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Case Flashy Flashers

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1 Probable sources
Based on the case we have come up with the following list of probable sources Long setup times
For a company that is using ATO it is weird that Wescot has such long setup times. This would mean that switching production is quite a long work, while you switch your setups a lot thanks to ATO. Big lot sizes

This also goes for the lot sizes. However taking in consideration the long setup times the bigger lot sizes are understandable, still this is weird for an ATO environment. Quite big difference in orders and forecast

Despite the fact that the difference is not so big when measured overall the question is how big is the range, is this process statistically controlled? The average difference is not so high but this only means that in the end is was all fine, but looking at some models in this data the differences are quite big. Difficulty regarding staff flexibility

The fact that staff on this workstation is so difficult to replace makes it vulnerable to problems. Risk like sickness or busy periods will hit this workstation the hardest. Since this most looks like the Bottleneck facility it will also affect the whole process. Short term planning

The planning is very short term and this is very weird for the master schedule. Its made once a week for the next week. This means that operations don’t have the complete picture and will have difficulty adapting to changing situations.

Based on reducing the inventory of finished goods to a minimum we made an MPS on basis of the minimum lot size. This was done based on the fact that this is an ATO environment so you want no stock in finished goods. Furthermore the case mentioned complains by the controller about the high stock levels in the company. The forecast used is shown below.

Afterwards this forecast was translated into an MPS per model.

Now that its was done on the model basis this resulted in the following MPS for the workstation.

Now that there was an overview regarding the needed production each week we took a look on the capacity required to produce the goods. We used the following data set. Combining the MPS and the data we came to the following capacity requirement

Now that we had the capacity need we added the available capacity to the figure

This made clear that in the long run there is no shortage on capacity. Furthermore the shortage is decreasing week by week. so using this style of MPS system will reduce the problems in the long term. Especially since Jason now has insight in the fact that despire his overcapacity in (for example) week 2 he will have a shortage in week 3 so he can not only produce his back orders but he could also work ahead. This way the overtime problem will become smaller every week, due to better planning. Also the amount of backorder will decrease. Jason will therefore make the sales department happy and also the employees. We therefore conclude that using our longer term planning based on the minimum lot sizes will for the moment reduce the trouble Jason is having with the process. However in the next chapter we have formulated some extra recommendations.

3 Other recommendations
We also formulated the following recommendations based on the problems mentioned in chapter one. Introduce Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)
By introducing SMED the setup times can probable be shortened drastically, which will lead to less time wasted on the setup and more time available for production. Reduce lot sizes
Also to keep the stock level low it would be good to reduce lot sizes. However to keep the process economical it might be better to wait for the reduction in setup times first. Try to statistically control the forecast process.

A small research in the forecast might be handy to improve this. The question raised in chapter one could be used to see if the forecast is as reliable as thought. Make training of people on the workstation easier.

By using programs such as TWI or creating work instructions it will become easier to train people for new workstations. This way the risks of for example sickness will reduce. Also if necessary it will be easier to introduce extra shifts.

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