1. Briefly describe cookie production process
The company has two band ovens used for baking. The process starts when an order from the distributor goes to the person in charge of mixing. This order is used to schedule production. The ingredient needed for each type of cookies is checked in a master list by this person then he or she enters this information into the computer. The amount of each ingredient necessary is by computer measurement and then relayed to the storage silos which are outside the plant. Automatically, the components go to a giant mixing machine. A proper combination of eggs, water, and flavorings occurs in the mixer. After combination, the batter then goes into the cutting machine which cuts into individual cookies.
The cookies go onto a conveyer belt and then transported through one of two ovens. Various filled cookies including raspberry, date and apple need an extra step for filling and folding. Those cookies that are non-filled are in diagonal which leads to a high level of productivity. The cookies go onto a spiral cooling rack from the conveyer belt. Workers package the cookies in boxes after they cool and separate any deformed or broken pieces. The workers wrap the boxes, seal them and label them appropriately.
2. What are the two ways that the company has increased productivity? Why did increasing the length of the ovens result in a faster output rate?
Increasing the each oven by twenty-five feet has led to an increase in productivity in cookies. The diagonal cutting of non-filled cookies also increases productivity because they do not occupy a lot of space. Increasing the length of each oven by twenty-five feet ensures that more cookies are baked at a go and thus enhances the number of cookies produced at a particular point in time.
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 in a large city? Is the size of the company a factor? What if it were a much bigger company? The company is correct not automating packaging because the process needs precision and care to ensure that each cookie is sitting in the boxes. It also ensures that there is the separation of crushed and broken cookies from those that are okay and they go back for reuse.
The company also has the obligation of maintaining its current boxing employees because they are locals and the company needs to give them a source of income and show its appreciation to the community. A large city location would mean more production due to the higher population. It would, therefore, require more employees to meet demand. A larger company means more variety of products, more production machines and more employees. It would also require packaging to be through machines due to high volumes of goods.
4. What factors cause the company to carry minimal amounts of certain inventories? What benefits result from this policy?
The company has the culture having minimal amounts of accurate inventories. The reasons behind this logic are that cookies have a short shelf-life and thus their surplus is minimal. Labels are also in minimal inventories due to the FDA label requirements that change on a regular basis. The company gets some benefits through ensuring stocks are minimal. For the cookies, the company makes sure that in case there is an abrupt client or order, there are ready cookies for supply. Minimal cookie inventories also help in ensuring that not many cookies spoil in case there is no distribution before their shelf-life. There are also benefits of minimal inventories for labels. The FDA label requirements frequently change and having high amounts of tags at a given point puts the company at a risk of having labels that may not meet the FDA requirements. It means that they may be in bulk, but the company cannot use them.
5. As a consumer, what things do you consider in judging the quality of cookies you buy in a supermarket?
I love cookies and will always buy some frequently. As a consumer, I, however, prefer cookies that are fresh and crunchy. I consider these to be quality cookies, and once I identify a supermarket that has these specific types of cookies I will always to for these. I also prefer a packet cookies that with different kinds in the same box. When I purchase a box of cookies, I would like to get a taste of the various types of cookies made by a particular company rather than just have a box that has cookies of the same type and flavor. For instance, I would prefer one with a mixture of various kinds including apple cookies, raspberry or even date rather than one with apple alone.
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