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The Rock of Ages Company Case Study - Assignment Example

The most pressing competition has come in the monument area, as well as other areas from specialty manufacturers. In addition to this domestic competition, Rock of Ages is facing challenges from foreign competitors. Most prominently in the foreign competitive market are Chinese manufacturers who are able to produce labor-intensive mausoleums for a significantly lower rate than Rock of Ages is able to produce them for. While these specific issues constitute the major concerns, ultimately it is the integration of these issues into a functional whole that is the company’s greatest challenge. In addressing these challenges it’s indicated that two distinct phases will be considered. The first is a critical examination of operations management throughout the company. The second consideration implements these operation considerations in a new strategic approach. Finally, the company must determine if they should approach this new retail strategy as a variable or a given. Management Actions In approaching these management challenges there are a variety of elements to consider. The overarching consideration is the understanding that the management issues must be addressed on a specific basis and then integrated into an effective value chain. The first management consideration is the nature of improving the order process. While a single supply chain model may not be appropriate for Rock of Ages, a pragmatic approach to value gain is effective in approaching the company’s management challenges. In

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terms of improving the ordering process, the CERT operational management model is particularly applicable. The CERT model is broadly understood as, “Establish(ing) the convergence of resilience management activities such as security, business continuity, and aspects of IT operations management into a single model” (“CERT”). In improving the order system, it’s clear that advanced IT systems must be implemented. The system would take into account a broad range of inputs to provide a statistically viable throughput within the desired 75th percentile. Another major challenge the company is facing relates to the foreign competitive market. In large part the challenges in this realm are understood as emanating from the increasingly lowered labor costs of the Chinese market. In addressing this concern, the lean manufacturing model is highly effective; this model, “Producing defect free product is critical to eliminate waste…This means you will need robust systems in place to ensure this” (“Lean Manufacturing”). The main understanding within this management context is that ROA will never be able to compete with Chinese labor costs so improved supply chain efficiency is of the utmost importance. In improving these efficiency measures through a lean approach the intention is to gain a market advantage over Chinese competitors through efficiency and increased reliability. This will allow ROA to further compete with Chinese competitors based on costs, as well as gain customers through improved reputation. The final management challenge is the integration of these new strategic measures into a harmonious whole. In this area of concern, one of the primary tools is the McKinsey 7S Framework; this tool, “can be used in a wide variety of situations where an alignment perspective is useful (“
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Rocks of Ages Case Study.
Within this spectrum of understanding there are a number of specific management issues. One of the issues relates to scheduling orders during peak seasons, as the plant manager believes this system needs to change to increase efficiency…
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