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Essay Assignment - Supply Chain
There to the supply chain. The supply chain can be used to describe every bit of an organization's processes and outputs. There are entire fields dedicated to parts of the supply chain, e.g., scheduling, production planning, inventory, storage, and many more. Quality, efficiency, and safety are all focused on the supply chain.
SIPOC - One view of the supply chain is the SIPOC model.
- Supply/Suppliers: the provide inputs to the process.
- Inputs: the materials, tools, supplies, parts, services, information etc. used by the process to produce the outputs.
- Process: the activities that transform to inputs into outputs.
- Outputs: the products, services, etc. that result from the process and are intended for the customer.
- Customer/Consumer: the user of the outputs produced by the process.
The above seems pretty simple but each bullet has a lot of subparts and each bullet has many implications or tie-ins to LSS (and safety, sales, marketing, accounting, and most other functions). Consider the following and try to relate them to all you have done in this course.
- Supply/Suppliers: How do you select and audit suppliers?
- Inputs: How do you control the quality of the inputs-rely on suppliers quality processes, inspect all incoming materials?
- Process: What are the specs (plans, diagrams, etc.) and process plans, the process flow, and work instructions? What are the quality characteristics; are they built into the process, e.g., QFD and reliability? What are the most important characteristics? What are the quality costs? Should you be using SPC? Does the process add value; is it Lean?
- Outputs: Should you be performing statistical inspection? What sort of testing and quality assurance do you need? Is your gage and measurement system OK?
- Customer/Consumer: How do you handle external failures, e.g., repairs and returns? How do you relate to customers?
LSS and other quality personnel deal with every one of the above. Quality managers tend to deal with all the above. Quality engineers, reliability engineers, and Black Belts tend to deal with the IPO part. Quality technicians, e.g., process analysts and calibration technicians deal heavily with P and O. Training and/or team work may be needed for of the part of the SIPOC. You should be able to see the parts of the SIPOC would require designers, salespersons, accountants, safety officers, marketers, and other personnel.
Important things to know and/or consider about the SIPOC model include the following.
- There is a supply chain.
- You can string the chain out to a ridiculous length. For example, assume I am selling hamburgers at my restaurant. How far back do I go on the supply of hamburger? Just to the company I buy the hamburgers from? Back to where that company got the hamburger? Back to the farmer who raised the cow? You can also not go back far enough. Sometimes you need a chain of custody (so to speak) fairly far back or up stream. When you buy something, isn't it sometimes prudent to know the origin or provenance of what you are buying? When you sell something, isn't it sometimes prudent to know to what use your customer is going to put your product? Yes, in all cases. There is no right or wrong answer here. You go back or forward in the chain as far as necessary. Necessary for what? That depends on the goal and situation. This is one reason that thinking and planning are needed.
- Every supplier is likely a customer of someone else. Every supplier is someone else's customer. The most important customer (even for drilling one hole in a particular engine block) is the end consumer.
I often admonish that the numbers (the results) are not the answer and that numbers can be correct but useless (GIGO). Recall a previous lecture about the test, the measurement, and the evaluation.
- Test: the tool/instrument and procedures to use the tool. For example, a thermometer or a control chart plan.
- Measurement: the result of using the instrument. For example, the temperature is -300 F or the control chart shows a non-random trend.
- Evaluation: the value judgements, conclusions, interpretations, and decisions based on the measurements. For example, my temperature is good because I am supposed to be cryo-freeze or I should replace the carbide insert on the lathe.
Rules of thumb are a great advantage. Very specific work instructions, organizations charts, job descriptions, and other plans and documents are very good and are not usually used enough. Voluntary and involuntary (including laws, and legal regs) are very good and can be used to improve management, efficiency, quality, safety, profit; they can also help you be ethical and have a good work environment. But if decision-making was not required, then a robot could do it all.
Following is one model for decision making or behavior. Like all analogies, it is imperfect but it is useful in considering what and why we do things.
Rule can mean law, directive, a contact requirement, code, rule of thumb, typical best practice, or the like. Judgment is basically just that. Judgment might be based on wisdom, experience, your gut, etc. The above model can be used for many things. Let's assume it is used to determine what is necessary concerning some (or any) aspect of customer-supplier relations.
It would probably be incomplete thinking or imprudent to do any of the following.
- Only focus on the blue (the rule) that doesn't overlap with judgment. This is pretty dumb but some persons do this so I included it (I think I have had some bosses like this). It is an eschewing of judgment to the point of ignoring some rules. It is an adherence to only rules that seem to have no rational judgment behind them.
- Only focusing on the rules, some of which might overlap with judgment but judgment is ignored. Only the rules are considered. A lot of person's decision making seems to fall into this category. They are not able to exercise judgment or do not trust judgment. This is not the worst thing in the world, especially if the rules are very clear, understood, and cover every possible contingency (all unlikely).
- Only focusing on the yellow (judgment) that does not overlap with the rules. This is someone who can't stand the rules. When their judgment overlaps with the rules they go against their own best judgment so they don't coincidentally obey a rule (my three sons were all once teenagers; I am well acquainted with this form of oppositional-defiant behavior).
- Only focusing on your judgment. Maybe some of that judgment also happens to be a rule. But who cares about the rules; my judgment is all that is important, all that I should consider. That view is also pretty dumb. The majority of managers and leaders I have worked with in my life have been in this category. No one has judgment so good that it encompasses all the rules developed by others.
Initial Post - See the general assignment instructions for information about the quality and quantity expectations and evaluation criteria.
Customers and suppliers. Pick a real process. The process could be as simple as drilling a hole or as complex as an organization (which is really just a very big process). Describe the process (organization, whatever), e.g., its size, purpose, location, and other pertinent characteristics). Describe the SIPOC model as follows. You could write a book about the following; remember the approximately 5-page length.
a. Supply: include how suppliers are selected and managed, and how quality of suppliers is ensured.
b. Input: what are the various resources, supplies, and other inputs. How are they obtained, stored, and managed (and other pertinent factors)?
c. Process: what processes, activities, and procedures are performed (how do the inputs get transformed into the outputs)? How are the processes managed (e.g., are they standardized, formally stated, etc. and other pertinent factors)?
d. Output: what are the products, services, or other deliverables? How is their quality controlled, how are they managed, delivered to customers, and other pertinent factors?
e. Customer: Who are the customers; what are their characteristics? How are they managed and communicated with?
Pick a process or organization with which you are personally familiar. Do not research internet data or use a case study from a book.
Attachment:- Assignment Instructions.rar