Discussion: More Than Just Baking Treats

General Discussion Instructions

In order to prepare for this assignment, READ the information contained in the document “Salty Pawz Background.”

You are required to post to this discussion THREE TIMES, on THREE DIFFERENT DAYS. Please refer to the Discussion Grading Rubric for details regarding how your performance will be assessed. NOTE: Please be certain to read the entire discussion assignment since in some cases there is more than one question you need to discuss, respond to, or address. Be sure that you have answered the entire question!

Post 1: Initial Post

This posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph and a maximum of two paragraphs. Word totals for this post should be in the 100–200-word range. Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate.

Scenario

Baking dog treats seems like a straightforward undertaking, and Wanda has never really given much thought to the process she uses. In fact, she produces her dog treats out of her kitchen the same way she did when she first started—one batch, one cookie sheet at a time.

She measures and mixes the ingredients in her trusty KitchenAid stand-up mixer, rolls them out on her counter using her mother’s old wooden rolling pin, and then uses cookie cutters to cut each biscuit out of the dough. Her oven will hold two cookie sheets at a time, and she does paperwork or checks email while they are baking. The only time it gets to be a hassle is when she does special-order “iced treats” and has to use the same mixer for the icing as the dough.

Once the treats are baked and cooled, she places them in a small cellophane treat bag. She threads a ribbon through a hole in a small card that has the company name and logo on one side and the ingredients on the other. She prints the cards off on her home printer, using some stock business card blanks she gets at the local office supply store. She then stacks the bagged treats into tubs she has sitting on her washing machine (which can be a hassle come laundry day), and there they sit until she is ready to pack and ship them to customers. Sometimes she worries that the ones on the bottom of the tubs are stale, but she figures dogs don’t know stale from fresh.

She wraps the bags of treats in a layer of bubble wrap so they don’t get broken in shipping, packs them in boxes she gets from the office supply store, and prints out shipping labels on her computer. She makes at least one trip a day to Ship & Go to have them picked up by UPS later in the day. Ship & Go does not have “accounts,” so she pays for her packages every time she takes orders to be shipped. Once she is finished, it’s back home to mix up the next batch of treats!

Wanda doesn’t have much storage space, but she put shelving in her garage where she stores the ingredients for the treats. She orders her chicken, bison, and lamb when her supply gets low, but all of the other ingredients usually come from the grocery store, unless Jamie is going to Sam’s Club and can pick up larger bags of flour and other ingredients. For the treats that contain vegetables, Wanda usually goes to Ed’s Farm Stand early in the morning and buys just what she will need for the day.

Salty Pawz is growing, and Wanda will soon expand to a commercial kitchen, which looks much more like a production facility than her small kitchen. She has never considered how her process will change when she makes the move. In fact, she hasn’t planned for it to change at all. She also has not considered inventory, storage, process flow, layout, or anything else related to production and operations management.

For Discussion

  1. From what you have read and seen in this chapter, plus any research you can conduct on the Internet, what changes to Wanda’s process would you make now or after she moves? Are there technologies available that can help her become more efficient while still maintaining the high quality of her product? Are there things she could be doing that she isn’t currently doing to improve the process? What will need to change about her process if she is truly going to grow the business?
  2. As you read about Wanda’s process, did it bring to mind a time when you did something—ordered food at a restaurant, got carry-out from the local sub shop, waited to buy things at a store’s checkout counter, registered for classes—and thought, “There has GOT to be a better way to do this”? How is Wanda’s situation similar? Why do you think inefficient processes are allowed to continue?


Posts 2 and 3: Respond to Classmates’ Posts

Instructions

After you have created your initial post, look over the discussion posts of your classmates and give at least two thoughtful responses to two different classmates (one per classmate) as outlined in the Discussion Grading Rubric.

A response posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph. Word totals for these posts should be in the 75–100-word range. Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate. The goal of your response posts is to extend discussions already taking place or pose new possibilities or opinions not previously voiced. Your goal should be to motivate the group discussion and present a creative approach to the topic.

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