Agthia is specializes in packaging various products in UAE. The firm operates in the Middle East (UAE, Turkey, GCC countries). Agthia operates in an industry that is not crowded with competitors. However, it faces major operational issues of sustainability and innovation. Shortage of raw materials is also a potential issue. The company has managed steady financial growth despite problems in the economies within which it operates. The company performs comparatively well in its industry. It also has good growth prospects as portrayed by the financial statements and ratio analysis.
Mission and Vision of Agthia
The Mission of Agthia is to be the leading producer of quality foodstuff in UAE.
The Vision of Agthia is to be among the best food production companies in the UAE and to enhance competition in the field.
Companies apply production planning using a top-down approach that goes to finer details (e.g. from days to hours). Essentially, the management allocates real orders to the available resources to meet maximal capacity utilization, minimize work in progress, reduce chances for delays, and to have as minimal thorough-put times as possible. It is important to note that these needs are frequently in conflict.
Depending on the needs of an organization, different methods may be used, for example assignment techniques, simulation techniques and computer software. This section looks into simulation, which, it is crucial to note that is applied in two levels. First, a simulations model may be developed that tests and configures an existing tool of planning. Hence, it is just a fine-tuning tool and is not part of the production process. Secondly, simulation may play a direct role in production if it is installed in the system. In this case, it is referred to as an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) tool. Essentially, it does most of the functions captured that define scheduling such as allocating tasks, equipment, and order processing and updates on Work in Progress (WIP) (Gray & Larson 2008).
In a manufacturing set-up, operations scheduling entails dispatching, controlling, tracking, and monitoring of production in the shop floor. It is imperative to ensure that certain functions within a manufacturing plant run smoothly. For example, scheduling is highly applicable to personnel allocations to work centers, equipment allocation, capacity planning, prioritization, and determination of order performance. Additionally, scheduling helps managers to control activities at the shop floor so that orders with relative urgency are dispatched.
Capacity planning is a central function in ensuring smooth operations of a manufacturing plant. Additionally, it is imperative in the overall success of a company as it directly affects the demand. Software maybe designed from a simulation run by the firm over a long period. It captures activities in the whole process with necessary parameters. It also details each person’s requirement in the process. Scheduling is quite important as it plays a huge role in minimizing idle time from machines and personnel, reduces time spent by a product before it is finally released in market, and helps in meeting deadlines in the lower end of a market.
Delphi Method is a qualitative statistical forecasting method that focuses on opinions of experts who fill anonymous questionnaires regarding a forecasting topic. Agthia employs the method in forecasting.
In a production process whose steps are predefined, application of simulation is possible. For example, the case study presents a company that produces prefabricated concrete parts for houses. Certain steps are performed in certain durations using predetermined times. Machines are programmed to know cycle times and locations of a part during production.
Hence, it forms a continuous process after a careful analysis of previous productions using a simulation model. The model can tell how many products are likely to be produced with defects and can be tweaked to ensure that these defects are reduced to the minimum and detected before the product reaches the customer. The company uses an online simulation, which records sales data and uses this data to reflect on what to produce
Performance Measurement has numerous advantages. In Performance Measurement, there is no secrecy, i.e. all decision is open to every concerned party. Secondly, there is focused vision. Having all the centralized structure makes the organization to have a single aim. As a result, there is no inconsistency in the company and the messages, products, and services to the clients is common (Chase & Aquilano 2006).
Centralization facilitates fast execution of tasks. Centralized organization structure is known to react more quickly to very dynamic situations. As a result, the communication and decision making process is fastened which results in efficient management as compared to decentralized organizations. In addition, in a centralized organization, there is reduced conflict and increased accountability. Finally, there is enhanced control and accountability.
Measure to increase competitiveness at USPS
Business Process Reengineering
Reengineering of business processes is one of the most radical and effective methods of dealing with change. Reengineering is also effective in reducing costs and improving quality of service. A far-reaching method requires thorough evaluation before a firm embarks on it to refine its processes. Many firms unlike USPS have tried and failed to carry out Business Process Reengineering successfully. The reason is that the process requires a lot of time, resources, and knowledge for successful implementation. At USPS Company, there have been changes to the processes carried out by management in the past. These changes were informed by previous needs and market assessment.
Results of USPS changes
Currently, the economic environment is quite competitive and unpredictably dynamic. A firm has to review its operations, processes, and policies continually in order to align them with contemporary methods of doing business. Because of the dynamic nature of the business environment, it is crucial for a firm to embrace change if it is to survive or even maintain the same influence that it has in an industry.
The need to meet changing and somewhat sophisticated consumer needs and to find cost effective ways of operation has made Business Process Reengineering a necessity. The advantages of this process are far-reaching and quite essential. Business Process Reengineering is the essential rethinking and revamp of processes in a business in order to achieve enhancement in current measures of operations strategy performance and strength such as cost, quality, and delivery. Hence, BPR helped USPS to improve operations by looking into new ways of doing business.
For any successful organization, the five pillars (dimensions) of organizational structure has to be set, defined, and finally made operational. These five dimensions of organizational structure include specialization, standardization, centralization, and finally configuration. From examining how the dimensions of a given organizational structure have been put in place, the efficiency of a company can be easily determined. Large organizations such as USPS need to have an organizations structure, which consist of the above-connoted activities. For maximum productivity, the organizational dimensions have to be blended in such a way that they facilitate optimum production. Usage of standard shipping containers and flat-rate mailers increases competitiveness in the sense that there is predictability in operations. Additionally, it lowers costs.
Chase, B & Aquilano, N 2006, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, McGraw Irwin, New York.
Gray, C & Larson, E 2008, Project management: The managerial process, McGraw–Hill Education, Singapore.