Door-Door Case Study
Question 1 Evaluate the changes Door-Door has made In Its children’s knitwear division. How does the performance of the traditional operation and the cellular manufacturing system differ? For example, how does work-in-process inventory change when cells are implemented?
Measured against Marquees objective of creating a ‘quick response’ strategy that would Increase the Door-Doer’s supply chain’s ‘speed and flexibility, the Implementation of a cellular manufacturing system In the sewing department proved very successful with a substantial improvement in performance. Cellular manufacturing significantly reduced many types of waste present in the traditional sewing process and resulted in throughput time falling from 15 days to 1 day. Given a flow rate of 2,000 garments per day work-in-progress fell from 30,000 to 2,000 units, Improving annual WIPE turns from XX to XX.
The value of In The grid layout by machine type of the traditional system took no account of garment dependent workflow variability and resulted in the unnecessary movement of inventory.
Variability in activity times or operator performance produced bottlenecks and long waiting times. By contrast the garment specific cell design reduced product movement and cross trained operators who could switch tasks, helped balance work flows. Traditionally up to 5 people were required to move batches between operators. If these people were busy, batches would have to wait.
Supervisors were required to devise and fill out routing slips for every garment, the complexity of which increased the likelihood of errors. Under the cell system because operators moved the armaments themselves, there were less errors and improved efficiency, saving 2-3 FEET positions across supervisors and material handlers. Cell manufacturing reduced the defect rate from 5.0% to 2.5% as many defects were identified before a garment left the cell and could be corrected more readily because of operator cross training and machine accessibility.
The traditional sewing operations had a capital intensity of 1.3 machines per operator compared with 2.0 machines per operator for cell manufacturing. Whilst this was significantly more UAPITA intensive the additional cost needs to be measured against inventory, labor, defect and other operationally related savings. Under the old system there was a tendency for operators to sit idle while repairs were made to broken machines.
By contrast highly motivated, cross trained cell workers who were accountable to the whole cell process would switch to another machine until their broken machine was repaired, thereby improving productivity. Traditionally operators completed an entire batch before passing it to the next stage of production, which meant there were a large number of small batches in progress t any point in time. In a cell, however, batches were split and garments passed individually between operations so there were no more than two batches being processed simultaneously.
This increased flexibility allowed for the efficient processing of even smaller batches and contributed directly to reduced waiting times and WIPE. Traditionally workers were assigned to specific machines to do a specialized task, in order to increase ‘speed, productivity and product uniformity.
However repetitive tasks can often result in denominated, unproductive workers who exhibit individualistic rather than company oriented behaviors. On the other hand, motivated and loyal cell operators were more flexible and voluntarily took on more responsibility, helping colleagues because it was in the collective interests of the cell to do so. En sensor management Introduced ten cell experiment teeny ensured t were involved and consulted throughout the process. This combined with the greater autonomy afforded to cell workers, meant the staff felt they owned the concept and were more innovative in solving problems and improving performance. For example dealing with worker disagreements or re-designing the cell layout to count for multidimensional work flows and facilitate improved communication. Cell workers also relied less, if at all, on supervisors which freed up supervisors to do more meaningful work like training.
This contrasted sharply with the traditional environment where the line supervisors controlled the work flow, decided on the distribution and spent a lot of time moving product around. That all these more qualitative factors impacted measurably on performance is demonstrated by the fact that the labor content per garment in a cell environment was no worse – and in some cases better – than the 10 minute line standard, a result which was contrary to management’s initial expectations.
Question 2 What changes are required at Door-Door to ensure successful implementation of cellular manufacturing?
The changes required at Door-Door to ensure successful cellular manufacturing implementation include: A hosiery trial should be undertaken similar to that completed in knitwear. This trial exposes Door-Door to less risk and provides opportunity to iteratively refine their processes before a wider implementation is taken. Improved system and process development that will guarantee the availability of raw materials. In the children knitwear cell trial, the greatest constraint was often the availability of raw materials.
This issue will be amplified in the hosiery division where many more garment pairs are produced. Rebuilding Door Doer’s computerized forecasting systems. This system is under performing regardless which manufacturing process is utilized, but such back office systems need to be efficient and supportive of the production operation more so with cell manufacturing as speedier throughput will be introduced. Revising Door-Doer’s sales incentive program in order to improve forecasting of sales demand. Motivating sales preventatives to negotiate orders with clients at the earliest possible time.
Apply cell manufacturing only to fashion orientated product lines, I.E.Mailer quantity runs. The ‘classic’ hosiery and knitwear lines are better suited to traditional line manufacturing where no change in fabrics or style occurs. Increase investment in activities prior to production.
