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Sciences & Operations Management

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1. Provide some examples in business or daily life in which a controlled process is erroneously adjusted and an out-of-control process is ignored. What implications do these errors have? My example of a controlled process that is erroneously adjusted is the thermostat. My house is two-story. The A/C unit upstairs is set on heat at a temperature of 76 degrees and automatic adjustment. Today’s weather temperature was unusual 80 degrees. So, the heat unit didn’t come on. However, due to the temperature outside, it still caused the house to heat up. So, the temperature upstairs was 80 degrees. That is an example of erroneous adjustment. Examples of an out-of-control process in daily life that are ignored are getting old, high blood pressure or other health conditions. Anything that goes in the body internally is beyond anyone’s control. However, if health issues are not addressed properly, that can result in other health issues or death. 2. Would it make sense to draw specification limits on an x-bar chart? Why or why not?

No it wouldn’t make sense to draw specification limits on an x-bar chart. Confusing control limits with specification limits leads to mistakes. The most common mistake is to use specification limit values instead of control limit values on an X-bar chart or an Individuals chart. Using specifications on an X-bar is the most egregious error: the specifications are in one unit (items) while the chart is in another (average of several items).

3. Compare the lean service system of Southwest Airlines to a full service airline such as United Airlines or British Airways on the following: (a) airplane boarding process, (b) cabin service, (c) ticket transfer to other Southwest flights, (d) frequent flyer program, (e) baggage handling, (f) seat assignment system, and (g) service encounters. The lean service system for Southwest Airlines is the following:

(a) Airplane boarding process – You will be assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1-60+) upon check in. Your unique group and position combination (for example: A35) will be displayed on your boarding pass and represents a reserved spot in the boarding group at the gate. Numbered posts in each of our gate areas indicate where to line up. When your boarding group is called, find your designated place in line and board the aircraft in numerical order with your boarding group. (b) Cabin service – Southwest Airlines recently unveiled a new Evolve interior, an eco-friendly, cost-efficient new look for our cabin with an emphasis on comfort and personal space. The bottom cushion is more comfortable with better lumbar support and a fixed wing headrest on each seat that will provide for a more relaxing experience. The Inflight Crews strive to provide Positively Outrageous Service with a Fun-LUVing attitude on each and every flight.

They offer a variety of inflight snacks and beverages. Peanuts and pretzels are always complimentary as well as an assorted list of non-alcoholic beverages. Cocktails, beer, and wine may also be purchased onboard. As a service and convenience for customers, Southwest Airlines is implementing a wireless network throughout their fleet. You may get online for $5 all day per device on WiFi enabled aircraft. (c) Ticket transfer to other Southwest flights – Only reservations purchased online may be changed. (d) Frequent flyer program – We’ve designed the Rapid Rewards program around a simple concept – make earning reward flights faster and easier. Whether you’re earning points or redeeming them for a flight, nothing should come between you and your favorite destination. a. Unlimited reward seats.

If there is a seat available, you can redeem your points for it. b. No blackout dates.
We’ve done away with blackout dates, which means your choices and your possibilities are now wide open. c. Your points don’t expire**
Plan your getaway for next week or next year. Either way, it’s no problem since your points no longer have an expiration date. d. Earn points for every dollar you spend. The amount of your fare now determines how many points you earn. And since you can also earn points with our Partners, that reward flight won’t be far behind. e. Redeem for International flights and more. With the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase, you can now redeem your points for international flights, cruises, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and more. (e) Baggage handling – The ability of checking in two bags free of charge has created value for Southwest Airlines customers. Secondly, although this option does not create any additional value, the “value stream” in the airlines industry is more prominent in the amount of customers who exhibit brand loyalty in the future because of superior service, rather than the amount that is paid to check baggage.

Taking a lean approach to all operations is vital to airline performance. (f) Seat assignment system – No assigned seating. At Southwest Airlines, they believe the best way for you to like where you sit is to allow you to sit where you like. Once onboard the airplane, simply choose any available seat, stow your carryon items in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you, and relax. They’ll take care of the rest. (g) Service encounters – Most Customers are eligible to use a self-service kiosk; however, Customers with the following types of reservations are NOT eligible and must check in at the airport ticket counter: unaccompanied Minors, customers traveling with pets, customers traveling on age-qualifying fares (infant, child, and senior fares) that have NOT already been age verified, customers traveling on a Military Fare, and customers traveling with paper tickets. The lean service system for United Airlines is the following:

a) Airplane boarding process – For flights within the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, customers and their bags must meet the check-in and boarding requirements below. These requirements refer to the minimum amount of time before scheduled departure. The minimum check-in time requirement for customers not checking bags on flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is 30 minutes, except for Guam (GUM), which is 60 minutes. For international flights, customers and their bags must meet the check-in and boarding requirements below. These requirements refer to the minimum amount of time before scheduled departure. (b) Cabin service – We are pleased to offer menu choices that have been carefully selected for our premium customers. On United Express® flights longer than 700 miles (approximately two hours), United First® and United Business® customers will enjoy complimentary snack boxes featuring high-quality, brand-name foods. Wherever your travels take you, the following complimentary beverages are available: Soft drinks, Fruit juices, Tonic water, Seltzer water, Bottled water, Milk, Tea, and Regular and decaffeinated coffee.

