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Case from journal
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Reference no. JIACS15-07-07
Published by: Allied Business Academies
Published in: "Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies", 2009

Abstract

The events in this case took place when many logging firms in Indonesia were venturing into plywood production business with little experience. Ching-Mia Hung, a Taiwanese veteran of the plywood production business, was asked to turn around a failing plywood plant in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ching-Mia accepted the challenge and studied the plant patiently for a month before taking any action. Among his observations of the plywood production operation, Ching-Mia noticed several anomalies in inventory and capacity management with respect to external market conditions. This case presents students with a complex plywood production process with realistic and hard-to-come-by details, including the composition design of different plywood products, their respective production steps, common production challenges, and market demand information. Students are challenged to analyze the scenario and identify operational process improvement opportunities. Embedded in the case information are clues on improving operation without requiring additional equipment investment or new hiring. The instructor should encourage students to formulate action plans that utilize current resources more efficiently to cater to existing market conditions. This is a field researched case about a failing plywood plant in East Kalimantan, Indonesia during the plywood manufacturing boom in that region. The research team had full access to the plant manager. The purpose of this case is to introduce students to the considerations in decision making in operational process improvement in accordance with capacity constraints and market conditions. This case is intended for use in an upper-level undergraduate Operations Management course early in the term and can be used as a scenario for discussion of capacity management. Students are expected to spend 2 to 3 hours of outside preparation reviewing concepts of capacity analysis, reading the case materials and brainstorming process improvement options. The instructor should advise students to pay attention to the particular relevance and importance of the bottleneck step in process capacity. The case can be taught in one 75- minute class period.
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Abstract

The events in this case took place when many logging firms in Indonesia were venturing into plywood production business with little experience. Ching-Mia Hung, a Taiwanese veteran of the plywood production business, was asked to turn around a failing plywood plant in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ching-Mia accepted the challenge and studied the plant patiently for a month before taking any action. Among his observations of the plywood production operation, Ching-Mia noticed several anomalies in inventory and capacity management with respect to external market conditions. This case presents students with a complex plywood production process with realistic and hard-to-come-by details, including the composition design of different plywood products, their respective production steps, common production challenges, and market demand information. Students are challenged to analyze the scenario and identify operational process improvement opportunities. Embedded in the case information are clues on improving operation without requiring additional equipment investment or new hiring. The instructor should encourage students to formulate action plans that utilize current resources more efficiently to cater to existing market conditions. This is a field researched case about a failing plywood plant in East Kalimantan, Indonesia during the plywood manufacturing boom in that region. The research team had full access to the plant manager. The purpose of this case is to introduce students to the considerations in decision making in operational process improvement in accordance with capacity constraints and market conditions. This case is intended for use in an upper-level undergraduate Operations Management course early in the term and can be used as a scenario for discussion of capacity management. Students are expected to spend 2 to 3 hours of outside preparation reviewing concepts of capacity analysis, reading the case materials and brainstorming process improvement options. The instructor should advise students to pay attention to the particular relevance and importance of the bottleneck step in process capacity. The case can be taught in one 75- minute class period.

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