Case Study of Donner Company

Improving organizational productivity and quality are issues that have been showing for some time and will continue to be important to any business and production organization. All types of organizations need to be as productive as possible to best utilize their important resources, to meet the needs and demands of their consumers, and to stay competitive with similar business organizations. In today’s fast-changing and dynamic way of life, many organizations come up with different strategies and ideas to improve and develop their products. The development of science and technology has led to the improvement of many companies in terms of product development and research. The use of technology has become an essential part of the strategies of companies to increase production and to check the quality of the product. Similarly, with the role of technology in their development and growth, companies can properly evaluate the performance of their employees and the opinions of their consumers regarding their products. As such, this essay aims to discuss and analyze the problems of the Donner Company, particularly of Mr. Edward Plummer, the president of the company. It also provides recommendations or possible solutions for the problems to be discussed based on the situation and the concepts in operations management.

The shifting of workload from one operation to another without pattern causes this bottleneck. In addition. the company entertains four-day rush orders. the Donner Company manufactures printed circuit boards to the specifications of its different customers. the operation of the company is declining. some workstations are left vacant. which become the source of its loss of profit and sales. despite the effective maintenance of the company’s workers over its operations. over its competitors. However. In this sense. It employs new designs and prototype production techniques that enable the company to become more adept in anticipating and resolving the problems of its consumers. Primarily. the customer would be requiring redesigning and rework . delaying the process of delivering artwork modifications of a client. Plummer include problems related to operations. As a result. the electronic manufacturers. thus. due to production bottleneck. productivity. The variation in the workload depends upon the differences in the size of the order that bypass some operations and from the differences in circuit designs. several problems have been encountered in sustaining the operations of the company. The company is having a hard time anticipating the workload pile up in the shop daily because individual orders from clients impose varying workloads on each operation. while some workstations are overloaded. quality and delivery. which require rework at one or two operations. This is because the company’s workers are shifted from one work operation to another depending on the demand of the operation. disturbance in the operations of the company is may be attributed to telephone calls from the customer’s engineers who had encountered a design problem. Moreover.Problems of the Donner Company As reported. The problems identified and described by Mr.

the time used for moving from one station to another adds to the idle time used by workers. while in short orders. This problem is only encountered in the production of bulk orders. thus. Lloyd Searby reported that since August. Another problem of the company can be encountered in terms of its productivity. thus. resulting to the continuous transfer of workers from one workstation to another. as the increase in the production of a particular station resulted to the piling up of work in another. For the past months. and in inhibiting experimentation with new ideas. the constant shifting of workers from one job to the next. the introduction and implementation of new ideas and methods has led to further confusion. This leads to the realization that operations and productivity method improvements are not being implemented due to the pressure for output. David Flaherty. Furthermore. In addition. has been having a hard time predicting work pile up or run out daily.on the products. Another source of this problem is that the standard labor hours do not include time spent in reworking parts that have failed inspection or have been returned by clients. thus. Plummer also believes that the job strategies used in the company are far from ideal. The company’s sales manager. as some machines are left idle more often that expected. This further impeded the productivity of the company. not reflecting improvements in its operations. rescheduling orders and reassigning workers. a senior employee. further lessening their time for production. the company has been receiving customer . Aside from operations and productivity problems encountered. Arthur Dief does the work alone successfully. with eight circuit boards or less. thus. the company also encounters problems and failures in maintaining the quality standards of products and in meeting promised delivery dates. the company’s supervisor.

the company’s preshipment reject rates increased. In September. Primarily. due to the delay of production and the increase in the reworking of products. it would still take some time before making the additional employees skilled in the business. thus. 1998) Possible Recommendations on the Problems Possible recommendations must be made in order for the company to regain the loss of their sales. as the company’s competitors are able to promise four-week deliveries on small orders.returns. (From “”. With this. However. resulting to a 6% total loss due to incomplete operations and subsequent reworking and reprocessing of circuit boards. with due consideration of the amount of time required by the client. the idle time . the company has fewer shipments. the company should only be accepting orders that are feasible to do and to deliver in time. In addition. This would result to the continuous loss of sales. the company would be able to focus on the project and the specific demands of the client. This forced the company to hire an addition of eight employees assigned in the production force. and delay in product delivery. which averaged 9 days late. as a solution to the problem of the company regarding the production bottleneck and the work pile up and run out in its operations system. with actual deliveries delayed with an average of 9 days. which increased from under one percent to about 3%. as product standards vary from customer to another and from one order to another. Accepting feasible orders from clients would also allow the production line of the company to focus on the quality of the products. In this way. resulting to increase in returns and reprocessing. The problem occurs as the president feels that a more strict inspection system would not be possible. the company fails to inspect the quality of their products more effectively. Moreover.