– This will increase agility in the development cycle. Cell manufacturing will decrease the manufacture throughput time but to be able to bring the latest fashion to market quickly all activities up the chain need to be efficient.
Consider cell design to allow mutually inclusive use of specialized machines with low utilization across multiple cells where practically possible. This will help alleviate some of the additional capital cost required in converting to cell manufacturing. Professional training is required to assault In employee personal development Ana competency trailing so Tanat Delightedly resides in the cell work teams.
The personal development training aspect, will assist in maintaining team cohesiveness and team self-resolution of personal conflict issues. Completely define the compensation scheme for the cell workers so no disjoint occurs between workers on the traditional and cell operations.
For example, workers operating on the cell could feel they are being incentives less and this can develop animosity towards co-workers working in the traditional operation. The cross-training methodology should not consider Inferno’s recommendation that 80% of cell worker’s time would be spent on their primary specialization activity and only 20% on the worker’s cross trained activity. Simply stated each activity should be considered for cross training.
Professional training should be provided as part of the cross training process. Cross training will produce greater flexibility in the workforce and allow diversification of worker duties. This will encourage workers to actively support the changes as these will be viewed to benefit the workers. Develop and formally define new roles for the supervisors. The supervisors should be engaged during this process in order to produce buy in from the supervisors for the upcoming changes in manufacturing methodologies.
Culture and change management considerations to recognize the gender mixing arms and the long history of culture within the workforce.
Cell design should be empathetic to Odd’s worker culture to assist in the successful implementation of cell manufacturing.
Question 3 What is Odd’s motivation for converting to cells?
Odd’s primary motivation for converting to cells is to strengthen their competitive position through improving manufacturing flexibility and reducing lead times while maintaining exceptional product quality. The expectation is that this will lead to significant cost reduction, improved customer service and a better environment for workers.
In both the knitwear and hosiery divisions’ traditional manufacturing formats, long lead times of a full year have left AD vulnerable to fluctuations in demand related to their fashion lines, as well other lines driven by seasonal demands and fluctuations in climate. In attempting to meet demand, traditional manufacturing processes have led to cost blowouts in terms of additional labor requirements, higher working capital, finished inventory carrying costs, and significant loss in value of unsold finished goods.
This is of particular concern to AD in relation to unsold fashion hosiery items, which become nearly worthless once out of fashion. By converting to cells as a component AT “quickly response” strategies Tanat more closely link production and replenishment to actual sales data, management believe they can reduce the likelihood and size of these costs, as well as reduce the risk of cookouts.
The flexibility introduced by cell manufacture represents an additional benefit to AD since fluctuations in demand may be compounded by multiple export market demand drivers, comprising 35% of total sales. Improve Customer Service Another key motivation concerns providing speedier and more flexible customer service in the face of shifting market demand by moving from a two-campaign to four-campaign per year format, where production can be more closely aligned to shifting demand.
In the case of fashion items, this would enhance Odd’s ability to meet changes in consumer preferences, enabling a more continuous stream of products to show customers.
In addition, accelerating sales of fashion items has the effect of boosting sales of standard products to both retailers and consumers, as management believed fashion purchases act to drive additional sales of basic line items. Better Work Environment Another motivation for converting to cells extends on Odd’s long standing commitment to workers.
By cross training workers in a cell, workers can experience more variety in their tasks, contributing to a more satisfying work environment. The children’s knitwear trial also indicated that cross training led to greater inclusiveness, motivation and initiative, and led to higher levels of output quality. Should the company continue with its plans for complete implementation of cells in hillside’s knitwear? If not, which knitwear products should be manufactured in cells?
The decision as to the extent to which children’s knitwear products should be manufactured in cells will depend on consideration of the following: Odd’s competitive strategy for their children’s knitwear product lines The extent to which large orders taken well in advance with clear delivery dates are better suited to traditional manufacturing The additional costs associated with the cell manufacturing process in terms of additional capital expenditure, and associated maintenance costs.
Currently, children’s knitwear is only produced twice per year with orders taken well in advance, and is not reprehensible. Given that children’s knitwear is a more competitive market, this format could be at risk of becoming uncompetitive within the market place. Assuming that this is the case, it is therefore recommended that AD innovate to improve service to retailers in order to protect their revenue in this division and seize the opportunity to compete for market share if there is the potential for winning market share given product line attributes.
Given that 75% of the division’s product lines are fashion and likely to change each year, representing 22,500,000 IF, it is recommended that cell manufacturing be implemented within these lines in order to offer four production runs per year. This recommendation is subject to the extent to which cell production ongoing benefits outweigh the costs to implement. Since 25% of this division’s product lines are ‘classics’ that don’t change each season, these lines should be manufactured in larger batches per the traditional method to the extent that efficiencies in large production runs outweigh finished inventory holding costs between seasons, and in the case that finished unsold product values will not deteriorate.
