Bruin Technologies Case Study Paper and Presentation
Bruin Technologies is a manufacturer of sophisticated semiconductor components for mobile consumer electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and digital cameras. Mary Holbrook has been working at Bruin for about a year, supervising production. Her challenge has always been designing an accurate production schedule because demand has been highly volatile. That type of volatility has caused the company to carry high amounts of safety stock and incur all kinds of waste. Mary thinks the operation can be modified and made more efficient.
Transistors are critical components used in the manufacture of a semiconductor. One of the main transistors used in cell phones is sourced from a supplier in China with a lead time of at least two months. Typically, Bruin carries enough of these transistors at the manufacturing facility. However, whenever they run out, they experience high levels of work in process inventory which impedes production. Mary knows that these transistors can be obtained from other suppliers but at a much higher cost.
The other challenge is that semiconductors differ for each device resulting in the operator having to reset the machinery for each unique operation. Resetting can be time-consuming, preventing the company from responding quickly to changes in demand. Mary knows that her challenge is to reduce inventory and keep a flexible enough production schedule to keep up with the volatility of demand.
Mary has also noticed that the current design of the building is not very efficient. Currently, the entire manufacturing system is grouped by function, and the components have to move from function to function. There are more than four-hundred steps in producing a typical semiconductor chip. Unfortunately, some of the functions are at a distance from other functions in the building. It is resulting in long waiting times between procedures. Mary wants to change the design of the facility to one that will assure greater throughput and flow.
She recognizes that she must make several changes and started reading about Lean Production but is not sure where to start.
Preview the case facts and background. Do not duplicate what is in the case itself.
The body of the report addresses Questions 1-5 in a clear, concise and cohesive manner. This report should be business like, organized and methodical. Please note: each question should become a section title on a slide.
Can you make some recommendations for Mary about how to better work with suppliers? Support your recommendations with facts and sound reasoning.
What should she do about reorganizing the workflow? Should she make some layout changes, and how do you think they should be implemented? Be sure to consider if the alternative solutions help resolve more than a single issue.
How would you address the issue of equipment setup? Any given alternative solution may address multiple issues. What recommendations would you give to proceed? Support your recommendations with facts and sound reasoning.
Can you come up with other suggestions for Mary to improve the operation of this company? In what order would you recommend these changes be made? Support your recommendations with facts and sound reasoning.
Describe the perfect organizational culture to implement Lean. Be specific in describing the perfect organizational culture. What suggestions would you give Mary to implement these at Bruin? Any given alternative solution may address multiple issues.
Parameters of this assignment:
Instructions for Case Study Analysis
Read the case in its entirety and create a 10 slide or less PowerPoint presentation (10 minutes) which includes:
*Summary of the case
*Responses to all of the questions included at the end of the case
*a statement of what supply chain concept/concepts are illustrated in the case