This would also reduce the shifting of workers from one job to the next. in determining the number of rush orders. and the on-time delivery of products to clients. She is also responsible for the investigation of delay. as each worker in the production line would have something to do. the piling up of work. It has been mentioned that Diane Schnabs. and less workers would be assigned to the department that would reworking and redesigning the previously done products. given the enough number of orders compensating the enough time and resources provided to them. enough for the time and resources provided to them. while the other department would be responsible for the rework and the redesign of previously done or accomplished projects. This serves to be beneficial for the company because employees would be more focused in doing their jobs.of employees would be reduced. the company’s expediter is incharged of tracking orders in process and the initiation of action if a particular order failed to progress through manufacturing. quality and delivery of products is by separating the production line into two departments. because all of them have a particular task to do. the increase in productivity of the company. and in calling the clients to advise them of possible delay in delivery. Another possible recommendation that can increase the productivity. . thus. where one department would be responsible for processing new orders from client. More workers would be assigned to the department that would be responsible for processing new orders. and the run out of things to do. as both departments would be simultaneously doing their jobs. This also reduces the idle time of employees. The separation of the production line into two departments would be “hitting two birds with one stone”. ensuring the quality of the products. in securing missing supplies or instructions.

it can be deliberately observed that the load of work of Schnabs is more than she can actually handle. given the separation of the two production lines. In this way. They can divide their tasks between them. Both of them would also be separately handling calls from clients. scheduling all orders simultaneously. In relation to this. a system would be developed between them. Thus. such that one would be entertaining new orders and the other would be entertaining rework or redesign. thus. and who is responsible for the manufacturing and shipping of products. Schnabs and her assistant can divide the work themselves. Having two individuals to be assigned for the inspection of quality of products. one would be in-charged of the manufacturing of new orders. it would be easier for the company to detect mistakes in production and to comply with the requirements of the clients. in turn. thus. who is responsible for the products’ quality control. the company can also assign someone to assist Bruce Altmeyer. This recommendation would be most effective if the company would be able to divide the production line into two. while the other one would be responsible for inspecting the quality of the reworked or redesigned products based on the requirements and demands of the clients. the company’s supervisor. it can be recommended that the company can hire or pull out an employee who would be assisting her in accomplishing her responsibilities. and the other would be responsible for the manufacturing and shipping of the reworked or redesigned products. thus. the company can also assign an assistant for David Flaherty. Flaherty and his assistant can divide their tasks between them. in this regard. Moreover. one would be responsible for inspecting the quality of the new processed products. and the other in the processing of rework.With this. one would be responsible for the manufacturing and shipping of new processed products. . as discussed previously.

2002). In terms of organizing. because the problems of the company have already been determined. Moreover. On the other hand. With such approaches. and where the structure of their organization allows them to do so. then this would be the proper time to implement and introduce method improvements. 2007). the company can introduce the strategies under Total Quality Management (TQM) or Six Sigma. The SWOT analysis would give the company relevant information on the strengths and weaknesses it has and matches it with the competitive environment it engages in. which aims to identify critical strategic factors and to build on core strengths. the employees of Donner Company would be able to adopt the strategies under them. to fashion and design products that meet and exceed their demands (. it can be recommended that the company can have its SWOT analysis. Total Quality Management is a management approach that improves the effectiveness and flexibility of businesses by involving every department. and to circumnavigate or mitigate threats (. which could increase their productivity. thus. It would help the company create strategic plans that would help the company once it . every activity. moving with changing customer expectations. from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service (“”. to eliminate undermining weaknesses. quality of work and delivery. the Six Sigma approach can also be inculcated in the employees. 2002). 2003). creativity. to take quick advantage of significant opportunities. data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process.Once these has already taken place in the company. wherein it is defined as a disciplined. including employee training and development programs that would further enhance and develop the skills and talents of workers. It creates a quality culture where the aim of every member of the organization is to delight their customers. and every single person at every level of the organization (.

However. . depending on the changes that are continually happening in the company. it would still be essential if careful study and planning would be done.had encounter any problem or threat from competitors. These possible recommendations would be helpful in addressing the operational problems of the Donner Company.

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