Case Study – National Cranberry Cooperative Case
In this lesson, we will explore the example of a continuous process and the problems that arise in managing it. The company is the National Cranberry Cooperative, which buys cranberries harvested by its members and processes them into packaged cranberries, juices, jams, and so on. We will be concerned only with the processing of the raw berries received from the farmers until they are shipped to the bulk shipping or other processing steps, such as juice or jam making.
This plant receives cranberries from farmers. The berries are both dry and wet harvested. The wet-harvested berries have to be dried before further processing. The process is described in detail. The plant is facing problems of high overtime payments and increased delivery-truck waiting time. The case allows the application of the concepts of continuous production to resolve the problems.
The case relates the concerns of the operations VP about Receiving Plant #1. The plant received harvested berries which it cleans, grades, and sorts in preparation for packaging or further processing. The plans incurred high overtime costs, as well as the wrath of the grower-owners who had to wait long hours to unload their crops.
We will explore how these problems arose because of a lack of understanding of the nature of the process, and how that led to wrong solutions. These solutions involved large investments without alleviating the problem. You will need to understand the processes at Receiving Plant #1 as well as industry trends at the time that may inform your recommendations. You may refer to the course material where process capacity and bottleneck concepts are discussed.
Analyze the case study National Cranberry Cooperative,1996 (HBS, #9-688-122)[revised in 2011] and submit a 4-page write-up on the following questions: (Attached in the order’s page)
1. Develop a process flow diagram for processing wet cranberries. Use shapes and arrows, as appropriate, to show the sequence of steps and capacities at the different stages of the process. (Writer: show the capacity please for each step) Show the bottleneck as well
2. What are the sources of variability affecting NCC’s operations?
3. Suppose that a peak harvest-season day involves 16,800 barrels of berries, 70% of them wet harvested, arriving uniformly over a twelve-hour period from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Would trucks have to wait to unload wet berries? When during the day would trucks start waiting? How much truck waiting time would you expect for the wet berries? What is the maximum number of trucks waiting during the day (i.e., number of trucks at peak waiting time)?
4. If it costs $20 per hour to rent a truck and driver, how much money is spent by truck waiting on a peak day?
5. Is the investment in a light meter system a good option? (Writer: With calculation please)
The case write-up should not exceed four-pages, double-spaced, font size 12, Times Roman or equivalent, excluding exhibits (note that exhibits should not exceed two pages). The write-up should be professionally done, with arguments or points made in a logical flow. You can use prose or bullet-point format, but key arguments should be articulated clearly and concisely. Submit your completed assignment via the Turnitin drop box.
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