BSL 4080 Unit I Assessment

21 Aug No Comments

A manufacturing facility has recently implemented a multimillion-dollar renovation and process redesign. Unfortunately, the plant is failing to produce at the level envisioned by leadership, who approved the expenditure and process changes. Continued failure to make the required production levels could result in lost jobs and eventual plant closure. Analyze this scenario by: [Learning Outcome 1.2]

Identifying the problem or issue, and communicate whether it is a problem or issue.

Providing potential underlying reasons for the issue or problem.

Applying critical thinking and suggest appropriate, creative solutions or approaches to the problem or issue.

While a manufacturing plant that does not manufacture for whatever reason could be a problem, in this case, they have an issue. That issue is that production is down following renovation and process redesign that was recently put into place at the direction of company leadership. There is no evidence provided that leads the reader to believe that during the process redesign of parts, Part A is no longer able to accept Part B and therefore cannot produce Part C. If that were the case, then they would have a problem; the problem being the redesign physically caused a problem thereby the end-product cannot be completed.

In this case however, management has paid a lot of money to do something they thought would increase production and that increase has not been realized as of yet. Management has communicated that continued production below their new standard may result in loss of jobs and/or closure of the plant.

Management needs to better communicate with staff as to what the new production goals are and when they feel these new standards should be realized by in terms of time. In turn, staff needs to better communicate why they have been unable to accomplish these new goals and what they think is causing this. The issue of lower production levels could be because of the physical aspect of the redesign hindering an increase in production. It could also be that staff is learning the redesign and, with time, they will get better at it and production will increase to acceptable levels. Whichever scenario is accurate, staff needs to communicate this with management.

Assuming the issue is not a hardware or physical problem that is keeping production from the levels management would like it to be, the two groups need to work together to achieve the same goal; higher production by staff after investment by management. Management could offer training as to the new redesign and how it can be better utilized by staff to produce more. Staff could offer realistic time-lines to management that allow them to better learn this process while guaranteeing higher production within a certain agreed time frame. Staff will generally not sustain higher production levels simply from threats of possible job loss or plant closure. Threats may work short-term and result in a spike of production, but better understanding & learning of the new procedure and redesign will ensure prolonged success.

A manufacturing facility is meeting its production targets, however two leaders disagree over how the production levels might be further improved. One thinks that employees are not properly motivated, while the other believes that the process design could be improved. Analyze this scenario by: [Learning Outcome 1.2]

Identifying the problem or issue, and communicate whether it is a problem or issue.

Providing potential underlying reasons for the issue or problem.

Applying critical thinking, and suggest appropriate, creative solutions or approaches to the problem or issue.

The two leaders are working toward the same issue of improving production, but they have not identified a problem. In fact, one of them is incorrect in thinking that staff is not properly motivated because the plant is meeting its production targets. The other believes that, through redesign, staff will be not only able to continue meeting these production levels, they could be increased. One underlying reason for this confusion is that the leaders have not apparently expressed to staff they would like to see production increased. As far as they are concerned, staff likely feels as though they are doing exactly what is expected of them and do not see anything wrong.

The two leaders need to first communicate to staff that they feel production can and should be increased. They should offer evidence to back this claim up and provide justification for this rationale. Through this communication, they may learn something about the staff that may alter their opinion as to if increased production is even possible. If it is possible, they should inquire from staff as to ideas for increasing it. These could be incentives in pay, time-off, bonuses, increased benefits, or better conditions. Management could also offer to redesign the process with input from staff. This redesign may in fact make it easier to produce more with less effort from staff. Needless to say, they will not know until they communicate and come up with a plan.

Should the redesign offer come to fruition, staff would recognize that management has invested in making the work easier and more efficient for them. This would be a benefit that would likely result in increased production assuming the redesign is carefully thought out and implemented by all stakeholders. Should better motivation of staff be the ideal scenario, the added pay or benefits to move this increase would be better realized with staff buy-in and input. Pay is not always the motivating factor for employees and having that conversation would nail-down what motivates staff at that specific plant to increase production.




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