1. Briefly describe the cookie production process.
The cookie production process begins with obtainment of the orders from distributors, thus the company knows how many cookies have to be delivered each day. The process is computerized, therefore computer supports almost whole production process ”“ from ingredients measuring and mixing, till individual formed cookies are filled and transported through the oven and finally are cooled in the spiral cooling racks. Only then cookies are manually sorted and put into boxes by the workers and finally then cookies in the boxes are automatically wrapped, sealed, and labeled.
2. What are two ways that the company has increased productivity? Why did increasing the length of the ovens result in a faster output rate?
First way of increasing company’s productivity is to produce a bigger share of nonfilled cookies as they are diagonal-cut rather than round-cut. This kind of cookies need less space than filled cookies, therefore it results in a higher level of output.
Second way to increase productivity is to increase the length of oven by 25 feet, and this method will lead to a higher productivity of the company as well.
3. Do you think that the company is making the right decision by not automating the packing of cookies? Explain your reasoning. What obligation does a company have to its employees in a situation such as this? What obligation does it have to the community? Is the size of the town a factor? Would it make a difference if the company was located in a large city? Is the size of the company a factor? What if it was a much larger company?
In my opinion the manual packing of cookies is a right decision. First of all it helps to control the quality of product and ensures that consumers are supplied with 100% perfectly made cookies without any possible breakage or deformation.
Company also plays an important social role in a small town and around 200 people are provided with jobs. It has social obligations to the local community as it supports financially this small town’ population (in the case if this company is actually the largest employer in the area, its role in supplying jobs is crucial). Therefore the size of the town is really factor. Such obligation is very important for the company’s image in the eyes of the customers, it helps to form the opinion that this baking company cares about people and that this product is made with love.
It should be mentioned that although this strategy is positive for the company in many ways; it’s not a cost-effective strategy, because the cost of production is a little bit bigger in the case of manual packing system usage.
In the case of the baking company situated in large city, owners would not have to bear a social responsibility to the community and may prefer to use 100% automated system, with some random specialists’ control, which would be more cost-effective option.
If the size the company is bigger than its current size I think it definitely should use 100% automated system, but it should be noted in this case it would be a large producer and the perception of the company by the consumers wouldn’t be the same positive as before.
4. What factors cause the company to carry minimal amounts of certain inventories? What benefits result from this policy?
Among the factors that cause the company to carry minimal amounts of certain inventories we may name the following: there is no need in huge storing facilities or big reserve of wrapping materials and labels. Besides it the production process is organized very smartly and helps to avoid the repeated cleaning of the processing equipment and waste disposal costs are saved. It’s an efficient cost”“effective strategy for a small company.
5. As a consumer, what things do you consider in judging the quality of cookies you buy in a supermarket?
The most important characteristics of the cookies for me as a consumer are: their taste, ingredients, an opportunity to make a choice from a variety of different types of cookies, package, and of course the information about the company that produces these cookies, is it positive or not.
6. What advantages and what limitations stem from the company’s not using preservatives in cookies?
Advantage of such kind of product is that it’s targeted for health-conscious segment of the market and may be sold for a higher price because of its quality. Limitation is that its products can’t be stored for a long time and have to be sold straight away.
7. Briefly describe the company’s strategy.
Baking company is socially oriented and successful in its field; it produces a high quality product which aimed for a health-conscious market segment.