Assignments

Special software is required to use some of the files in this section: .xls.

LEC #   TOPICS ASSIGNMENTS
1 Introduction

Operations Overview
Questions

What are the key differences in the way Nokia and Ericsson handled the crisis prompted by the Albuquerque plant fire?

2

Project Management

New Product Development & 3-DCE

Assignment

Go through the two readings & the Dreamcast case.

1. Describe the challenge faced by Sega in the context of 3-D CE; what must they do in product development, process development, and supply chain development.

2. How should success of the Dreamcast project be measured? Draw a CPM diagram for the successful launch of the Dreamcast project. Based on the qualitative information on the case, what do you think will be the critical path?

3. Should the release of Dreamcast occur on the originally planned date? Use decision tree analysis to support your advice.

4. In the Assignment folder on the server, you will find an Excel file with data for a fictitious video game platform project. Answer the first three questions in the file. Filename: VideoLaunch.xls (XLS)

3

Operations Strategy

Operations Analysis

Questions

1. Draw a process flow diagram for hamburger production at Burger King. (What are the major process steps and where are the locations of inventories?)

2. Qualitatively, why do you think the locations/quantities of inventories are where/what they are?

3. Analyze the peak hourly capacity vs. peak hourly demand for burger patties. Can they produce enough burgers?

4. What, if anything, seems noteworthy about the process technologies in use at Burger King?

5. How does the management of operations relate to the company's method of competing in the marketplace?

4 Inventory Management Assignment

1. Read "A Note on Relevant Costs" and then work the two problems in the "Inventory Problems" handout.

2. Read pp. 71-75 from Clockspeed on Dell and the article on Dell called Automate or Die by Stacy Perman in Business 2.0.

3. Read the article on Quanta: Laptop King from Business Week.

4. Can you explain the role of inventory management and tools in the strategies and outcomes of the companies described?

5 Process Technology Questions

1. What are important characteristics of services vs. manufactured products?

2. In what sense must AA concurrently develop product & process?

3. What are the key operations tasks that AA must accomplish?

4. Can "self-service through technology" provide a "sustainable competitive advantage" for AA?

5. Why use hubs?

6 Process Technology Assignment

Take the position of a consultant to Webvan. Write a memo to the CEO of Webvan, providing him with your assessment of the Webvan operations model and business model based solely on the information available in the case. Include in your assessment some analysis of the value proposition to customers as well as the value proposition to investors. (i.e., how profitable will Webvan likely be?) (Max length: 1500 words & six supporting exhibits.)

We all know that Webvan went broke. Feel free to take the position either that the business could make money (and provide the assumptions and/or analysis and/or creative ideas that support your position) or that the business is hopeless. If you take the latter position, you still need to back up your assessment with an analysis of why you concluded what you did. (i.e., what specifically are the flaws in the business model or operations assumptions?)

7 Process Technology

ERP Systems

Questions

1. What factors made the difference between success and failure in Cisco's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation ?

2. What is the role of the ERP system in Cisco's overall Information System Architecture ?

3. How would you sell ERP to a Board of Directors?

8

Process Analysis

Process Flow Models

Questions

1. What are the main lessons from the cannery example in the note on "Inventory Buildup Diagrams"?

2. What factors and tradeoffs do you need to consider in designing a production system? Are service systems different?

3. What are the broad sources of variabilities in production and service systems? What are some operational strategies to: (i) respond to variability (e.g., in demand), and (ii) reduce variability?

Exercise

Solve the "Queueing Problems."

9 Process Quality Questions

1. What are the problems facing receiving plant No. 1 (RPI)?

2. What industry trends are likely to affect cranberry processing and how?

3. What are the sources of the variability that NCC is subjected to?

4. Develop a process flow diagram, showing the capacities of the various stages in barrels per hour.

5. Suppose that a peak harvest-season day involves 18,000 barrels of berries, 70% of them wet harvested, arriving over a twelve-hour period from 7 am to 7 pm. Would trucks have to wait to unload? When during the day would trucks be waiting? How much truck waiting time would you expect?

6. How would the various actions contemplated by Hugo Schaeffer affect peak day performance? Suppose the cost of renting cranberry trucks with drivers is $10.00 per hour. What would you recommend? Why?

10

Process Analysis

Queueing Systems

Questions

1. Draw a process flow diagram that reflects the current UHS walk-in clinic operations.

2. What are the sources of variability in this system?

3. Using the average service rate for nurse practitioners given in the case, compute their utilization rate, averaged over the whole week. Compute their utilization rate for the peak hour, Mondays, 8:00-9:00am. What assumptions did you make to get these answers?

4. Perform the same analysis for the doctors, assuming that the clinic operates without allowing patient requests for specific providers.

