Project #71493 - Operations Management

Have the ability to apply the tools and topics from the course in situations representing problems that production and operations managers face and discuss their managerial implications.


Description of the assignment

You may choose to either do a shadowing exercise or a plant tour. Your project needs to be approved either in advanced by your professor or the professor will approve it at the time that you submit your set of questions (discussed later).   Your professor will advise you if he has concerns about your project subject.   The intent of this review is to help ensure that you have selected an appropriate subject.   Your project is not to relate to your current or a past work assignment or responsibility.   If there is a question about this, please contact your instructor.  


The shadowing exercise requires you to shadow/follow the individual for approximately one-half day, and record all the activities that the person was involved in. You should be briefed in advance of the day's plans so you would be able to track the day and get the most out of the exercise. The selection of the day is also important. You must do this on a day that is scheduled to be filled with activities and responsibilities.  You would have to ask the person questions about the day. In your write-up you must emphasize the challenges facing the person that day, his/her decisions, and the rationale for them. The titles of the people he/she interacts with or meets with and the nature of the meeting and reason for it should also be covered to let the reader know what a typical day for such a person is like. Other questions could attempt to address the individual's assessment of the job, his or her likes and dislikes of it and the reasons for it, the role it plays within the big picture of the organization, etc.


The plant tour requires you to visit a facility and report on their practices of running the production or operation. The facility could be a manufacturing firm, a hospital, a bank, library, an insurance company, a doctor's office, a grocery store, a fast food restaurant, etc. You would have to visit it and report on their practices such as staffing, scheduling, purchasing, forecasting, inventory control, use of technology and automation, quality control and management, and other aspects of running the operation.


You should solicit the consent and participation of an individual employed in management of either a service or a manufacturing organization. The individual must be affiliated with some aspect of production or operations within the company.


Report criteria

As a first step in the process and regardless of the form of exercise you plan to do, you must generate a list of at least 30 questions that you plan to ask. These questions are to be posted to the Field Exercise discussion forum.    You must also state which company and/or which individual you have selected for your project. 


Your final report must include at a minimum the following information:

· An introduction providing background information on your visit, your company and your host if relevant,

· Your report must relate your observations and findings to the material we are discussing this term.  For example, you might want to discuss their forecasting methods and relate them to the methods we have discussed and learned.  If a treatment of the facility location strategy is appropriate, you can relate their location strategy to those we have discussed and learned,

· Part of your report needs to address the Ten Critical Decisions of operations management and how your company addresses these.  This discussion may be in a variety of forms.  You can develop your report around these Ten Critical Decisions, you could simply have a separate section discussing them, etc.

· As part of your report, you must demonstrate the application of at least one of the analytical techniques that we have or will study this term.  This could be a forecasting model, scheduling model, productivity, project management, etc.   This demonstration must include an appropriate analytical example rather than just a discussion of the application.    

· You are to also comment on and critique the present practices, and suggest what else could be done to improve the operation. Remember that even a farm in a rural area is an operation and can be evaluated as such. 

· You are to include a conclusion summarizing the key points of your paper.

· You can include your set of questions as an appendix if you would like.

· An Executive Summary is optional, feel free to include one if you would like.


Report Format

You are to submit this in electronic form.  Unless it is considered proprietary or confidential, the report should be submitted to the Field Exercise discussion forum.   If it is proprietary or confidential, you should submit it to me via email.


Part of the intent in developing the list of questions is to help you prepare for the actual field exercise.  In addition, if properly developed the answers to the questions should help write the final report.  In developing the questions, I would suggest focusing on a few key topics and develop a set of questions for each topic.  The class is expected to give feedback to you to complete your list and/or modify it.  Another reason for sharing questions is so that students get some ideas from each other to incorporate in their own projects. 


The field exercise should be written in a report format, with an introduction or executive summary and conclusion.  Do not use a question-and-answer format and merely supply the answers to your set of questions. The main body of the report should be a minimum of 8 typed pages, maximum of 12, doubled space, using a size 12 font, not including any appendices, the table of contents, an executive summary if included, figures not included in the main body of the report, etc.  The pages should be numbered.   


***The textbook used for this course was "Operations Management - Processes and Supply Chains" by Krawjewsi, Ritzman, Malhotra***


I asked the Director of Operations, Clint S., the following questions: (the answers are typed after the questions...

