Data Collection and Evaluation Tools
Create a 1–2-page data collection and evaluation plan that supports your proposed measurement strategy and, more generally, informs the creation and evaluation of your OIP.
Note: You must complete Assessments 1–4 before you can begin this assessment.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
o Competency 2: Apply theories, models, and practices of global operations management to address business problems.
Explain tools, techniques, and resources for collecting data about a process.
o Competency 3: Integrate operations management analyses into general business management planning and decision making.
Justify the selection of specific tools for gathering data about a process.
Describe a data collection and evaluation plan for use with an OIP.
Analyze how a data collection plan informs or supports an OIP.
o Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business professions.
Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business professions.
The key to success for an organization is to improve continuously and maintain a competitive edge. This can be accomplished only when a total process improvement plan is embraced and adapted as a standard operating procedure (SOP). Focus on improved business practices, improved technology, better products, and enhanced customer service is fundamental to an organization’s maintenance of its competitive competencies. From the standpoint of continuing the enhancement of processes, the Deming Wheel technique—”plan, do, check, act” (Marquis, 2011)—provides excellent auditing procedures.
The benefits of the just-in-time (JIT) production strategy are frequently lauded, but it is important to recognize that this strategy can also have some limitations and may not be applicable in all cases. A vice president of operations for Eureka Lighting stated that the company must still carry an average of seven days of finished product to support the volatility and uncertainty of market demands. Additionally, suppliers are not always reliable. Safety stock further compounds the issue, and supplier quality is not completely certain. In the Eureka Lighting case, over 10,000 packaged units about to be shipped were delayed due to a packaging error. The operating instructions for one of the top-selling products were not included in the box, but a last-minute inspection caught the error (Microsoft Corporation, 2006). Imagine the external failure cost component associated with such a mess in your organization. More importantly, think about the loss of customer goodwill and future purchases.
The use of an appropriate data collection tool ensures that appropriate information is available to adequately measure and monitor the process improvement. Commonly used data harvesting tools include written, Internet, and phone surveys; questionnaires; and other monitoring tools. These tools can then be transposed into interpretation models including Pareto and bar charts, histograms, and matrix tables.
Marquis, H. (2011). How to roll the Deming wheel. itSM Solutions DITY Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.itsmsolutions.com/newsletters/DITYvol5iss28.htm
Microsoft Corporation. (2006). Eureka Lighting: Lighting manufacturer uses ERP solution to shine light on inventory, reduce costs. Retrieved from http://www.onespotmarketing.com/docs/eureka lighting_case study.pdf
Questions to Consider
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.
o Why are inventories held in business? What are the differences between continuous and periodic inventory systems?
o What is the ABC technique of inventory control?
o What are ways of controlling work-in-progress inventory?