Company X’s Oregon facilities have come under fire lately due to inefficiencies in several operational areas. Recommendations have been made addressing the problems in each area and the time has come to define an action plan that will implement these recommendations. For the moment, it can be assumed that the three Oregon facilities are in physical locations that cannot be changed. Therefore, Company X must reorganize this part of the supply chain to work efficiently within the bounds of the existing physical facilities. Even with this constraint, there are plenty of action items that Company X can implement to improve the Oregon situation.
Since the S facility is located over 90 minutes away and is vital in the production processes of both the P and T facilities, it was hoped that this facility could be relocated closer to facilities P and T. One method for finding a new location, the center of gravity method, would have weighted the locations of suppliers and distributors to generate a target area for the new facility (Collier & Evans, 2008). Since it has bee determined that a facility move is not currently feasible, Company X must focus on improving the communication between the three facilities. At the moment, the S facility frequently finds itself falling behind as it waits for accessory parts to be delivered from the P and T facilities. Optimizing the order and delivery process can lead to significant cost savings (Grove, 2004). The easiest change for Company X to make is to begin shipping accessory parts directly to the S facility. Not only does this remove an extra stop on the delivery route, it creates a larger delivery window since late deliveries will no longer miss the shipment time from facilities P and T to S. This change will increase productivity at the S facility and decrease internal shipping costs.
The shipping of accessory parts between facilities serves to highlight a larger problem. The facilities currently have no mechanism to track shipping and receiving. On multiple occasions, this missing mechanism has resulted in miscommunication as one facility claims to have shipped inventory the other has not received. Therefore, the Oregon facilities should implement a shipping and receiving system that provides visibility into the operations of all three facilities. Additionally, this system should operate on open standards so that third-party vendors can integrate their systems, as well. Not only will this system improve operations between facilities and vendors, its long term tracking mechanisms will allow Company X to inventory processes in the future (Toomey, 2000).
Finally there is a problem with employee supervision at the three facilities. This has manifested itself directly in the form of failed quality control. The quality control team at the S facility claim they are lacking the equipment and training necessary to properly perform their duties. Although acquiring the proper quality control equipment requires the intervention of upper management, training the quality control team in the proper procedures is the direct responsibility of the team’s supervisors. With the help of Company X’s Human Resources department, the quality control supervisors should analyze the training needs of existing employees and choose a training method that best fits the team. There are several methods of training available including on-the-job training, job instruction training, and lecturing. The method that is most suitable for this task depends on the nature of the work performed and how receptive the audience will be to a specific training method (Dessler, 2008).
Similarly, there is a lack of supervision on several of the shifts at S facility. Company X must fill these open positions immediately. It is important to remember that discipline is only part of the supervisor’s role. The supervisor also plays a key role in maintaining the morale of the work team. Studies have shown that employees respond most positively when they believe their work is appreciated (Dessler, 2008). Without the proper supervisory staff on hand to properly manage each shift at the Oregon facilities, valuable opportunities to train, discipline, and recognize success are lost. Adding the necessary staff at these facilities will help improve employee performance and reduce quality control incidents.
Collier, D. A., & Evans, J. R. (2009). OM 2008 edition. Mason, OH: South-Western.
Dessler, G. (2008). Human resource management (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Grove, S. (2004). Optimizing the supply chain. Health Management Technology, 25(1), 24. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from CINAHL with Full Text database.
Toomey, J. W. (2000). Inventory management: Principles, concepts, and techniques. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.