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PROFESSIONAL ENGLISH INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING FINAL ENGLISH EXAM

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READ THE TEXTS, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS THOROUGHLY. THEN, ANSWER THE
QUESTIONS. IT’S VITAL THAT YOU BEAR IN MIND THAT THE ANSWERS, MEANINGS,
SYNOMYMS AND ANTONYMS ARE TO BE CHOSEN ACCORDING TO THEIR MEANING IN
CONTEXT. YOU CAN FIND ANSWERS THAT COULD FIT BUT IF THEY DO NOT MATCH THE
TEXT, THEY ARE WRONG. GOOD LUCK!

MOVING DECISION MAKING DOWN THE LINE
A BRITISH STEEL CASE STUDY
READ THE ARTICLE THOROUGHLY AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

SECTION I

This case study is about the method British Steel implemented to improve its
manufacturing processes. The first part is the introduction. The introduction is not in
order; put the paragraphs in the correct order. Write the letter of each paragraph in the
correct order next to the following numbers:

1._________ 2. ______ 3.___________ 4. ____________

A. This case study focuses on methods used by a leading UK company to move decision
making ‘down the line.’ It examines how British Steel Strip Products, Integrated Works
at Llanwern, engaged in a training program based on empowerment, resulting in the
company winning the National Training Award in 1995.

B. Today, we have moved well beyond the time when decisions were made at the top of
an organization and then passed ‘down the line’ to ground floor operatives. In
modern organizations, important decisions need to be made by individual employees
who are directly involved in production processes and interact face-to-face with
customers. The term associated with this change is ‘empowerment.’

All operational activities within the plant are driven by the demanding standards of product quality and service required by these customers. 16. geared towards improving manufacturing performance. The Llanwern Works Llanwern Works is a fully integrated steelmaking plant and a principal unit within British Steel’s Strip Products business. British Steel Strip Products recognized the urgent need for a rigorous training program. Gwent. 14. flexible and committed staff. SECTION II Read the following passage carefully. Many modern employees are ‘empowered’ to think things through for themselves and take the appropriate actions. This is achieved within an established Total Quality Performance (TQP) culture. to ensure that employees are able to take on the new responsibilities associated with empowerment. 2 C. fully flexible and committed workforce.’ Improved performance . Staying ahead of the field Due to intense international competition. The plant has a liquid steel capacity of three million tons per year. it is essential that they are given the necessary training for their enhanced duties. Business environment Llanwern’s traditional products are supplied to blue chip customers in the automotive. productivity and creating a skilled.which is processed into hot and cold rolled strip steel (including zinc alloy coated strip) to precise tolerances in both coil and sheet form. The Works adopted an all- embracing approach and training was extended across the breadth of the Cold Mill workforce ’from admiral to cabin boy. The best way to improve manufacturing performance and increase output per head is by having a highly skilled. This involves a higher level of ‘trust’ in employees - that they will make the right decisions. D.It was constructed on a green field site near Newport. 15. consumer durables and construction industries. However.

Step 1: Developing a Cold Mill operator profile:  Analysis of job demands. problem-solving and decision making skills. behavior attitudes and personality characteristics which separated the high performers from the under performers. Managers chose to overcome these deficiencies by drastically improving the product quality performance of the mill through the increased personal competence. to unleash the full potential of production operatives by providing the necessary culture and skills for a more participative style of decision making within the operation. duties and responsibilities. to ensure product.’ allowing management to focus on the characteristics of an ‘ideal’ employee. job skills requirements) and personal specifications (physical characteristics. They did not realize that both quality and output could be raised simultaneously.  Identification of competencies using psychometric assessment. The analysis generated an ‘ideal operator profile. supervisors and senior operators. To improve management style and expertise. competencies and behaviors which. two objectives had to be met: 1. as well as using the profile for recruiting new employees. thus making the program effective. abilities. studies revealed standards had fallen below those of some of British Steel’s main competitors. to achieve a transformation in the cold mill workforce’s (including management) perception of quality effort on volume 3. Step 2 . stable and intellectually effective. This consisted of a questioning approach . 3 In 1993.Competence matrix development .one of perceived high level performers and one of lower performers. nevertheless differentiated very good operators from those working to a demonstrably lower standard. 2.studying operator jobs and interviewing shift managers. social factors. Operative competency was traditionally based on technical skills. although not directly trained for in the past. more successful operators had developed an understanding and familiarity with customer specification. the product/process and end-use and were more sociable. In general terms. The profiles concentrated on job specifications (objectives. Key objectives In creating the training program. a further study was carried out on two distinct groups of current operators . attitude and involvement of the workforce. process strategy and performance were totally focused on meeting the customers’ definition of quality 2. The aim was to encourage existing employees to recognize the ‘right’ characteristics. To increase operators’ product/process knowledge. Management focused on three overriding objectives: 1. This provided an overview of the typical skills. Many employees believed that the only way to improve quality was to lower the volume of production. abilities and personal qualities). After job analysis. It enabled unit trainers to gauge key demands.