Production associated with private labels, provided these customers are happy to make large standardized orders, should also be by the traditional method. Additionally, by not converting these lines to cell production, AD voids further capital expenditure amounting to 44,000 IF and associated maintenance costs.
Question 4 Should AD implement cells in its hosiery production area? If so, would you suggest any changes to the cell design as currently proposed by M. Infer? If not, what alternative approaches could AD take to address the concerns M. Margaret raises in the case?
AD should undertake a limited implementation of cell manufacturing in its hosiery division, but not in the way envisaged by Mr. Infer.
His proposal seems flawed because it does not take into account some of the: Key learning of the knitwear Arial, such as the benefits of cross training. Constraints unique to the hosiery division, such as the incompatibility of the ironing and quality control operations, capital cost of equipment and gender issues. Limitations of the present factory building. Given what was learnt in the knitwear trial, Inferno’s desire to restrict cross training seems counterintuitive because: Cross training improves employee motivation, engagement and loyalty. Having the sewers trained in quality control and vice versa may, contrary to Inherent fears, improve quality and reduce defect rates by giving operators a greater awareness AT toner parts AT ten process.
Cross trailing ten laundry and ironing operations will help balance work flows and regulate operator induced bottlenecks as currently seems to be the case. Blind loop toe closing is “nearly extinct art”, so it is incumbent upon AD to train up younger employees with the requisite skills to help future proof the process.
They could institute a voluntary trial for operators wishing to learn, with those demonstrating the right aptitude being chosen for further training. Given a total workforce of 236, Inherent current plan to assign 36 workers to a cell suggests at least six independent cells, two per floor, would be required if the plan was fully implemented. While this approach would improve the throughput rate by reducing inter-floor movement of inventory, it has several major drawbacks: Locating cells on the windowless lower floors would not be conducive to good quality control nor operator morale, particular those from quality control.
It seems totally inappropriate to place the hot, steamy ironing operations with its large and noisy machines, next to quality control department where a quiet, airy and well lit environment is essential for good results. Given ironing machines are high capacity and can be used for any type of hosiery suggests that these specialized machines are not well suited to a cell environment, which is more efficient in processing smaller batches. With the hosiery operation being larger and more complex than knitwear insufficient attention has been paid to the personnel issues surrounding the proposed changes. In the quest for faster throughput Inherent proposal seems to Jeopardize Odd’s commitment to quality, which is still its key strategic differentiator. Our alternative proposal aims to improve the former without compromising the later. It involves: Sewing Leave sewing on the GIF but create ‘product specific’ cell types that then flow through the rest of the operations.
Dedicate sufficient resources to manage the 50% of “classic” products independent of the fashion’ products so ensure the flow of the latter was not impeded by the former. Cross train the automatic and blind loop toe closers for the reason explained earlier. Investigate every way of improving the efficiency inter-floor movement of inventory batches, although this still remains the most significant limitation of this approach. Ironing Maintaining all laundry and ironing operations in the basement but reconfigure hem into 3 product specific cell types.
Dedicate sufficient cells to running the 50% of “classic” products leveraging the high capacity line flow characteristics of the ironing machines with larger batch sizes.
The remaining cells would be for “fashion” and embroidered items. Configured this way the throughput rate for all product groups will improve. Laundry and Ironing operators should then be cross trained. This will allow ten operators to erases ten root cause AT ten “walling Dates Tanat lane t walls”, which we suspect lies in the laundry or potentially with the manual loading of the ironing machines.
Quality Control and Packaging Create paired table cells with cross trained SQ and packagers working together, with SQ handing off product individually rather than by batch As with knitwear have high worker involvement in the change process and give them a reasonable degree of autonomy so setup can evolve iteratively depending on the specific requirements of each cell. Other Observations A careful reading of the case would suggest the current operations are space constrained and the largely windowless multi-floor building is inappropriate for the current operations and not conducive to a happy workforce.
Irrespective of the Truckee chosen there will always be a requirement for inter floor movement of inventory, which is very inefficient. While there are strong historic and cultural reasons for keeping the existing factory, seems to be a compelling argument to establishing a new manufacturing facility. Ideally such a facility would be a single floor layout which would combine all knitting operations on the same site as other hosiery operation we have consider here. Finally, given the high levels of raw material kept onsite, there seems to be merit in looking to extend the supplier partnership programmer envisaged for knitwear to hosiery.