Operations Management Case Study

Subject: Management
Pages: 2
Words: 674
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

This company’s production process of cookies is fast and straightforward due to the high level of automation. As soon as the management department places the orders, the required quantity of cookies is entered into a computer, which calculates the needed ingredients. All components are automatically delivered to the mixing machines that form the batter. It is then cut, and the shaped biscuit blanks are placed on a conveyor that passes through one of the two belt ovens. After baking and cooling, cookies are manually packed, and rejected products are screened out.

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The company has divided between filled and unfilled cookies to increase productivity. The batter for the latter is cut diagonally, which allows more items to be placed on the conveyor. An additional factor in speeding up production is the lengthening of the ovens by 25 feet. Since the oven operates continuously, the cookies must be pulled through the longer oven faster, or they will be overbaked. However, since the entire conveyor runs simultaneously, all processes are sped up, resulting in a faster output rate.

From my perspective, the company’s decision not to automate the packaging process is correct. This allows a more efficient selection of defective products and provides quality jobs to residents. As a successful company in a small town, this organization has a moral obligation to help develop the community and support the workers who helped develop production. While virtually nothing can prevent a company from introducing full automation, a sharp reduction in jobs will cause a public backlash. In many ways, the town’s small size matters here because if the owners choose the wrong strategy, the influence of the community can create a significant hindrance.

If the company was located in a big city, this problem would not exist due to the little attention of society. The company’s size also matters in this context; however, the organization is contrary to the confirmed trend of the low effectiveness of socially responsible initiatives for small companies (D’Amato & Falivena, 2020). Accordingly, even if the company were large, the influence of society in a small town could be sufficient to influence the image of production.

Products’ characteristics dictate the policy for storing the minimum necessary inventories. Since cookies do not use preservatives, their shelf life is limited. In addition, the company accommodates possible changes in FDA label requirements by not keeping a large inventory of labels. Such an approach fits into the concept of just-in-time logistics, increasing production efficiency by reducing possible losses due to outdated inventory (Yang et al., 2021). Therefore, the main benefit of this policy is to reduce losses due to less waste.

As a buyer, I pay attention to the product’s composition, which allows for tracking the presence of harmful elements and analyzing the possible taste qualities of cookies. In addition, the date of manufacture affects the quality of the product. If a cookie that does not include preservatives has been on the shelves for a long time, its deliciousness will be low. Finally, I also consider the manufacturer’s brand and reputation.

Avoiding the use of preservatives allows the company to attract consumers who are lifestyle conscious. This forms a specific image of the organization and allows it to occupy a specific niche. However, the same decision imposes a significant limitation in the form of the need to sell products as soon as possible. Otherwise, the baked cookies will quickly deteriorate, which will lead to significant manufacturer losses. Therefore, the company needs to have a network of customers ready to buy its products.

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Thus, the overall strategy of the manufacturer is to produce natural soft cookies, devoid of additives and preservatives, for those who need a product that is different from others. The organization achieved rapid production and delivery through the processes’ automation and network development. The main emphasis was placed on the niche nature of the product and the desire to create a healthy influence benefitting people and the community. This allowed company to attract a vital interest of buyers and take a strong position in the market.

References

D’Amato, A., & Falivena, C. (2020). Corporate social responsibility and firm value: Do firm size and age matter? Empirical evidence from European listed companies. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(2), 909-924. Web.

Yang, J., Xie, H., Yu, G., & Liu, M. (2021). Achieving a just–in–time supply chain: The role of supply chain intelligence. International Journal of Production Economics, 231, 107878. Web.