Case Study On Johnston Products

Added on - Sep 2019

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CASE STYDY 6.1 Johnston ProductsNo matter how many times Justin Wang, the master scheduler for Johnston Products, tried, hecouldn’t seem to get it through people’s minds. They kept trying to “front load” the productionschedule, and the problem appeared to be getting worse.By “front loading” Justin meant that production supervisors would attempt to catch up withproduction they failed to make the previous week. It seemed to happen every week, and the onlyway Justin could get things back to a realistic position was to completely reconstruct the entiremaster schedule—usually about every three weeks.Last month could serve as an example. The first week of the month Justin had scheduledproduction equal to 320 standard hours in the assembly area. The assembly area managed tocomplete only 291 hours that week because of some equipment maintenance and a fewunexpected part shortages. The assembly supervisor then had the workers complete theremaining 29 hours from week 1 at the start of week 2. Since week 2 already had 330 standardhours scheduled, the additional 29 hours really put them in a position of attempting to complete359 hours. The workers actually completed 302 hours in week 2, leaving 57 hours to front loadinto week 3, and so forth. Usually by the time Justin came to his three-week review of the masterschedule, it was not uncommon for the assembly area to be more than 100 standard hours behindschedule.Clearly, something needed to be done. Justin decided to review some of the areas that could becausing the problem:1.Job standards Although it had been at least four years since any job standards had beenreviewed or changed, Jason felt the standards could not be the problem—quite theopposite. His operations course had taught him about the concept of the learning curve,implying that if anything the standard times for the jobs should be too high, allowing theaverage worker to complete even more production per hour than that implied by the jobstandard.2.Utilization The general manager was very insistent on high utilization of the area. He feltthat it would help control costs, and consequently used utilization as a major performancemeasure for the assembly area. The problem was that customer service was alsoextremely important. With the problems, Justin was having with the master schedule, itwas difficult to promise order delivery accurately, and equally difficult to deliver theproduct on time once the order promise was made.3.The workers In an effort to control costs, the hourly wage for the workers was not veryhigh. This caused a turnover in the workforce of almost 70% per year. In spite of this, thefacility was located in an area where replacement workers were fairly easy to hire. Theywere assigned to the production area after they had a minimum of one week’s worth oftraining on the equipment. In the meantime, the company filled vacant positions withtemporary workers brought in by a local temporary employment service.4.Engineering changes The design of virtually all the products was changing, with theaverage product changing with respect to some aspect of the design about every two
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