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Case Study Stickily Furniture

In: Business and Management

Submitted By hadi94
Words 2303
Pages 10
Question 1.

Production processing is an important component of operations management and it involves all the processes that characterize the transformation of a particular range set of inputs in order to produce the desired outputs. At Stickley Furniture, the primary mode of operation is continuous production. Also referred to as flow production, continuous production mainly entails the approach of processing or manufacturing the various parts in order to come up with the final product on a continuous basis.

There are several major reasons as to why continuous production is evident at Stickley Furniture: * Firstly, the company assesses the nature and/or quality of timber prior to feeding it into the saw. The process of assessing the quality of timber at Stickley Furniture is achieved in two main ways: manually and also through the use of computers. Employees at the Stickley Furniture closely examine all the timber in order to ascertain the quality more so in terms of knots. * On the other hand, specially designed computer software is also used by the company to verify the quality of timber before feeding it into the saw for processing. This kind of approach goes a very long way towards ensuring that the quality of furniture produced at Stickley Furniture is excellent and meets the high expectations of clients. * The next step after sawing the timber is to produce the various types of furniture in line with the orders that have been placed by clients. All these are clear indications that the most commonly used operations system at Stickley Furniture is flow production.

At Stickley Furniture, despite the fact that flow production is the principal and/or most commonly used processing, there are several other types of processing that are evident in the company’s production system. One of these is batch production: this is due to the fact that there is some specific inputs that the company processes together in a group i.e. a batch. Without the completion of the production of one batch, processing cannot be done on another one. The main reason as to why the Stickley Furniture uses batch processing in operations management within its systems is the fact that some of its products are similar put the input required to produce them is different and as such, the settings on the computer are also different.

Due to the fact that the specifications of furniture and other products vary, Stickley Furniture has to ensure that it also uses the production approach referred to as job production. This is a clear indication that Stickley Furniture is not totally reliant on flow production since it also integrates job production and batch production within its systems but to a lesser extent.

Question 2.

For any company, so a firm that specializes in production, it is vitally important to always ensure that the job status on the ground is kept in check as frequently as possible. This is done in order to fulfill certain issues and/or tasks: * Firstly, the approach goes a very long way towards facilitating for the identification of both the existing and potential loopholes within the entire production process. Indeed, such kinds of loopholes could seriously undermine the realization of a company’s goals and objectives. * In addition to this, the evaluation of the actual job status on the ground also goes a very long way towards facilitating for the avoidance of unnecessary costs. In order for any production system to optimize its operations, there is the dire need to ensure that wastage of resources is avoided. During the production processes, the Stickley Furniture also ensures that job status is kept in check while also ensuring a thorough surveillance of the location.

The Stickley Furniture achieves this in numerous ways: * Firstly, it uses specialized computer software that has the capacity to provide an exact report of job progress. This software can easily show whether the production process is on track or behind schedule. * In case the report shows that the production process is behind schedule, the relevant adjustments are made in accordance with the expected outcomes. * Apart from the use of specialized computer software, another approach that the Stickley Furniture employs in order to monitor the progress of the production process is through field supervisors. The company has recruited highly skilled operations management personnel in order to use the production processes in all its stations. * The supervisors provide a comprehensive update to the company’s management with regard to the job status and as such, decisions can be made from an informed point of view. * The Stickley Furniture also keeps an updated inventory of all its batches: this includes all the pieces of furniture that should be joined together in order to come up with the final product. This inventory goes a very long way towards determining the extent to which progress has been made in production as well as identifying the potential pitfalls that should be avoided.

This acts as an excellent approach towards streamlining the operations at Stickley Furniture Company and its also one of the main reasons as to why the company has been tremendously successful in terms of meeting client’s expectations as well as dealing with stiff competition from other companies in the industry.

Question 3.

On order for 40 mission oaks dining room sets, Stickley Furniture under the operations manager will determine: * The current physical capacity to see if it will effectively meet the order on time. * Further, they will check for mission oak dining room sets available in the shop to determine how much to produce instead. * Next will be allocation of the orders to specific workers with met timelines. The equipment will be allocated the whole work. The number of sequence of the order performance will be determined to actually know how much time will be required to meet the deadline. * What will follow will be initiating performance to make sure that whatever was planned as scheduled has or is being duly undertaken.

Therefore on order of oak boards from the lumber mills:

* They are immediately inspected to check for knots and other defects before it is passed through the computer controlled optimizer saw, which cuts it into smaller pieces. * As this lumber is released in pieces from the computer, the workers glue some pieces together which will be used at the end product as the tops of sits of the sets. * It is then passed through the pressers, which compacts the glued pieces into a solid and strong board. * After these preparations, with the ending step being the sanding, for smoothening the board by removing excess glue on the board, rectangular or circular holes are drilled into the timber. * Mortising also completed at this stage, where the timber is shaped into different designs outstanding designs. * The wood will be passed to the next workers who will integrate them into the sofas. But before this they have to ensure that the wood forwarded to them is of right type and quality required. This will ensure the end result is of high quality.

