Kibby & Strand has noticed fluctuations in the different shift production managers. To rectify this, we must consider the factors involved in scheduling production and the re-evaluate the training program for production managers that emphasizes each of the factors. As COO, I have created the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the production scheduling, outlining the importance of production scheduling and the factors most pertinent to its success. Additionally, I have created a training program that will be implemented immediately to correct the fluctuations in production.
The primary goal of production scheduling is to maximize the efficiency of the operation, reduce costs and increase productivity. Based on my experience and observations at Kibby & Strand, there are several factors that should be considered when scheduling production. First, production managers must ensure that there is a sufficient amount of raw materials to meet order requirements. Secondly, production managers must consider deadlines when scheduling production. Next, equipment must be considered, as the machines are instrumental in meeting production goals. Finally, production managers must also consider the employees when coordinating production schedules (Stevenson, 2018).
To address the key factors involved in scheduling production and to ensure all managers employ consistent processes and efficiency standards, I have created a training plan that will be adopted immeditaley. Implementation will occur by identifying elite managers and branding them “production coaches” which will then be paired with other production managers and leaders to ensure a thorough training process and standardized production. If followed, the new training program will result in decreased costs, increased production and an increase in revenues. In the upcoming paragraphs, I have outlined the identification and training of the production coaches in addition to a review of the training materials covered in each of the key factors that must be considered when scheduling production.
Production coaches were identified using the characteristics identified by Glenn Llopis (2012), the managers identified not only had to have consistent and superior production levels, but also required the demonstration of chemistry, or the ability to engage with others, “this means having a genuine demeanor and a desire to guide and inspire those around them” (Llopis, 2012). Production coaches must have also demonstrated conviction, or passion about the organization’s mission, values and purpose, have an outstanding character that is aligned with the organization and is committed and accountable. Once identified, the production coaches were given additional training on how to successfully deliver the training program.
Materials on Hand
Producing goods requires that we have enough raw materials on hand to complete an order. Three key questions that production managers must ask themselves when evaluating the raw materials on hand and scheduling production are 1) what components are needed, 2) how many of each component are needed, and 3) when are the components needed (Orlicky, n.d.). This process begins with taking accurate inventories of what Kibby & Strand has on stock and then pulling order tickets to compare raw material requirements. An order must be placed for any component that are found to be short to complete orders. In addition to establishing this standard of ordering components quickly after a shortage is identified, par levels for each raw material in the factory must be established. When the supply of any raw material falls below par the production manager is to order replenishments immediately to ensure that Kibby & Strand has sufficient supplies on hand to begin processing orders.
When customers place orders, they also provide deadlines for when the product is to be completed and delivered by. To meet these deadlines a basic schedule is to be developed. These basic schedules will outline the workflow throughout the primary areas of production. Production must be monitored each day, with an estimated run count established each day to ensure that production remains efficient (Simpkins, 2015). If for any reason production is delayed, this will result in higher shipping costs and the possibility that deadlines will not be met which will result in lost revenue and dissatisfied customers.
The equipment utilized at Kibby & Strand are specialized to fill the orders of our customers and must be monitored, maintained and utilized efficiently to maximize production. Monitoring production will be performed frequently when the equipment is running to ensure that production remains consistent and within quality standards. Equipment that is found to be performing at an inferior production rate or producing inferior goods will be put out of commission until the error is corrected. To reduce the frequency in which these errors occur scheduled maintenance on all machines when they are not in use and must occur at least once a month. Additionally, all employees will be trained on how to work the machine in their station safely and efficiently.
Though each employee will be trained to operate the equipment safely and efficiently, they still are a key consideration when scheduling production as human behavior is often unpredictable. For example, each employee will have strengths and weaknesses and will need to be trained in a method that best suits their learning style to ensure they can produce at a maximum level. Additionally, team and relationship building, cross training and repercussions must be established to correct excessive employee tardiness or absenteeism.
Establishing a standardized operating procedure at Kibby and Strand is essential to providing a consistent production rate from each production manager. By training our production managers and focusing on standardizing the factors that affect production scheduling we will boost overall productivity, increase satisfaction both internally and externally and complete customer orders on time.
Llopis, G. (2012, Dec 10). 5 Ways to Identify Prospective Leaders. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/12/10/5-ways-to-identify-prospective-leaders/#128f4e5b2f88
Orlicky, J. (n.d.). Not Just for Manufacturing, Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is Indispensable for any Business. Smart Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.smartsheet.com/guide-to-material-requirements-planning
Simpkins, J. (2015, Dec 14). Production: Never Miss a Deadline Again. Editor & Publisher. Retrieved form https://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/production-never-miss-a-deadline-again/
Stevenson, W.J. (2018). Operations Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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