What are some of the possible processes that should be considered for process re-engineering or “lean” analysis?

Assignment Overview

Case: The Excellent Manufacturing Company & Productivity

Note: Click the following link for information on the Excellent Manufacturing Company (EMC). You will find information on(A) EMC—Background Information; (B) Product Brochure; (C) Plasti-Brack Information; (D) Manufacturing Processes; (E) Basic Financial Information about EMC; (F) Organizational Chart; (G) Plant Layout


Company E-Mail

FROM: Gerald Garcia

SUBJECT: Annual Productivity Plan

The Plasti-Brack product line is an important part of our business and with your qualifications, I am looking for some good things to happen with these products.

I am announcing the annual productivity plan and goal, which is for EMC to improve productivity this year by 5% overall. I am asking each manager to develop a productivity plan for their areas. This plan is to identify areas of productivity, the productivity measurements, and provide a plan for how the productivity will be accomplished.

I want you to consider using this multi-factor productivity measure: (Total Production of Plasti-Bracks) / (Total Paid Labor Hours). Using the most recent data available, this Productivity Measure is 332.73 pieces produced per paid people hours, for Plasti-Brack. You can review the detailed data to see how I determined this measurement. A 5% increase translates to 349.37 pcs/pd ppl hr.

You can plan on a 3% to 5% increase in demand for the next year.

Here is the data that has been collected and analyzed for the Productivity Index for Plasti-Brack.

Note: There is a lot of non-production time. I am sure we can eliminate some of this and convert it into productive use.

Given this overall productivity measure and the 5% goal, you should consider your next steps. First, do an assessment of the current situation. Then determine other subordinate productivity indices or factors that will be measured in your area of responsibility. What are the main issues and concerns about improving productivity this year? What are some of the possible processes that should be considered for process re-engineering or “lean” analysis? What improvements do you plan on making, and how will they achieve the 5% productivity goal?

Please do this analysis for your area. You should consult with the production managers as necessary. I want a report that provides an assessment of productivity measures and process improvement issues for the Plasti-Brack product line and related production processes. Your report should include the following sections: Review of the Current Situation, Goals & Objectives, Action Plans, and Explanation/Justification.

Since you are new to EMC, your report also should include a process flow diagram of several key Plasti-Brack processes. (See Section C: Plasti-Brack Information, Figure 2.)

I will be looking for your report in the next several weeks. Thank you. ~GG

PS – I know you are new to EMC and you may not be familiar with how we write reports. So I have attached a copy of a blank report template that I would like you to use: Report Template for Case Assignments.

And I also have attached a copy of a report that was done awhile back by Manny Jones. It is a report providing a plan to solve a big problem we were having in the Zinc Die Cast Machine Group. It is not about productivity, so you will need to taylor your report with appropriate content that I am looking for. Manny Jones Sample Report

Case Assignment

Analyze the processes that are used to produce the Plasti-Brack product line. Determine appropriate productivity measures and then develop a productivity & process improvement plan. Justify your plan. Write a report to the VP of Operations.

Assignment Expectations

  • Use the information provided in the Background readings. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
  • Review the information about the Excellent Manufacturing Company and become familiar with the products and processes.
  • Analyze the processes and determine productivity measures for the various processes.
  • Determine a plan for improving productivity via process improvement and lean thinking.
  • Justify your plan based on the concepts of process improvement.

READ the information provided by the resources and references on the Background page. Understand the theory and concept of productivity, productivity measures, process improvement, productivity improvement, and lean manufacturing.

Study the information about the Plasti-Brack product line. Understand the manufacturing processes and the Productivity Measurement that G. Garcia is using. Look for ways to Increase OUTPUTS and/or Decrease INPUTS (paid people hours).

NOTE: If you use the references provided in the Background, you do not need to include a Reference section. If you do decide to use additional references, then you need to cite them and include them in a Reference section.

The report should be 4–5 pages and submitted by the Module 1 due date.



Module 1 – Background



Productivity and Process Improvement

Required Reading

Chew, W. (Jan.-Feb. 1988). No-nonsense guide to measuring productivity. Harvard Business Review, 3-9.

How the U.S. Dept. of Labor measure productivity (n.d.). U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/bls/productivity.htm

Keberdle, C. (2008). Reducing Machine Setup & Changeover Times. Retrieved from http://www.leansolutionsgroup.com/images/Setup_Reduction_Master.pdf

Lean Enterprise Research Center (2015).  What is Lean Thinking?  Retrieved from http://www.leanenterprise.org.uk/what-is-lean-thinking/what-is-lean-thinking-and-key-lean-thinking-principles.html

OPM500-systems view of OPS-Pt.1 (2011). Retrieved from http://youtu.be/jLlOyqD9UKQ

OPM500-systems view of OPS-Pt.2 (2011). Retrieved from http://youtu.be/ZUn6lB07-yM

OPM500-systems view of OPS-Pt.3 (2011). Retrieved from http://youtu.be/mUz4OZlQrKQ

What is Lean? (n.d.). Lean Enterprise Institute, retrieved from http://www.lean.org/WhatsLean/

Optional Reading

Arnst, C. (2010). A Team Effort to Re-Engineer Care at Hospitals, U.S. News & World Report. Washington: Jul 2010. p. 1, retrieved from: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-hospitals/articles/2010/07/26/a-team-effort-to-re-engineer-care-at-hospitals

Base commanding general signs to initiate continuous process improvement (2011). US Fed News Service, Including US State News. Washington, D.C.: Feb 18, 2011.

Croft, J. (2010). Gulfstream to invest $500m in R&D, production capacity, Flight International. London: Nov 23-Nov 29, 2010. Vol. 178, Iss. 5267; p. 24,

Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management (n.d.). NetMBA, retrieved from: http://www.netmba.com/mgmt/scientific/

Frederick Winslow Taylor (2011). Wikipedia, retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor

Lean Manufacturing (2011). Wikipedia, retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_manufacturing

Productivity improving technologies_(historical) (2011), retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity_improving_technologies_(historical)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity_improving_technologies_(historical) (This website provides many different examples of improving productivity)

Productivity slide presentation

Purdue’s Online Writing Library (OWL) (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/)

Torres, C. and Feld, A. (2010). Campbell’s Quest for Productivity, Business Week. New York: Nov 29, 2010. p. 1, retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_49/b4206015275454.htm?chan=magazine+channel_news+-+global+economics

Trainor & Associates (n.d.) Case Studies for Process Improvement, retrieved from http://industrialengineeringconsultingfirm.com/process-improvements/case-studies

Trident’s Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper

Watson, R. (2010). Freight capacity will tighten, carrier executives predict, Transport Topics. Alexandria: Nov 22, 2010. pp. 3-4

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