The LOs for this module are as follows.
1. Identify and select sources of data and information
2. Analyze and present information to support decision making
3. Communicate results of information analysis and decision
4. Comprehend the range of tools and techniques available as support for managerial decision making
This assignment should be completed with reference to the WM Pressings Case Study and the OIL Project.
This assignment requires you to write a 2,000-word assignment submission answering the following questions:
1. Explain the limitations of using heuristics to carry out decision making with multiple objectives.
2. Using the SMART process for decision making with multiple objectives, carry out an analysis on the information given in the case about the press refurbishment and identify which of the four companies lie on the efficient frontier.
3. Based on your answer to (2) above, provide your recommendation on which of the four companies should be chosen to carry out the work, providing justification for your decision. There is no need to carry out sensitivity analysis.
4. Using relevant information from the WM Pressings Case Study and other sources, critically analyze the role that making decisions in an ethical manner can play in enabling businesses to be successful.
5. Using relevant examples from the OIL project, reflect on your learning of various tools and objectives used for decision making.
WM Pressings Case Study
WM Pressings1 is a manufacturing company based in Coventry in England. The company makes small pressed steel and aluminum parts for customers in the automotive industry.
The company has recently experienced a marked deterioration in its quality performance, with a significant rise in the number of defective components being returned to the company from its customers. As a result, an in-depth investigation has been carried out, which has led to the identification of the main root cause of the issue, which is now known to lie with one of the presses that the company uses to manufacture its components. The company has ten presses in all, and it is “Press No’2” that has been found to be responsible for the largest proportion of the defective components being made.
A multi-functional team (comprising company experts from the production, quality and maintenance departments) has been looking at solutions to the issue and has concluded that Press No.2 does not need to be replaced, however it does need to be given a complete refurbishment. It is outside the scope of the expertise of the staff at WM Pressings to carry out this work, so an external refurbishment company will need to be appointed.
Appointment of External Refurbishment Company
Four companies have been contacted and asked to quote to carry out the refurbishment work, and quotes have been received from each one; Arndale, Bell Mechanical, Calthorpe Tooling, and Drystone.
In addition, the multi-functional team described above has reconvened and carried out an analysis of the four companies, focusing on four key factors;
1. Reliability. By researching available data on past performance (both within and outside WM Pressings) it was possible to develop a measure for expected press reliability.
2. Performance. By analyzing each of the quotes, it was possible to create a measure for performance, based to the output levels planned to be achieved.
3. Changeover time. The companies were asked to find innovative solutions that would improve the ease & speed of changing from one die to another, when switching production from one component to another.
4. Environmental performance. The companies were asked to consider ways in which they can reduce the consumption of electricity and any other eco-friendly features.
The quoted prices and the results from the meeting of the multi-functional team are summarized below:
Cost Reliability Performance Changeover Environment
Arndale £160,000 30 50 0 0
Bell £180,000 0 0 50 20
Calthorpe £200,000 80 100 100 60
Drystone £240,000 100 80 80 100
However, it was recognized that the four non-cost attributes above had differing importance to the company, and that this would need to be reflected in the way that the decision making process was conducted.
The multi-functional team was asked to produce swing weights for each of the four non-cost attributes and the results are shown below.
The final decision on which of the four companies to award the contract to will be based on the assumption that cost performance is exactly twice as important as the combined value of the other four attributes.
Planned Facility Improvements
As a result of needing to invest in the new equipment, WM Pressings will now need to postpone a planned investment of £150,000 that was due to be spent on improvements to facilities. The current facilities have seen minimal improvements since the 1980s and there is an urgent need to install double glazing in some areas, refit the toilets and amenity areas, and upgrade the central heating system.
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