Workers therefore take much effort to assemble the components into the fully completed sofa sets. The highly skilled workers who determine the end result look, design and conformity to the customer’s preferences and tastes, normally do this. At such process the jobs are attached with the barcodes to ensure accountability and the status of the job. On completion of the tasks the barcodes are removed from the sets and fed into the computer. This will enable keeping track of the sets. Then the owner will be informed of the completed order ready for dispatch. Before dispatch, the owner will have to come and inspect the sets just to confirm that they have delivered customs requirements, before accepting the oak dinning sets.

Question 4.

The Stickley Furniture has established different kinds of policies that have been strongly enshrined within its systems. Even though its production policy is beneficial in a number of different ways, it also vitally important to note that this policy can easily result into various effects that are undesirable. Following is an in-depth analysis of the various benefits and problems that the Stickley Furniture might face as a result of its policies. Benefits

* The Stickley Furniture has strong emphasis on the quality of output. In line with this, the company has integrated specialized computer programs within its operations systems in order to streamline the quality of furniture produced. This is a policy that has been instrumental in notching new clients for the Stickley Furniture on a consistent basis. Without such a strong client base, the Stickley Furniture wouldn’t have realized the success evident within its operational systems and as such, the policy on quality has been extremely beneficial to the company.

* Apart from notching new customers on a consistent basis, another beneficial impact of the production policy at the Stickley Furniture, is that there are no or limited complaints from clients. Indeed, extensive complaints from clients would be one of the worst possible scenarios in a company. However, this is not the case at the Stickley Furniture since the high quality of furniture and other products leave the clients completely satisfied.

* Another production policy that has been hugely beneficial to the Stickley Furniture is in connection with the flow and/or continuous production. As I mentioned earlier, the Stickley Furniture mainly uses flow production within its processing systems. Flow production brings about enormous benefits within the company; firstly, the costs are greatly minimized. One of the most outstanding reasons as to why companies fail to reach the projected targets - is the fact that they have not established policies that have the capability of minimizing the various costs that are incurred at production level. However, through its flow production policy, the Stickley Furniture has significantly minimized the total costs incurred while also enhancing the quality of production.

In addition to this, the flow production policy at the Stickley Furniture has gone a very long way towards ensuring that there is effective utilization of the available space.

* Another major reason as to why some companies incur huge costs in the production process is the fact that they fail to plan adequately for the space available. At Stickley Furniture, the policy of flow production has made it possible to ensure that space for storage of output is rarely required. This is due to the fact that the company only produces what has been ordered as opposed to manufacturing products for boo-sting its stock.

The flow production policy of the production at the Stickley Furniture also made it possible for the various control processes to be streamlined. Since all the tasks are carefully planned and budgeted for, high levels of efficiency are achieved and as such, the company is in a very strong position to realize and/or meet the various projected goals.


As much as the production policy at the Stickley Furniture has favored its operations, some notable problems have been evident as a result of using this kind of an approach.

* Firstly, the production policy acts as a huge stumbling block towards any kind of modification or changes within the company. * With this kind of a policy, it is extremely difficult to integrate any kind of alteration within the production process since all the tasks are predetermined. * This production policy is also disadvantageous in that it is very difficult to motivate the employees. This is mainly due to the fact that they perform similar tasks on a day-to-day basis and there is a very high level of monotony.

Question 5.

One recommendation is that oak wood has grown to be expensive and will in turn lead to high expenses and reduced profits. Oak is also becoming scarcer and its unavailability might ruin the company brand product.

* I would therefore suggest that the company changes its objectives and goals to shift from concentration of production of oak furniture. Rather, produce from varied tree types to increase flexibility and reduce the chances of running into disarray again as in the 1970s.

* In addition to the outsourcing of less expensive raw materials, another change and/or alteration that would enhance the production processes at the Stickley Furniture would be the use of metal. Companies need to ensure that they carry out operations in such a way that the sustainability of the environment is taken into consideration.

Currently, the world is faced with a myriad of environmental problems that include global warming. The continuous logging of trees can only lead to a massive escalation of these environmental problems. The Stickley Furniture needs to change its approach in terms of over-reliance on timber and wood products, embracing the use of metal in its production processes would act as a major stepping-stone towards alleviating the problem of environmental degradation

The company has progressed and an order of 40 oak sets, confirms this. * I would therefore recommend that the company increase its capacity to meet demand. From the processes it appears that the 30-foot ceiling is too small and leading to overutilization of capacity. Purchase of more computerized equipment will increase speed of the operations and lead to optimal utilization of capacity.

* The production policy should be streamlined more into flexibility to meet the market rather than expecting repairing breakages. The company has always produced quality products. Therefore the allocation of capacities to meet repairs should be reduced further to the probabilities of previous instances of repairs and accidents.

* Stickley Furniture has efficiently combined two production-processing methods: batch and continuous production process to effectively meet its customer's demands. Moreover, with the best incorporation of the two production processes to meet the fluctuating demand it is worth noting that the company has performed to its maximum capacity, by meeting high demand on time and processing a batch on time as well to meet expected.

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