Discussion Questions for OM 5016 Class 2 Ch 1 &2. Operations Management Introduction and Strategy 1. What is Operations Management? What are major OM decisions? 2. What are the key differences between goods and services? 3. What a role does productivity play? How to measure productivity and what challenges do we have in measuring and improving productivity? 4. What is mission and strategy? How important is it for an organization to develop a mission and strategy? 5. What is OM strategy? How can operations management help a company achieve competitive advantages? 6.
What is SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analysis? Under what circumstances do you think should we conduct SWOT analysis? Class 3 Southwest Airlines 1. Why has Southwest Airlines been so successful? 2. What recommendations would you make about the issues raised on pages 13 – 15 of the case? 3. What are the implications for Southwest of the actual or threatened bankruptcies of other major U. S. airline? Class 4 Ch 05. Product and Service Design 1. Why do companies need to continuously develop new products? How to generate new ideas? 2. What factors should be considered in product development?
Describe the typical phases of product development and evaluate their relative importance. 3. What is the role of quality function deployment (QFD)? How is Quality of House working in product development? 4. Describe the main techniques used in designing products. Give some real world examples. What strategic advantages do techniques provide? 5. Describe the documents used to define and produce a product? How are they important and necessary? 6. Describe four organizational approaches to product development. What pros and cons do they have? 7. What are the key differences between product design and service design? 8.
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What an impact does environmental friendly design have on product development? How do you address conflicts between ethical design and company profitability? Class 6 Discussion questions for IDEO If you have interest, watch the video on Youtube: the Deep Dive Q1. How would you characterize IDEO’s design process, organization, culture and management? Q2. Should IDEO accept the Visor project as is (on a dramatically reduced schedule)? Should they try to persuade Handspring’s management to change its aggressive launch schedule? Or should they simply decline the project? Please consider both the IDEO and Handspring perspectives.
Class 7 Process and Layout Strategy 1. What process strategies does an organization usually use? What key factors does a company consider in choosing its process strategy? What are the competitive advantages a firm (producing goods or service) has by using different process strategy? 2. What is mass customization? What major factors contribute to the success of mass customization? 3. How to analyze and design a process by using different tools? 4. What process strategies should be used for service? What are the key differences between a service process and a product process? How to improve the service process? . What layout strategies can a company use? What are the main characteristics and concerns of these strategies? 6. What are the relationships between process and layout? Class 8 Mass Gen Hospital Q1. What are primary challenges in improving operating processes in a health care environment such as that of MGH? Why choose CABG for care path? Q2. What implementation approach would you recommend for Bohmer and Torchiana? Be specific as to where you would start, what resources you would bring to bear, what performance you would expect, and what timeline you would hope to follow.
What would you recommend MGH to do for its longer-term process improvement? Q3. How should MGH balance the tension between process standardization and process customization? What are the hazards of standardizing the process too rigorously? What are the dangers of allowing too much freedom to customize? Class 9 Capacity Planning and Location 1. What is capacity decision about? Why is it important? 2. Distinguish between design capacity and effective capacity, between utilization and efficiency. 3. What factors should be considered in determining the capacity? 4. What approaches are used and when to use them to expand the capacity? . Describe approaches used to determine the capacity. (You do not need to know how to calculate, but have to know the idea and assumptions of the approaches) 6. What are the goals, criteria and factors does a company consider in choosing a location? What are the trends of location decision? 7. Describe techniques used for location decision and identify the situations and assumptions under which these techniques should be applied. Class 10 Questions for Alden 1. Looking back, do you agree with the logic that led API in 1962 to consolidate its European production into a single facility? 2.
What is your evaluation of the Uniplant’s performance during the 1980s? 3. What recommendations would you make to Mr. Genet, API-Europe’s Executive VP, as regards the operations strategy his organization should follow in the future? Specifically, which option should it take, where should it be located, and how should it be managed? Class 12 Questions for Supply Chain Management (SCM) 1. What is a supply chain? What are the differences between SCM and OM? Describe the various stages in the supply chain and the different flows involved. 2. What is the goal and main decisions of supply chain? 3.
What is your evaluation between single supplier and multiple suppliers? 4. What is push/pull view of a supply chain? What product characteristics influence the choice of push/pull SC?? 5. What is bullwhip effect? Why does it happen and how to reduce this effect? 6. What is an integrated supply chain? What are the key challenges and how to make it a success? Class 13 Discussion questions for Crocs 1. What are Croc’s core competencies? 2. How do they exploit these competencies in the future? Consider the following alternatives: a. Further vertical integration into materials. b. Growth by acquisition. c.
