Planning is very important in the offices, to work effectively and in under less cost and time, one can get over this by CVD (Cost-Volume-Distance) it is approach in order to find out the total cost of moving the information from one desk to another. Cost of movement from B,E and F was twice the cost of other movements so it was assigned a value of 2 and the other cost of movements was assigned a value of 1 . The volumes and the distances were given, so the CVD was calculated by multiplying the number of movements between two desks by their cost and distance. The total CVD came out to be 20740. The result as follows
Now the task is to recommend an alternative L-shaped layout for the accounts division of Christopher Chaplin, basically to find a new arrangement in which the CVD is the lowest. In order to find out the new arrangement, I went by more than 55 methods, and got one which I found efficient. It can be observed by a look at the data in the old layout that the two largest movements are between D- E and B-E. So keeping that in mind in the new layout E was placed in the centre and D and B were placed on its both sides. Since the cost of movement from D is half that of B, so it was placed to the right of E in the new layout. B was placed inside due to cost from its movement and also due to the factor that it had a greater number of movements with other desks, i.e. , H(37). So for that H was placed adjacent to B. This will also help in cutting down the cost and time of movement between H and B. Similarly G, F and A were placed adjacent to each other on the same basis. After working on the new layout the can of movements can really been cut down. The new layout as follows:-
So in order to test the new layout its CVD was again calculated, and it came out to be 13.4% less than the old layout (17960).
(B) After altering workspace in the accounts division of Christopher Chaplin it can be seen that their productivity will be increased as due to their new working area will be more communicative and advanced. Earlier their layout was 20740 where their productivity was very low and their stress level was high. By altering the L-Shaped Office plan the layout results in 17960 that makes them work efficiently and effectively, since the costs and the volumes are constant so it means the new layout has fewer distance between the critical desks which have much traffic, so by cutting down the stress of movements of information leads us to conclusion that the new layout would be more productive and less stressful. In the earlier office layout of Accounts Division the payroll, budget control and the credit control functional desks where under high stress and due to which their productivity was being hampered. Due to the new layout the work and time consumed by these three functional desks will become more efficient as they won’t take much time to move from one place to another and communication between them will be fast.
(C) The model that was used for the calculations above is the CVD model which is used for determining the layout of the job shop on the cost basis (Waters, 1999, Page-70). The advantage of this model is that the people who need to interact with each other greater than the others are placed as close to each other as possible. Placing them closer reduces the stress of movement from one place to another; this model helps in cutting the cost and time of the business firms, in according to placement of desks. It would also mean that since the operations have not been set up as in a line so the entire set of organizational operations does not come to a halt whenever one component of the operation is not working. Other functional areas continue to operate until such time that the in process inventory is exhausted. The disadvantage of this model is that the in-process inventory gets piled up. The idle waiting time for the different documents to be processed is also high. Another disadvantage is that it is difficult to manage this layout, if the layout is not made properly then there can be a massive amount of loss in cost and money, it depends on probability.
(D) This type of layout is really useful to save time and cost in the office, to manage all the documents and other important papers which is needed to the staff for business use. The process useful to the organizations which do custom work like custom guitars, tailor shop, machine shop, general offices are the examples where this layout would be useful. Layout review is very important as the layout affects the effectiveness, capacity, efficiency, lead time, flexibility etc of the transformation system (Meredith and Shafer, 2006, Page-121).
(A) The following data has been obtained by WSS on the nature and frequency of customer compliants:
Nature of compliant
Frequency in one month
Potentional loss to company,
Average per compliant
Engineer Arrives Late
The data below has been calculated and formated inorder to construct a Pereto curve:
(B) After working on the Pareto curve above the main finding was in terms of number of complaints engineers arriving late and immediate breakdown are two causes which make up 80% of all complaints. However in terms of the potential loss to the company, is engineers arriving late are the single and the main source which makes 80% of revenue loss to the company complaints. If the company wants to reduce the loss which is due to customer complaint ,one cause which it should remove is to make the engineers reach on call In time .
So this curve gives a clear picture that the loss incurred by the company are mainly due to the fault of the engineers arriving late.
(C) Prioritisation models such as pareto curve is very important, to know the exact area where the business is doing loss. It can be the managing department, production department or any service industry where the people are related to customers directly. In the above example the company provides maintenance and repair services to office equipments is receiving complaints on various counts however customer complaints on account of engineers arriving late account for the greatest potential loss amounting to 80% of the total potential loss due to various types of complaint. So to know the route problem the pareto curve is a best possible way to know .