based on the traditional method of assessing newly identified skills to pre-defined standards. Designing a competence matrix. 3. Improve the manufacturing quality and quantity 2. training employees. 90 points in total) 1. analyzing the employees’ skills. employees d. team building. Managers needed to develop:  the managerial skills to support the benefits of shopfloor training. Developing a profile. training the employees. Consumers b. Step 3 – Supportive management development skills program The next important stage involved training the managers to support the new initiatives. amended and finally approved by management. (6 points per each correct answer. Improve the performance of the employees c. which enabled them to write comprehensive training manuals. delegation and co-ordination. setting objectives and evaluating performance  an understanding of the complementary relationship between training for personal empowerment and TQP/team building  a culture in which the central importance of customer/commercial considerations was of overriding importance  state-of-the-art knowledge of current cold mill technology. analyzing the employees’ personality traits. c. to ensure that training design was appropriate to the changes that were being introduced. What is the purpose of the case study? a. car dealers c. Unit trainers then produced competency for each production unit within the department. Manuals were rigorously checked. Educate the managers d. Choose the important steps of this process in correct order: a. Who had to be trained? a. creating a profile. managers . CIRCLE THE LETTER OF THE CORRECT OPTION. 4 The nine Lead trainers were introduced to the program during a three day workshop. training the managers d. designing manuals. ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS. Analyzing the job requirements. reading the standards of top quality products. Analyzing the steel market. The required level of job skill and knowledge was indicated for each competence. b. Study the performance of the employees b.

what does the phrase “supplied to blue chip customers in the automotive. 5 4. a synonym of “thus” could be: a. Endow b. According to the passage. All the employees b. Prefix 9. what does the phrase “from admiral to cabin boy” mean? a. Sold to car manufacturers b. an antonym of “Overriding” could be: a. The production decreased b. According to the passage. an antonym of “enabled” could be: a. The managers were happy 5. Change d. Supplied to stock markets c. Prevail d. Underturn b. According to the passage. Supplied to revenue consumers d. Justify 6. All the customers d. The employees were happy d. consumer durables and construction industries” mean? a. None of the above 8. Alter 10. Supplied to big consumers 7. what does the word “empowerment” mean? a. As a result b. Fix c. After reading the passage infer the results of the study: a. Then . Undervalue c. Request d. According to the passage. Behold c. All the managers c. The production increased c. Overriding b. According to the passage. According to the passage.

productivity and creating a skilled. quality and service 15. British Steel Strip Products rejected the urgent need for a rigorous training program. plant b. geared towards improving manufacturing performance. Llanwern Works c. b. activities b. The word “this” in number 16 stands for: a. tons d. . The word “which” in number 15 stands for: a. plant c. as well as. British Steel’s Strip Products business b. British Steel Strip Products recognized the urgent need for a rigorous training program. The sentence that means the same as the following “Due to intense international competition. 6 c. flexible and committed staff c. According to the passage. Artistic state d. geared towards improving manufacturing performance. For instance 11. flexible and committed staff. Cutting-edge b. liquid 14. The competitive market pushed the company to acknowledge the need to improve its manufacturing performance and productivity. steelmaking plant d. In addition d. a synonym of “state-of-the-art” could be: a. The word “It” in number 14 stands for: a. a principal unit 13. None of the above 12. flexible and committed staff” is: a. Due to international competition the British Steel Strip Product had to create productivity. Top notch c. productivity and creating a skilled. capacity c. Due to intense international competition. standards d.

25% Maximun b.uk/british-steel/moving-decision-making-down- the-line/conclusion.co. 25% Maximun 1. 25% Maximun TOTAL CLASSIFICATION: MARK WITH AN X THE HIGH CLASSIFICATION OF THE EMPLOYEE ACCORDING TO PERFORMANCE HIS/HER TOTAL SCORE 80%-100% LOW PERFORMANCE 0%-50% Read more: http://businesscasestudies. (10 POINTS. 16. 25% Maximun 4. 25% Maximun 4. 25% Maximun 3. Fill in the Competence Matrix with the characteristics stated in this study. 25% Maximun a. ONE PER EACH ANSWER) EMPLOYEE:_______________________________________ COMPETENCIES % Achieved 1._______________ 2. Due to intense international competition. 25% Maximun 3.html#ixzz2K407LCK7 ._______________ 2. British Steel Strip Products had to be a better enterprise. 7 d.

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