Case 6 - Kodak is currently achieving quality output...

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Kodak is currently achieving quality output subjectively. A foreman, who has been working the gelatin plant for several years, will test the gelatin during the liming step. Usually, this test will be done by sight, feel, and smell. The sight test consists of just looking at the color of the ossein to determine whether or not enough lime has been added. The feel test is a two part test. The first test is the “finger test” which consists of the inspector penetrating a handful of ossein with his finger nail. The inspector is able to detect whether or not the liming step is completed through the way the ossein peeled off his fingernail. The second part of the feel test is with the “squeeze test.” This test is done by rolling a squeezing a handful of limed ossein. An assessment of the texture and firmness of the ossein would determine whether or not it passes the test. Lastly, the smell test is conducted by smelling a handful of the ossein to determine the amount of chlorine in the ossein. If the batch of ossein passed these tests, then it would move on to the next step of the gelatin-making process. According to a foreman with thirteen years of experience in inspections, he could tell whether the batch was good or not after taking two samples. Much of the testing process is taught by the immediate predecessor. The general manager at Kodak Park referred to gelatin-making as “witchcraft” during the early 1970s. Although this large amount of uncertainty might be acceptable during that time, there should definitely be some sort of advancements made by 1982. The movement from art to science is both inevitable and innately desirable. At the time William Bolten was making his decision, it was clear that the market was changing. It was noted that there was increased competition from Japanese firms, and they were challenging Kodak in both quality and cost. Although the competition might not be producing gelatin like Kodak, it is clear that their competition is investing resources into their R&D departments in order to gain a competitive advantage over Kodak. At that point, the question was not whether or not Kodak should seek to gain a better understanding of gelatin. The question becomes who will be the first to make the gelatin-making process into a science, and gain the competitive advantage to dominate the market in the years to come. This movement from art to science also proves to be innately desirable. Although Kodak is
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2011 for the course MGT 3102 taught by Professor Grace during the Spring '10 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Case 6 - Kodak is currently achieving quality output...

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