Student ID Number:
Name of Course: Operations Management
Lecturer for this Coursework: Jane Davis
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Lotus car manufacturing facility is located at Hethel, Norfolk UK. The plant was established in 1960 and is the sole car manufacturing plant for Lotus. Recently, there has been a shift in ownership as Lotus was sold to a group of private investors and Proton Holdings Berhad, a Malaysian automobile manufacturer.
Up until now, the plant has produced over 100,000 cars and currently does not manufacture more than 5,000 cars per year. This translates to an average daily production of 9 to 10 cars.
Cars are only manufactured when orders are received. The plant employs a “no fault forward” policy where issues are resolved immediately at the point of identification. The same production line is used for all types of cars, ranging from leisure to racing. In addition, the same team of people works on all cars as they are trained in all jobs, not just one particular niche job like other factories. There are 3 x 8 hours shift and no work on Friday’s.
The Company builds all cars by hand and there is no presence of robotic equipment in the factory. The Company sources its materials primary from France and Ireland due to cost and technical specification demands.
Analysis of key competitive priorities and operational processes
The manufacturing process begins with the car frame which was manufactured and delivered to the factory from France. Frames are then polished and colored through a white lighted room. It is then sent to the next station for coloring with other parts of the vehicle. Once the coloring has been finished, the parts are moved by a forklift to the production line for assembly. Upon completion of the build, the car is then put through a variety of performance and specification tests including water resistance and on-road performance. If no errors were found, the car is then deemed good for sale and the title officially transfer from the production department to the sales department. Improvement areas and recommendations
Flow of production
Based on our observations, there wasn’t an apparent flow to the production. Manufacturing pieces are often transferred from one spot to another through the use of forklift and trolley. This created undesired interruption to the production flow and also made rooms for potential accidents and damages to occur on finished pieces (e.g. pieces that had been worked on may be damaged during transportation from one place to another)
In addition, capacity is often consumed by changeover whenever a process is required to perform work on a different part or product model than the preceding one. Time consumed in changeover is considered waste and it reduces the amount of resource capacity that is available to perform value-adding work.
Given the small production volume that Lotus is experiencing, it is not necessary at this point in time to create additional assembly line to handle different models. Nevertheless, the operation flow could be better optimized by reducing the gaps between one work stations to another to form better transitions in production. Inventory management
It is important that Lotus exercises more control over its inventory management to reduce waste and to track spending.
Currently, employees have full access to all inventory parts (e.g. knots and bolts etc.) and no formal sign-out process of inventory is required. The issue with this approach is that there is no formal tracking on the usage of inventory and the purpose of what they are being...
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