5. Use the queueing models to compute the mean waiting time in queue for nurse practitioners. Try to explain any discrepancies you find. How can theoretical queueing models provide additional insight?

6. What recommendations would you make to improve service at the walk-in clinic?

(NOTE: This week might provide an ideal opportunity to begin reading The Goal, to be read for class by Lecture #13.)

11

Process Quality

Quality Tools and Philosophies

Questions

1. Why does Motorola strive for 6s quality? Why not 3s, 5s, or 7s?

2. Was TQM a fad? Useful at the time? No longer relevant?

12

Process Quality

Toyota Production System

Questions

1. What are the principles of the Toyota Production System?

2. As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts? What options exist? What would you recommend? Why?

3. Where, if at all, does the current routine for handling defective seats deviate from the principles of the Toyota Production System?

4. What are the underlying causes of the problems facing Doug Friesen?

13

Process Quality

Toyota Production System

Questions

1. What are the principles of the Toyota Production System?

2. As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts? What options exist? What would you recommend? Why?

3. Where, if at all, does the current routine for handling defective seats deviate from the principles of the Toyota Production System?

4. What are the underlying causes of the problems facing Doug Friesen?

14 Process Quality Questions

1. Of the "Six Tools" in the Memory Jogger, which are potentially helpful in organizing your thoughts on the Bank of America case?

2. In broad terms, what are the problems being encountered in Accounts Receivable, and what are the basic sources of those problems?

3. What fundamental principles should be applied in redesigning the Accounte Receivable process?

4. What are your specific recommendations?

15

Process Quality

Management of Constraints

Written Assignment

Book review of The Goal.

Questions

Prepare a summary of the wisdom of Jonah. Critique this wisdom. Critique this book as an operations management text. (Four double-spaced pages maximum for the write up.)

16 Supply Chain Design
17

Supply Chain Management

Postponement

Questions

1. What are the industry characteristics, the product characteristics, and the supply chain characteristics?

2. What has caused the so-called Inventory/Service "Crisis"?

3. What are the important "drivers" of safety stock?

4. Propose an optimal ordering policy for European options AB.

5. Evaluate the various alternatives available to Brent Cartier to address the inventory and service problem.

18

Supply Chain Management

Vendor-Managed Inventory

Questions

1. Diagnose the underlying causes of the difficulties that the JITD program was created to solve. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this program?

2. What conflicts or barriers internal to Barilla does the JITD program create? What causes these conflicts? As Giorgio Maggiali, how would you deal with these?

3. As one of Barilla's customers, what would your response to JITD be? Why?

4. In the environment in which Barilla operated in 1990, do you believe JITD (or a similar kind of program) would be feasible? Effective? If so, which customers would you target next? How would you convince them that the JITD program was worth trying? If not, what alternatives would you suggest to combat some of the difficulties that Barilla's operating system faces?

19

Process Quality

Quality Tools and Philosophies

Questions

1. Why does Motorola strive for 6s quality? Why not 3s, 5s, or 7s?

2. Was TQM a fad? Useful at the time? No longer relevant?

Written Assignments

In preparing the three written case analyses, please adhere to the following guidelines:
  1. Work individually or in groups of two or three students. No groups of four will be permitted. We discourage individual work on the written assignments as we have found that groups develop significantly better solutions.
  2. Hand in one copy of the case write-up for each group.
  3. Written assignments are to be turned in the classroom on the day they are due.
  4. Please keep a copy of your write-up for your own use during class discussion.
  5. Written assignments must be less than 1500 words in length, accompanied by up to 6 supporting exhibits. This is a firm constraint.
  6. Exhibits should contain specific types of analysis, such as financial analysis, break-even charts, cost analysis, process-flow analysis, etc. Exhibits should contain any relevant supporting information that is too detailed for the body of the paper. Exhibits must not be simply an extension of the text. We will not distribute written solutions to the write-ups, but rather will rely on the class session associated with the case to bring out the most important issues.

The case write-ups will be graded using the following criteria (a version of these criteria will accompany your graded assignments):

Analysis

  1. Does the paper contain analysis of the major issues?
  2. Does the analysis incorporate properly the relevant tools?
  3. Are assumptions made in the analysis stated explicitly?
  4. Does the analysis isolate the fundamental causes of problems in the case?

Recommended Actions

  1. Are the criteria for choosing among alternative recommendations stated?
  2. Are the criteria appropriate?
  3. Is the plan of action integrated in a logical way and linked to the analysis?
  4. Is the action plan specific, complete and practical?
  5. Is it likely that the recommendations will achieve their intended results?

Exhibits

  1. Are the analyses in the exhibits done correctly?
  2. Do the exhibits support and add to the text on key points?

Presentation

  1. Is the paper too long?
  2. Is the presentation of professional quality?
  3. Is the paper logically consistent and effectively structured to sell its recommendations?



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