Therefore Prioritisation models such as pareto curve helps in identifying the causes which affect the losses most. It provides a quicker way to minimize the losses on account of customer complaints.
This models can be used in the marketing and manufacturing industry and other areas of business, a company may have a good amount of customer but it is really not possible to give good service to all the customers, and there the model entries and can help to see that which accounts have the greatest potential and it can devote most of its resources to those accounts in order to maximize its business.
(D) Control charts are the charts which show that how the process is doing against quality standard (Pyzdak, 2003, Page 393). In control charts the standard is marked and limits are set around the standard. If outcomes of a process are outside those limits then there might be cause for concern or action. The process may be stopped and the causes of variation should be investigated. Using control charts WSS must have seen the engineers arriving late was a cause of customer complaint. They must have set a standard and if the number of late arrivals was more than standard they would have investigated the reasons. They could have identified two types of reasons. First could be the common cause variation and the other could be the special cause variation. The common cause variation could be that the engineers are being informed late about the contact of the complaining
customers, this would have entailed that the process of communication of contact details and nature of complaints from the customer care centre to the engineers should be expedited. There might be special cause variation like the bad weather or the construction work going on in the city which held up the traffic and caused traffic jams. This is a special cause variation which needs attention but is beyond the control of the company.
Cause-and-effect diagrams help to think about the causes of the problems thoroughly. WSS for example must have written down the problem of engineers arriving late. Then they must have brainstormed as to which factors are impacting and are causing the problem. There might be problems with materials, vehicles, systems, etc. For each factors the possible causes would be brainstormed. The factors causing the problem are marked as bones of the fish and the causes making for those factors are marked as still smaller bones coming out of each bone. Then they would have analysed the diagram and investigated the most likely cause still further by doing physical checkups and surveys.
Flexible Manufacturing Systems are associated with customizability (University of Kentucky, 2008). In the diverse and dynamic environment of today there is a need to adjust to the environment and to be more flexible in operations in order to satisfy different market segments. This system enables a company to be the fastest to the market, to operate with low-cost and to have the ability to satisfy customers. Flexibility in the context of flexible Manufacturing Systems implies the production of customized products which are reasonably priced and are of very high quality and can be delivered to customers quickly. There are four major components of flexibility in the traditional FMS. The first is volume flexibility then there is manufacturing flexibility and mix flexibility and delivery flexibility (Qiao et al, 2001).Volume flexibility is the capability of the system for profitable operations at different volumes. Delivery flexibility is the ability to move planned dates of delivery forward and backward and to rush special orders through supply chain. Flexibility is defined as the ability to produce parts without a major set up.
The concept of flexible manufacturing systems can be applied to a service operation like that of a restaurant. Flexible manufacturing in this context would mean the ability of the restaurant to be agile in serving speed, keeping the cost low and to have satisfied customers, it can be achieved by having the four components of flexibility. Volume flexibility in this case would mean that the restaurant is able to maintain profitability of operations when the customer’s level goes up or down. At the same time the consistency of the operation should also be ensured. It is to say that the service levels and the quality of the food and other servings should be consistent. Delivery flexibility would mean that if there is any rush orders or special orders they can be processed along with the regular customers orders in the restaurant. The manufacturing flexibility would be to adjust the capacity for making and serving food according to the demand from customers. The mix flexibility would be that such a variety of dishes should be available that satisfy the broad range of customers. All this should be achieved keeping in mind the consistency of quality and speed of service.
This can be achieved in the context of a restaurant by having multi-skilled staff. The staff should be able to work in the kitchen as well as in the hall. When services need to be provided with reference to the serving needs of the customers the staff kitchen should be able to extend a lending hand to the waiter and when the order is big and needs to be prepared for the party later in the evening, the waiter should be trained to help cooks in the kitchen. In this way the restaurant will work good and perform well in eyes of the customer. A restaurant can be a perfect example for the FMS process.
This brief report responds to WSS consideration of the ISO 9000 certification. Peter Morris and Navjot Shah have taken into account if they were to pursue with this accreditation it would allow their company to expand and compete within the global market place and encourage higher value of work. Nevertheless, this ISO 9000 certification has its advantages and disadvantages which need to be measured.
