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Case Study: Hudson’s Alpine Furniture
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Hudson’s Alpine Furniture
The Hudson’s Alpine Furniture was founded in 1998 by Della Hudson and Ralph Hudson in the regions of Queanbeyan NSW. It is relatively small firm which specializes in manufacturing of customized timber furniture. The initial phases were marked by a smooth phase of orders. Recently, the organization is facing a tough time as the number of commercial orders are increasing. This paper focuses the production and operation management techniques used by the firm. Also, a set of recommendations have been provided in the paper which can be applied by the organization to bring in a greater degree of efficiency (Greene 1994).
It has been analyzed in the case study provided that the management lacks a dedicated production department. The management in the traditional times have been dealing with the customised private users where delivery on time was relatively less important compared to value and quality of the furniture ordered. It is also observed that the organization is applying the Intermittent Production system. This type of system is useful when the required orders are constantly changing and the specifications have to be changed substantially with every new order. The other drawback identified with the current operational techniques in place is that the senior management is lacking the required time for strategic thinking. Most of their respective time goes in giving approvals for the peripheral issues. This should be intuitively changed to delegation of the authority to a specialized department who will meet the senior management once or twice in a week to get the due approvals on all the relatively smaller issues. The production manager would also be empowered to take decision of similar nature unless it is r efficiently to both the needs of the customised orders and that of the commercial orders, as both of them have a different nature (Varey 1995).
The Hudson’s Alpine furniture had a vision that they wanted to create a demand for customized goods and they have certainly succeeded in achieving that. However, with this has come an additional opportunity where in the commercial users have also fancied their offerings of furniture and are eager to use the products. This indeed is a result of the excellent services that have been provided by the firm for their private users. One of the differences between the private users and the commercial users is that the commercial users require huge volume of orders and often the same has to deliver on time where time is the most important essence. This is not found in the case of private users as they are more concerned about the value of the product offered and things like quality and durability matter a lot to them. The commercial users are also highly price different techniques and strategies as the requirements of the two orders are different and hence the system to handle the order should also be different (Whitford 1998).
The organization currently serves both of these potentially different market segments which are quite different in their characteristics as shown above. The orders for both are manufactured in a single manufacturing unit in Queanbeyan (close to Canberra). The raw materials that are used are of similar nature. The capacity of the manufacturing unit is limited and the huge orders received leave out huge volumes of work in progress. This causes virtually no option for the firm to accept more orders and they are not in a state to accept more orders. Hence, there is a need to being in a change in their operational and production techniques so that they better manage the flowing in orders with greater ease and efficiency.
Ted by the senior management as opposed to handling the daily peripheral activities which is happening currently in the organization. Operating in this manner would give them a snapshot view of the operations and hence they would be in a better position to handle the respective affairs of the organization.
Source: (McQuire 1999)
The diagram below also provides some useful insights for the Hudson Alpine Furniture House. The first is to clearly identify the market place in which they are operating. As given in the case study, the main customers are the private and the commercial users of timber furniture. It is safe to assume that the growing numbers of orders in the commercial customers is a direct result of the excellent services provided by Hudson Alpine Furniture to their respective private users. The next parts of the diagram below shows the corporate strategy which is interlinked by the finance strategy, operations strategy and the marketing strategy. The pre planning stage includes factors such as development of the product and the location of the plant. It also clearly charts out right in front of the concerned department and the senior management what peripheral things are required to be given and undertaken for various smaller tasks that would ultimately be used for the final production process. Also, the diagram above handling all the departments of the organizations. The same notion needs to evolve to better suit the needs of the changing and increasing demands and resulting revenue orders.
Source: (McQuire 1999).
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