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Albatross Anchor Case Study (Note: This is not a real company) Introduction Albatross Anchor is a small family owned business that began in 1976 with...

Albatross Anchor Case Study (Note: This is not a real company)


Albatross Anchor is a small family owned business that began in 1976 with four family members. Albatross anchor has grown exponentially and now employs one hundred and thirty people. This one location/facility is situated on twelve acres located in a rural suburb of Smalltown, USA (Please note* the building and facilities for Albatross Anchor are landlocked).

The plant* and the administrative offices are located in the same building.

(*Note: The plant includes: manufacturing, the shipping department, the receiving department, raw materials storage, finished product storage, and the foundry).

The administrative offices are in the front of the building and the plant is located directly behind the administrative offices (see diagram). The administrative offices have issues because they are somewhat shabby, disorganized, and run inefficiently.

The plant is antiquated, worn, dirty, and technology-deprived and it no longer meets all US safety and environmental standards.

The owners of this small business have added on various processes as needs arose; within the limited space of the plant. When Albatross Anchor first opened its doors their expertise was in the manufacturing of bell/mushroom anchors (using a foundry process). In 1989, in response to international competition, the owners of Albatross Anchor made the decision to expand the product line to include fabricated snag hook anchors.


Albatross Anchor is a manufacturing factory that sells only at the wholesale level.

Albatross Anchors sales their products in two ways:

(01) Distributors that act as the middleman. The distributor accepts bulk delivery of anchors at their large distribution centers. At the distribution center the bulk shipment of anchors is broken up into smaller batches and shipped to individual retail locations.

(02) OEM customers that purchase anchors in large batches to be used as a component in the manufacture of boats.

Albatross Anchor does not sell retail. They are strictly a wholesale organization.


The bell anchor is manufactured primarily through a foundry process in which ore is transformed into a liquid state and then poured into molds as part of the production process. The bell anchor is used primarily by fresh water marine craft.

The snag hook anchor is fabricated through the bending and welding of iron rods and flat iron into a hook design. The hook design is best when used in saltwater. This hook design snags bedrock and seaweed which holds the marine craft at anchor. The snag hook anchor is used primarily for small to medium sized saltwater marine craft.

Each anchor is produced in multiple sizes to accommodate the type of watercraft, the size of the watercraft and the place where the anchor will be used (salt water or fresh water).


Each anchor type requires its own unique equipment and manufacturing process. Yet, both manufacturing areas share the same shipping area, receiving area, warehouse area, and administration offices.

The manufacturing area of the plant has had to change to accommodate the manufacture of the two separate types of anchors. As each anchor requires its own manufacturing challenges the manufacturing line must be completely changed over each time the anchor type is changed. The time to switch over from one manufacturing process/operation to the other manufacturing process/operation is 36 hours.

The plant space is at a premium and warehousing space for raw materials and finished product is limited and located at the far south end of the building.

Plant antiquation and safety issues result in small batch production only. As a result of this limitation, lead time for exceptionally large bulk orders is three to four weeks.


Current manufacturing costs are $8.00 per pound for mushroom/bell anchors and $11.00 per pound for snag hook anchors. Albatross Anchor charges the same per unit as their competitors. However, the profit margin can sometimes be as much as 35% less (on some of the anchors) because of operations inefficiencies.

Shipping challenges

Outgoing freight

Product size, bulk, and weight and maximum load limits require that the anchors be shipped by large truck, rail, or large ocean-going freighter. Domestic orders are usually shipped by large truck. International orders are shipped by rail and ultimately by large ocean-going freighters. These are the only two methods of product shipment.
Incoming freight

Receipt of raw materials is by rail. Prior to the sale of anchors into the international market all shipments of finished product went out completely by truck and therefore all shipping activities were limited to the east side of the building.

Now, because of the limitation of shipping product into the international marketplace, all product shipments for international delivery go out of the receiving dock for the initial leg of shipment by rail. Prior to expansion into the international marketplace shipping had been limited to the shipping department and receiving was limited to the receiving area. However, with this change in international shipping the receiving area must now do double duty – shipping of international orders as well as receipt of all incoming raw materials.

Please view the below representation of the current building/facility set up.

Unit six Project Questions
Question One

Refer back to the answers you provided in your Unit 3 Assignment and re-review the assignment scenario/case study. Based on the limited information in the scenario/case study along with your answers to questions one and two, identify at least three direct and specific long-term and three direct and specific short-term operations changes that Albatross Anchor must make to gain a clear and sustainable competitive advantage. Provide supporting information to validate and substantiate each recommended change (be detailed in your justification for each).

Question Two

From the list below, select four operational issues and for each issue chosen explain how it will help Albatross Anchor to improve:

1) Job retention

2) Employee morale

3) Employee dedication

Your explanation for each of the four selected issues must cover all three of the items listed above.

Listing of Operational issues

(a) Work design

(b) Cross training

(c) Gainsharing and profit sharing

(d) Job design

(e) Task analysis

(f) Worker analysis

(g) Environmental analysis

(h) Ergonomics

h) Ergonomics

(i) Technology and automation

(j) Job analysis

Sample on next page


Type the introduction to the paper here.

Question One

Carefully review the assignment scenario/case study. From the limited information in the scenario/case study, along with your answers to the unit three written assignment, identify at least three direct and specific long-term and three direct and specific short term operations changes that Albatross Anchor must make to gain a clear and sustainable competitive advantage (provide detailed information to validate and support each recommended change)

Long-Term Operational Changes


Type the answer here


Type the answer here.


Type the answer here.

Short-Term Operational Changes


Type the answer here


Type the answer here


Type the answer here

Question Two

From the list of ten operational issues in the Unit 6 assignment instructions select four operational issues. For each of the four operational issues explain in detail that operational issue will help Albatross Anchor improve; 1) job retention, 2) employee morale, and 3) employee dedication.

Operational Issue One:

Type the answer here

Operational Issue Two:

Type the answer here

Operational Issue Three:

Type the answer here

Operational Issue Four:

Type the answer here.


Type the conclusion to the paper here.

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