Firstly it is important to outline why the ISO 9000 is an advantage to WSS. As WSS is a service based company specializing in the measurement and improvement of productivity in a work place the ISO standards would increase customer and supplier confidence by assuring the excellence of the certified company’s quality system. This type of confidence brings a better perception of quality which in turn brings less concerned and fewer external audits. The certificate process requires WSS to document all their critical processes. Consequently, management would find themselves with better documentation of all their processes and operations. The standards would yield positive changes within the company’s culture, as they can focus attention to quality system, on customer satisfaction and on teamwork.
WSS are currently facing frequent customer complaints which are seen as a financial loss to the company. WSS’s aim is to reduce these insufficient costs, the ISO certification would permit the companies processes and products to be of world class which means WSS can institute measures that can make their product and services more focused on consumers. This will ensure that WSS business procedures and quality management systems can be improved for further refinements and developments. These actions will allow WSS to translate to a more reliable practice to enhance productivity and profitability.
The case study has emphasized that WSS’s ‘reputation is growing and there is becoming an increasing need to either expand or specialize on certain business sectors,’ therefore having the ISO 9000 certification in Europe comes with greater market potential. The certification allows WSS to enhance their business reputation not just in the local market but in a global business environment. The company will therefore be capable of satisfying overseas requirements as well as those in North American markets. In many markets, the ISO certification is a good marketing tool to showcase the company name. It is a symbol of the company’s commitment to quality assurance and customer satisfaction
A problem facing WSS is the employment of part-time consultants. According to WSS the consultants charges (a 300% variation) and quality of work produced vary. WSS has a small team of eight people, at present the company are facing high levels of staff stress because team members are pressured to meet targets in productivity. WSS therefore need to work productively in order to meet these targets. The ISO 9000 certification would increase employee responsibility because the standards foster participative management. This will reinforce staff motivation, develops a quality conscience and promotes a spirit of recognition among employees. Therefore, employees at WSS would share a common objective, which strengthens loyalty and encourages the sharing of knowledge. Staff would therefore be driven towards contributing their part in order to get customers satisfied with their products and services. When the ISO is implemented staff and process inefficiencies will be revealed and brought to attention thus creating a movement for improvement. This would demonstrate which aspects of the company need to be enhanced and with insufficiencies corrected WSS will be able to remove waste. In effect they will also reduce costs to the company. The lower the production costs, more attention could therefore be given to quality enhancement and in turn customer satisfaction can be promoted as well as maintained.
The report has clearly identified the advantages associated with ISO 9000; however, businesses must consider the disadvantages linked to the ISO certification.
In terms of funding the ISO 9000 it can be inadequate. Achieving a certification can be a very costly process, especially for smaller companies like WSS. There is also a heavy emphasis on documentation. The ISO 9000 relies greatly on documentation of internal operating procedures in many areas. Smaller business such as WSS will need to find an appropriate balance between ISO requirements and attending to the essential business of running the company. The ISO 9000 registration is a very lengthy process that can take up to months to complete. It has been estimated the process can last between 18-20 months from the early stages of the process to passage the final inventory.
WSS’s directors Peter Morris and Navjot Shah are considering to employ an additional full-time administrator to manage the ISO certification requirements. Peter and Navjot therefore should make this decision very carefully because this person should encompass a genuine and passionate commitment to quality and success, knowledge of the processes and systems within WSS and have the enthusiasm to influence employees at all levels.
WSS has analysed the performance of 5 government departments based on the following indicators of
* Units of output per week
* Productivity index
* Automation factor
* Stress level index
* Flexibility index
It is clearly noticeable from the tabulated data that there is a considerable variation in the performance of the departments of the government .These variations can be attributed to various factors. A detailed analysis will enable us to clearly understand the reasons for the variations in the performance of the firm.
The five government departments are listed below whose performance was analysed and considerable variations were noted in the performance of the various departments .Thus suggestion of another performance indicator would enable the firm
Units of output per week
Stress level index
4.Local government planning
5.Local government Housing
From the above table it can be analysed that there is a considerable degree in variability in the performance of the various government departments. Some departments are able to reach over the bench mark units of output per week while the others lag behind. The following reasons can be attributed to degree of variability in the performance.
* The most important factor is the level of stress experienced by the different departments .The highest level of stress is experienced by the Job Centre Department with a stress level index of 123 .The high level of stress in the department can be a cause for the dismal performance of the Job Centre Department .In each of the departments high level of stress is a possible cause of variability in the performance of the various departments.