Growth by product extension 3. To what degree do the alternatives in question 2 fit the company’s core competencies, and to what degree do they defocus the company away from its core competencies? Class 14 Inventory Management 1. What is inventory? What types of inventory are there? What are the major causes of inventory? 2. What is the purpose of ABC classification system and how is it working? 3. What types of costs associated with an inventory system? What are the objectives and key decisions of inventory management? 4. What are the assumptions and objective of EOQ model? Are these assumptions reasonable? . What are the major differences between EOQ and production order quantity (POQ) model? Why is the production inventory quantity larger than the economic order quantity, given other things equal? 6. What is “safety stock”? What does safety stock provide safety against? How to calculate safety stock based on the required service level? 7. How to determine inventory size when there is uncertainty with demand/lead time? 8. What are the main challenges in inventory management, in your opinion? Class 15 Sport Obermeyer 1. What challenges does Sport Obermeyer have in production planning with uncertain demand? . What are your recommendations for production planning prior to and after observing the Las Vegas show? 3. What operational changes would you recommend to Wally to reduce markdown and stockout costs? 4. What are your views on sourcing from Hong Kong versus China? Class 16 Aggregate planning and ERP 1. What is aggregate planning and what aggregate means? 2. What are the strategic objectives of aggregate planning? Which one of these is most often addressed by the quantitative techniques of aggregate planning? 3. What strategies are used in developing a plan?
What options are available for each strategy and what are the pros and cons of each option? 4. How does aggregate planning in service differ from aggregate planning in manufacturing? What is yield management and where are they implemented? 5. What is the relationship between the aggregate planning and the master production schedule (MPS)? What is the relationship between MPS and material requirements planning (MRP)? How to develop a MRP? 6. How does MRP, as an approach to inventory management, differ from the approach taken in the chapter Inventory Management, dealing with economic order quantities? 7.
What is ERP and what benefits and disadvantages of ERP have? Class 17 Cisco Systems 1. At the end of the case, Pete Solvik has a number of questions. Please think about these questions, and be prepared to give your answers: What factors had contributed to the success of the ERP implementation? What obstacles did Cisco overcome for the ERP project? How? Where had the EPR team been “smart”? Where had the ERP team been just plain lucky? Do you think that the ERP project a complete success? Do you think that the Cisco team could do such a project again if they had to? Why? Why not? 2. How important is the ERP to the overall architecture?
Do you see the ERP component as something that will be undertaken by some, most or all companies as they build their Information Age IT architectures? Class 18 Just-in-Time (JIT) 1. What is JIT, the Toyota Production System (TPS) and lean operations? What are the underlying philosophies? 2. Does JIT mean zero inventory? How to use EOQ and POQ models in inventory management to determine the lot size in a JIT system? 3. What are the differences between JIT and customization? 4. What are the characteristics of JIT partnerships with respect to suppliers? 5. How can layout help a company achieve JIT? How are JIT and quality related? . What is level scheduling? Discuss how the Japanese word for card has been applied in the study of JIT. 7. JIT attempts to remove delays that do not add value. How does JIT cope with weather and its impact on crop harvest and transportation times? 8. Does lean techniques work for service industry, such as a restaurant? If so, how? Class 19 Toyota Motor Manufacturing 1. What are the possible causes of the seat problem? What is the real problem facing Doug Friesen? 2. What are the key elements of TPS? Where, if at all, does the current routine for handling defective seats differ from the principles of TPS? . As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts? Class 20 Quality and TQM 1. What is quality? What factors are used to determine quality for goods and services? 2. What are costs of quality? How can improving quality reduce costs? 3. What is Total Quality Management (TQM)? What concepts are used to implement an effective TQM program? Explain them. How are they related to Deming’s 14 points? 4. What are seven tools of TQM? What are their purposes and when to use them? 5. How does fear in the workplace inhibit learning? . Philip Crosby said that quality is free. What does it mean and why? 7. What roles do operations managers play in addressing the major aspects of service quality? 8. Good quality products last a long time, which in turn may reduce the sales of the product and thus the profit. How do you explain this? Class 21 Ritz-Carlton 1. What is the essence of the Ritz-Carlton experience? What is the Ritz-Carlton selling? 2. How does Ritz-Carlton create “Ladies and Gentlemen” in only 7 days? 3. Should McBride lengthen the 7 Day Countdown? Any other alternatives?
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