Alcoholic beverages are complimentary in premium cabins on all flights. In United Economy®, alcoholic beverages (cocktails, wines and beer) are available for purchase. Beer and wine is complimentary in United Economy on trans-Pacific international flights and on flights within Asia and Micronesia. Sake is also complimentary on trans-Pacific international flights to and from Japan. Refer to the Choice Menu in the back of your Hemispheres magazine for more details. Only alcoholic beverages served by a flight attendant may be consumed on board. Alcoholic beverage selections vary according to cabin and destination. (c) Ticket transfer to other United Airlines flights – We understand that you need timely information about changes to your travel itinerary. If you provide us with your contact information, we will notify you using information in your reservation about any travel itinerary changes prior to the date of departure. (d) Frequent flyer program – MileagePlus is the award-winning loyalty program from United. Members earn award miles by flying United, United Express®, Copa Airlines, or Star Alliance® airlines and by purchasing products or services from a wide variety of partners worldwide. Members use award miles for travel, hotel and car rental, plus everyday purchases and activities. (e) Baggage handling – Checked baggage service charges apply at any point where bags are checked.

For a trip that includes one or more connections, bags will be checked to your final destination, and the charge for checking a bag from your origin to your destination will apply. For a trip that includes a voluntary stopover, your bags will be checked to your stopover point, where you will collect your bags. When you resume travel, you may check your bags again, subject to applicable charges from the new point of check-in to the destination. Some customers are exempt from certain checked baggage service charges as indicated in the list below (bags must meet weight and size restrictions): Active U.S. military personnel and their accompanying dependents, not traveling on official business, receive waived service charges for up to three checked bags. Active U.S. military personnel and their dependents traveling in United Economy on official business receive waived service charges for up to four checked bags. Active U.S. military personnel and their dependents traveling in United Global FirstSM, United BusinessFirst®, United First® or United Business® on official business receive waived service charges for up to five checked bags. Dependents traveling with active U.S. military personnel are also exempt as long as they are traveling in the same reservation.

This exemption will not apply to group reservations including ten or more customers. For specific exemptions applicable to MileagePlus Premier® members, Star Alliance® Gold and Silver members, and certain MileagePlus credit card holders please use the baggage calculator above. (f) Seat assignment system – All Premier® members have complimentary access to Economy Plus seating. Premier Gold members and above may select Economy Plus seats as early as time of booking, while Premier Silver members have complimentary access to Economy Plus at time of check-in. The member must also have Premier status at the time of travel to reserve Economy Plus seats. A customer flying in the economy cabin who is not able to safely and comfortably fit in a single seat is required to purchase an additional seat for each leg of their itinerary. The second seat may be purchased for the same fare as the original seat, provided it is purchased at the same time. A customer who does not purchase an extra seat in advance may be required to do so on the day of departure for the fare level available on the day of departure.

The customer may instead choose to purchase a ticket for United First®, United Business® or United BusinessFirst®, or elect to pay for an upgrade to a premium cabin if there is availability to do so. United Airlines is not required to provide additional seats or upgrades free of charge. A customer is required to purchase an additional seat or upgrade if they do not meet one of the following criteria: 1. The customer must be able to properly attach, buckle and wear the seat belt, with one extension if necessary, whenever the seatbelt sign is illuminated or as instructed by a crew member.* 2. The customer must be able to remain seated with the seat armrest(s) down for the entirety of the flight. 3. The customer must not significantly encroach upon the adjacent seating space. (g) Service encounters – View contact information and hours for check-in counters at airports served by United Airlines by selecting the links below. Customers who purchase tickets at an airport located in the United States, including Guam and Puerto Rico, will be charged a $30 service fee. Customers purchasing tickets at an airport outside of the United States are advised to check with the location since service fees vary by location. No service fee is charged for tickets purchased on united.com.


Collier, D. A., & Evans, J. R. (2012). OM (with Review Cards and Decision
Sciences & Operations Management CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card) (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage.

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