•         Service and Product Design
1. What all products do you provide to your customers?
        Supportive Community Living:  Residential services supporting based on needs of the individual 
         Employment Services:  moving toward community based
         Adult Day Habitation:  non vocational based services; focusing on live skills through community integration  
2. Do your products ever vary? How did you decide which products to provide to your customers?
            The three core areas of services have not changed however the way in which those services are delivered are changing to meet the needs of the individual and Federal/State/Regional requirements
•         Quality Management
1. How do you track quality?
       â€‹We survey all stakeholders annually. Clients, Guardians/Family members, Funders (all levels) business partners, etc.  However we encourage and seek out feedback constantly through contacts in which senior management has with various stakeholders.      
2. Have you previously had any quality issues?
     Yes,  when ever there is a issue of quality in services delivered the incident(s) are review and the process is evaluated to determine ways to improve upon the quality of service.  
3. If you have had any quality issues, have you addressed them?
    Depending on seriousness of the level of quality issue/incident the response by the Director will vary.  
4. If yes, how did you address them?
      Depending on the incident(s) the senior leadership team may address together pulling together a work group to address the issue(s) reporting back with an action plan and process for implementation.  
•         Process and Capacity Design
1. What capacity constraints do you have (if any)?
    The ability to maintain current services while at the same time undergoing a major service transformation.  Ensuring that the team is on board with the new direction, trained and have the tools to do their job.
2. Were you involved in the process design?
3. If yes, how did you decide on a particular process?.
       Review of new regulations and requirements;  participation in statewide TA supports;  establishment a leadership team to create/develop and implement the plan of transformation.
•         Location
1. Were you involved in any location decisions?
     Specifics on where we locate or provide services within our region are open to the program leadership team.  
2. How did the company decide on the location of it's business? 
    â€‹Based on needs of the potential area of expansion; is the area undeserved, are there persons seeking out our services.
3. Does the company have any plans on expanding or relocating?
    Always under view...  
•         Layout Design  is this based on organizational structure???
1. Can you explain the layout of the business?
    Administration departments/functions report to CEO;  COO reports to CEO with program directors reporting to the COO.  A program manager position was created to provide a better management of the day to day functions allowing the Program Director the ability to focus and grow the program.  The program manager position also created a better career path for staff.  The program manager(s) oversee the coordinators, who may over see a team of director support staff you provide the direct service to the client/person serviced.
2. In your opinion, could the layout be improved at all? 
   No...  The recent creation of the COO and Program manager positions have aided in the quality assurance and growth potential of the various programs.
3. If yes, how do you think the layout could be improved?
•         Human Resources and Job Design
1. Are you involved in any of the job designing or HR process?
    Yes, creation of new job positions (job description), recommendation of department structure changes.  Recommendation / assigning training to direct support staff.
2. How much does the HR department impact operations?
    Flow of applicants, control of federal/state regulations, benefits / payroll for staff.  
3. Do the employees require any certain training or special skills?
    Yes; basic training is set up by HR dept to Iowa Code and then specific program training is development and or established by program director.  
•         Supply Chain Management
1. Do you have experience with supply chain management?
Yes, I oversee all products that we receive and deliver to our customers.
2. Are you influencing your business strategy?
Yes, I am consistently
3. Is your supply chain really connected?
At times there are disconnects, due to lack of communication and the inability to complete orders on time.
4. Are you adapting (to changes)?
Yes, we are continuously adapting to all changes.
5. Is everyone pulling in the same direction (as far as same goals and exectations)?
•         Inventory, Material Requirements Planning, and JIT (Just-In-Time)
        As it relates to producing assembled product for contract work from the workship
1. What materials are required to meet customer expectations?
    materials and supplies are provided by business partners.  CWI provides the labor for assembly...
2. How do you ensure you have the materials needed to deliver the final product to the customer?
    Due dates are set by business partners and CWI prioritizes work floor based on the deadlines.  
3. Have you experienced any issues getting the final product to the customer in a timely manner?
•         Intermediate and Short-term Scheduling
1. Are you involved in any of the scheduling processes or decisions?
    â€‹Scheduling of director support staff is completed by front line supervisors to meet the needs of the persons served.   
2. How does the business schedule their employees?
    employees are scheduled to meet the needs of the clients served.  Staff to client ratio affects the number of staff per location.  
3. How does the business schedule production?
    Production as it relates to CWI...  assembly contracts from the work floor are completed as to deadlines established by the business partner.  For the retail location production is based on the need of specific merchandise for the sales floor.  
•         Maintenance Management
1. Does maintenance have a large impact on the overall operations of the company?  No:  at each location maintenance is assigned to a select department/staff.
2. Do you have any control over maintenance?  Yes; select location(s)
3. How do yo decide if maintenance is needed? Do you have a particular schedule to have maintenance done?  
    We have developed a process for in which maintenance is completed.  The assigned staff's supervisor then monitors the process and insures that repairs are completed in a timely fashion. 

The director I interviewed is a Director at a sheltered workshop where individuals with disabilities work on an assembly line putting together various items. Once the items are assembled, they are shipped to a business, such as Oriental Trading Company.  Please feel free to add some substance into some of the answers, as the answers the Director provided me were very short.

Ten Critical Operations Management Decisions: Service and Product Design Quality Management Process and Capacity Design Location Layout Design Human Resources and Job Design Supply Chain Management Inventory, Material Requirements Planning, and JIT (Just-In-Time) Intermediate and Short-term Scheduling Maintenance Management


Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns with this paper! Thanks so much and happy bidding!


Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 05/21/2015 12:00 am
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