The Major Problem Faced by Eastern Gear
Eastern Gear Incorporation is presently facing a number of problems thus affecting its overall production process. To begin with, the overall production time at the company used to be two weeks. The current production time is four weeks. This emerged after the company began to accept larger orders. As a result, most of the smaller orders have to wait for a long before they are processed. This has been causing unnecessary delays.
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The current production time for different orders is longer because of constant interference. Presently, a typical order spends 90 percent of its production time waiting in line for the next machine to be available. The company processes both the small and large orders simultaneously. This explains why there is no special flow of work for gears of different sizes. Sometimes the orders are “mixed-up” thus making it impossible to delivery them in a timely manner. Some orders are usually behind schedule at the company. More often than not, the company “rushes” most of these orders through the production process. This has continued to create more delays at the company.
The other problem is that the company records about a 6 percent return rate on its delivered gears due to poor quality. This means that the production processes and operations at the company are ineffective. This situation makes it impossible for the company to produce quality gears for its customers. The other major problem is the company’s inability to coordinate most of the operations in the production shops. The company also does not have a clear procedure for dealing with rush orders. These problems are contently affecting the company’s performance.
How Rhodes Should Solve these Problems
To begin with, Rhodes should ensure the company has a systematic production process for all its orders. For instance, the company can use some of its machines to process the smaller orders while using the other machines to process the larger orders. Rhodes and his employees should always record and monitor each order as placed by the customers. The approach will reduce chances of confusion and improve efficiency. This approach will ensure most of the orders do not wait for long in line.
The other strategy is examining every order before the company delivers the gears to the customers. The approach will make it easier to rectify most of the defects. This is essential towards maintaining the customers’ trust. The company should also implement a new procedure to deal with “rush orders”. For instance, Rhodes can allocate or construct a new production shop for such urgent orders. The strategy will ensure the company does not delay the customers’ orders. By so doing, it will be easier for the company to deliver the orders in a timely manner.
How this Case Relates to Operations Strategy and Process Design Concepts
This case relates closely to process designs and operations strategy concepts. To begin with, the customer places an order by submitting a blueprint for the specified gear. Sometimes the engineer can change the customer’s design in order to make the production process much easier. The engineer will utilize the final sketch for the production process and acquisition of appropriate raw materials. The entire production process has a properly coordinated path. The process includes various operations and practices such as monitoring and expedition in order to produce gears in a timely manner. The entire process also includes maintenance and procurement thus making production successful. This explains how the case relates to process design concepts.