Coursework Assignment 201718
Maximum total length 800 words. This assignment is to be done in Groups.
Referring to the case study attached, answer the following questions to explain to the management how to improve their operations. In each area you should outline any problems you identify with their current arrangements, and give your proposals for improvements. In each answer you should link your analysis and recommendations to the competitive requirements as you see them. You should apply appropriate theories and frameworks from the module. Each response should be written as if part of a report for the management, with references to any supporting literature.
Answer all the questions
1. Examine the companys competitive position and their current strategy for competitiveness, considering required performance and performance measures. Suggest improvements to their strategy.(The rest of the work should help them achieve the strategy you have suggested.)
2. Evaluate the companys position with regard to suppliers and the make/buy decision. Suggest improvements.
Submit your assignment through Turnitin in Moodle by 11th January 2018, 1200 noon.
Each Group should make only one submission to Moodle (or Turnitin will think you have copied it!). The first page of your report should include a statement that all group members have worked equally on the assignment, using the Report Cover Sheet Template in Moodle
This piece of work represents 70% of the marks for the module.
Case Study – Fly Fishing Reels
Fly Fishing Reels employs 140 people in the South of England. They are the major UK manufacturer of reels for fly fishing. The company was formed five years ago when a previous fishing reel business on the same site went into receivership.
In the hands of the receiver, the company was formed with just six employees from the previous company. Over the five year period it has grown considerably to its present size, now one of the three major manufacturers of fly reels worldwide. The two main competitor companies are in the USA and Japan.
FFR have a good reputation for quality, and both the “feel” and the performance of their products are often superior to those of their competitors. Some of their models are more expensive than the competition, although discounting and special prices are used from time to time.
Over one hundred different styles of reels are manufactured, although the products fall into three categories. One range is made from plastic, a proportion are manufactured from die-cast aluminium, whilst the premium range are machined from solid material. In each range there are several variations of reel, housing and attachment foot, multiplied by a wide variety of paint finishes, drilling patterns for weight reduction, and various mechanisms which provide alternative combinations of ratchet and friction control.
The premium products compete on the basis of style, appearance and feel, together with high reliability, low weight and high strength. These sell to professional and “serious” sportsmen who are prepared to pay a high price for the best equipment. For the majority of the products, the selling price is an important additional competitive factor. Most of the products are sold through retailers and wholesalers, who tend to order products in quantities of at least five or ten for premium products and up to 1000 for other models. Sales – and even retail outlets – may be lost if deliveries are not made on time. Purchasers in shops like to see and feel the product before they buy, and are not usually willing to wait for stock to arrive.
Production of the die-cast products is in several stages including casting, machining, painting, sub-assembly, and assembly. First, the larger parts, the spool halves, the body and the attachment foot are die-cast. Next, the die-cast parts must be finish machined. Each casting may be used in a range of products, the variation being introduced by machining, especially drilling. The parts are next painted, as a surface finish, and then printed with graphics to give each model a distinctive appearance. A pre-assembly stage is used to fit together the reel halves, using a rotary riveting process, and to rivet the attachment foot to the frame. At final assembly, the completed product is put together using the main components and whatever minor parts such as spindle, pawls, springs and ratchet wheels are needed to produce the required mechanical action, and the finished product is packed for sale. Most of the minor parts are produced in-house.
The premium products follow a similar route, except that die-casting is replaced by machining from solid. The plastic parts are bought from a supplier. Plastic reels require no machining.
The factory is arranged according to type of process, with separate areas for die-casting and fettling, polishing, machining, turning, grinding, painting and assembly.
The assembly area is made up of Sub-Assembly, dealing with spool assembly and straightening, and four lines in Final Assembly. These are rows of benches where the successive stages of the assembly operations take place. Some of the benches are fitted with riveting machines and some with presses. There is no conveyor, the workpieces being passed along by hand.
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