1.(AT) receives a wide variety of emails. Messages range from requests for technical support from existing customers to general inquiries about products from potential customers. AT's policy is to reply to all emails within 24 hours. AT has two contact centers processing emails. The first is on the east coast and is open from 8:00AM to 4:00PM (all times are Eastern Standard Time). It can process 45 emails per hour. The second facility is on the west coast and opens at noon (EST) and can process 30 emails per hour. It also operates for an eight-hour shift. The two contact centers pull emails from the same server in a first come, first served fashion. Work unfinished by the east coast facility is completed by the west coast center. On an average day, emails arrive at a rate of 35 per hour from 8:00AM until 6:00PM. At all other times, emails arrive at a rate of 15 per hour.
i. On a grid like the one below (you may scan a hand drawn graph), draw an inventory buildup showing the number of emails waiting to be answered on a typical day of operations (not the first one!) Note that time zero on the grid below is midnight eastern time, so hour 13 is 1:00PM EST etc.
ii AT plans to close one facility and increase the staffing at the remaining facility so that it can handle 70 emails per hour. Given this plan are the following statements (in part a and b) true or false. Briefly explain your reasoning.
a) The longest time that a customer will have to wait for a reply will be shorter under the new system.
b)The company will still be able to answer all emails within 24 hours
c)Does it matter which center is closed? Which would you close?
2.2. Uphill makes bikes to order, receiving customer orders via a network of retailers. Once a customer picks a configuration, the retailer emails the order to Uphill. The most popular model is the Alpine which Uphill manufactures with the following process. First, Greg checks the order for consistency and prepares instructions for the subsequent operations. When the process operates at capacity, Greg's utilization is 40%. Once Greg is done, the order moves to both Eddy and Lance who can work on their respective tasks in parallel. Eddy picks the correct frame from inventory and spray paints the frame using Uphill's Instant Dry® technology. When the process operates at capacity, Eddy's utilization is 100%. When the frame is ready, Eddy passes it on to final assembly and testing (FAT). Lance is in charge of wheel building and brake sub assembly. Lance selects and mounts tires and disk brake rotors on the wheels to order based on the customer's weight. When the process operates at capacity, he is busy 60% of the time. Once the wheels are ready, Lance passes them on to Miguel whose tasks include assembling the shock absorbers and testing them together with the wheels on special equipment. Miguel requires 20 minutes for these tasks and his utilization is 50% when the process operates at capacity. When done Miguel passes the tested wheels and shocks on to final assembly and testing. At final assembly and test, there are four equally competent workers, Tyler, Jan, Bernard, and Laurent. When the frame, wheels, and shocks for a customer order are all complete, one of these four workers takes these components and assembles them with other parts (handle bar, saddle, etc) into the finished bike. (That is, only one employee works on a given bike at FAT.) When the process operates at capacity, the FAT resource pool's utilization is 80 %.
a Draw the process map/flowchart
b) What is the theoretical capacity of the Alpine production process in bikes per hour?
c) What are the activity times for all the activities of the Alpine production process? (in minutes/bike)
d) What is the theoretical flow time for an Alpine bike?
e) Lance and Greg have the following argument. Lance claims that it is possible to simultaneously increase the capacity and reduce the theoretical flow time of the Alpine bike production process, simply by reducing the activity time of a single (carefully selected) activity while keeping the process otherwise unchanged. Greg, however, claims that this is not possible. Who is right and why?
f)Suppose that Jan (one of the people doing the final assembly and testing) quits his job and no one replaces him. What impact does this have on the theoretical flow time and the theoretical capacity?
ii.RS manufactures and sells a wide variety of valves to industrial customers. All valves cost about the same and are assembled on the same line. Switching over from assembling one type of valve to another requires about three hours regardless of the valves involved. VRS assembles valves to be stocked in distribution center from where they are shipped as orders arrive. HV is the highest selling valve (in terms of units sold) and LV is the lowest selling.
a. Is S using a push or pull manufacturing strategy?
b. Is the average cycle inventory of HV higher, lower, or the same as LV?
c. Is the average time spent in inventory by an HV valve less or more or the same as LV?
iii. One obvious advantage of (lean) low-inventory manufacturing is that it reduces inventory carrying costs, including both physical costs and financial costs (that is, opportunity loss due to money tied up in inventory). Describe two other important advantages and two potential disadvantages. Please relate some of your advantages/disadvantages to the entire supply chain not just an individual firm.
iv.The Toyota Production System emphasizes continuous improvement in terms of both product cost and product quality. What is the role of the Kanban system in achieving such continuous improvement and how can it be applied to the seat problem in Kentucky? (Again please address supply chain as well individual firm issues.)
v. A gym has recently been renovated with a significant amount of new workout equipment. The Four new super elliptical trainers (SET) have proven particularly popular. Indeed, they have been so popular that gym patrons have been complaining about the difficulty of getting on the machines. Currently, there is a sign up board for each machine that can hold up to three names. Gym users are only allowed to sign up for one machine and must come to the gym to do so. Gym patrons frequently complain that they aren't even able to sign up for a machine. They also complain about long waits once they get on the sign up board. Once a person gets on a machine, he or she works out for anywhere between 15 and 70 minutes. The average user does a 30 minute work out on the machine. Assuming no additional SETs can be added; provide at least three suggestions to improve the situation and explain why they should work and what problem do they alleviate.
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