Scheduling Across the Supply Chain Executive Summary - Essay Example

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John Deere Corporation manufactures many different products some of which are fully assembled in-house, while others are created with the assistance of outsourcing. The two proposed lawnmower models were design utilizing the same chassis and many similar components. The…
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b. Describe your products manufacturing process and scheduling approach. John Deere Corporation manufactures many different products some of which are fully assembled in-house, while others are created with the assistance of outsourcing. The two proposed lawnmower models were design utilizing the same chassis and many similar components. The batteries for both models are detachable. The material used to manufacture the batteries is sealed lead acid. The production of the electric batteries is outsourced. John Deere produces in-house only the parts that are compatible with other lawnmowers in their product offerings. Any new parts used in these two models are purchased from external suppliers. Subassembly of the lawnmower occurs within the traditional manufacturing line of the company, but the solar charges follow a different manufacturing process. This patented technology was developed by the R&D department. The company purchased a small building whose only purpose was to produce the solar chargers. The executive staff wanted to maintain control of the trade secrets associated with the solar charger production. The weekly production of solar chargers is delivered to corporate headquarters. For the first six months the forecasted production of the lawnmowers is 1000 units per month. The monthly production of green lawnmower is going to follow a 3:1 production ratio. For every three electric power lawnmower produced one solar powered mower will be manufactured.
c. Analyze the relationships of equipment availability, personnel, and bottlenecks and how these factors apply to your product.
The green lawnmower project underway at John Deere must consider the effects of equipment availability. The solar powered production line depends on the production capabilities of the solar battery line which is independent of the production of the mower. The equipment to produce the solar panels used in the chargers has a short life span and must be replaced on a quarterly basis. There is only one supplier of the specialized equipment. If the replacement equipment is not ready on time bottlenecks could occur. A bottleneck occurs when a low capacity part of a system creates a constraint that reduces the capacity of the whole system (Heizer & Render, 1996). The company is also having problems training personnel to work at the solar charger production facility. The time to train employees to obtain the specialized skills needed to produce these items was miscalculated. The learning curve is much slower than anticipated. The learning curve stipulates that as employees repeat a particular process they gain skill and efficiency and production time improvements are achieved (Chase & Jacobs & Aquilano). It is taking eight to ten weeks to train employees instead of four. The cost to produce the chargers has increased as a consequence. The original plan of producing 1000 units a week must be reconsidered. The impact equipment availability, bottlenecks, and personnel will cause the management staff to reduce its production capacity by half during the product launch phase. Companies have to have contingency plans in place to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Chase, R., Jacobs, R., Aquilano, N. (2006). Operations Management for Competitive Advantage (11th ed.). New York: McGraw Hills.
Heizer, J., Render, B. (1996). Production & Operations Management (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Read More
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