* Although Stress levels are high in the Job centre and local government housing department but the performance of the Local Government housing is better than the Job centre. This is because of the lower level of flexibility in operations on the department the Job centre has the highest degree of flexibility index of 127 .Which is clear indicator of the fact there is wastage of resources by the department .It also implies that the process is not lean and has a high margin flexibility which gives rise to waste and hence dismal performance. This can be seen in the other departments each of the departments where there is a lower level of flexibility have a better performance.
* Comparing the passport and the Job centre department ,Despite the higher degree of automation in the Job centre than the Passport .The performance of the Passport department is considered better this is because of high level of productivity .The passport department is more productive this can be because employment of better skilled human resource , faster processing of information (these may include addressing applications on the day they are submitted, reducing the delivery time ,efficient intranet systems )
Thus the Degree of variation in the performance of the departments can be reduced by applying effective operations to minimise wastage and increase efficiency.
5.2 Recommendation of another Measure to analyse performance
In Addition to the five suggested indicators mentioned above to analyse the performance of the Department in which there is a considerable degree of variation. It would be ideal to include a measure such that giving a clear picture of the level of performance of the Department .Since these are Government Departments it would be ideal to include a Degree of Corruption Index to analyse the performances to the Government Departments .Being Government Departments Corruption is an important factor that should be taken into consideration by the performance evaluators. This is also because of the fact that UK ranks 12th on the corruption index as per the 2007 survey thus it becomes an important factor to analyse the efficiency in operations of a Department .A department may be inefficient because of a high degree of corruption in the department. A corruption index may be able to correctly able to analyse the performance of the government departments as it would clearly be able to indicate the lacking area of the Department .Moreover it would be able to correctly analyse the employees attitude towards working as well the pin point the loop holes in the actual execution of the process .
A high Corruption index would imply inefficiency of the process carried out by the department .Also it will be able to indicate the fact that stricter operations need to be imposed so that the operation time is reduced significantly .In the above case particularly for the Job Centre which has the most dismal performance amongst all the other departments .And clearly with the highest level of automation available to the department there is clearly attributed another problem which cannot be identified from the given data .The corruption index to some extent would be able to indicate the problem existing in the department to some extent.
Thus inclusion of the corruption index as a performance indicator may able to help analyse the performance of each department .Moreover analyse the department in which the problem exists and an efficient solution can be devised for the organization.
5.3 Effect of Departmental Location
For some operations the location can be the critical factor affecting the performance of the particular organization or department .A effective location can create a competitive advantage for the organization as it can determine the effectiveness of a particular operations. For example in the case Voting centres for elections the location is of vital importance .This is only because if they are located centrally they would be able to attract the large population to vote during the elections .Thus location can create advantage for the particular operations and is able to effectively minimise the wastage to resources. Contributing to the reduction of costs and creating profitability.
Location can generate effective advantages for the government organization .This can particularly be recognised for the Department of Local Planning .It is important for it to be located in the centre of the city so that staff can travel easily to locations can effectively identify the problems of the city .So that plans can be made and implemented effectively .The location in the city centre is likely to minimise the waste to time since the staff will be closer to other information systems availed from the government .As well as a larger population will be able to easily access the department and their grievances can be addresses in a short span of time .Also minimising the waste of resource spent to collect civic data on the needs and requirements of the city or area in particular. Location in some case may not be a contributing factor to the efficiency of the staff working in the organization .As in this case the Passport department this is because the passport department is largely dependant on information systems, automation facilities. Thus it is not the location but rather the operation system in the department which is likely to generate the efficiency in operation of the department .In the case of the Passport the operations likely to generate the efficiency are reduction in the delivery time of passport, efficiency in verification of applications and the degree to automation in the department so that information is easily available.
Location considerations for the future particularly for Local government housing planning .Since the location of the office close by to site of construction can generate efficiency .As it enable staff to easily access the location and monitor the day to day operations on the construction sight .Location gives rise to the competitive advantage for an organization particularly if requires to target a particular group of consumers or require information of a certain area or locality moreover effectively minimise the delivery time i.e. The reduction in the time lag between production and delivery .These may also include minimization of intermediaries in operations as in the Local housing Planning as the department would not require to higher expatriate staff to monitor construction operations