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Albatross Anchors

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Introduction
Albatross Anchors is a small family-owned business that started in 1976.Beginning with only four family members, Albatross Anchors has grown tremendously over the years and now employs 130 people. The owners have added on various processes as needs arose, but the plant and buildings are antiquated, dirty, technology deprived, and no longer meet U.S. safety and environmental standards. In order to be able to compete in an ever-expanding market, Albatross Anchors needs to make some upgrades so they can be compliant with the standards.

Question 1
Carefully review the assignment scenario/case study. From the limited information in the scenario/case study, identify at least three direct and specific long-term and three direct and specific short term operations changes that Albatross Anchor must make to gain a clear and sustainable competitive advantage (provide detailed information to validate and support each recommended change).
Long-Term Operational Changes
(01) Albatross Anchors first and foremost needs to update their technology in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness throughout the whole plants is the essential link between all supply chain processes and member (Russell, 2014).While a new technology system will be an expensive addition, in the long run it will save the company money. E-business is now replacing physical processes in the business environment by using data interchange, email, EFT, electronic publishing, image processing, shared databases, bar coding, and websites, just to name a few. Updating the technology will save Albatross Anchors labor costs and time among many other things

(02) Currently both manufacturing areas share the same shipping area, receiving area, warehouse area, and administrative offices, but each type of anchor is has unique equipment and manufacturing processes. The line must do a complete 36-hour changeover each time the anchor type is changed. Between this and the outdated equipment, large orders can take four weeks to be completed.
(03) Albatross Anchors is now selling bell/mushroom and snag hook anchors. In the future they might want to offer more products to their customers. This way the customers will have a variety of items to choose from when they come in to shop.

Short-Term Operational Changes
(1) Albatross Anchor might want to look into outsourcing. Outsourcing is the “act of purchasing goods and services that were originally produced in-house from an outside supplier”. Outsourcing would be a solution for things like, “unexpected increase in demand, breakdowns in plants and equipment, testing products, or a temporary lack of plant capacity” (Russell, 2014, p.453). At the present time they are using distributors that act as the middleman and OEM. Outsourcing is a way for them to get some of the products they are making themselves, from other suppliers. This could possibly save them money on labor and also save them some time.

(02) Albatross Anchor needs to consider making changes in their method of distribution. As of now their methods of shipping their products are by large trucks, rail or large ocean-going freighters. Distribution encompasses all of the channels, processes, and functions, including warehousing and transportation that a product passes through on its way to the final customer. Distribution management involves managing the handling of materials and products at receiving docks, storing products and materials, packaging, and the shipment of orders” (Russell, 2014, p.457). Being able to handle their distribution management in an effective manner will enable them to get their products to the customers in a timelier manner. There should look into other methods of shipping their products and also find ways through the use of technology to make people aware of the products they have available.

(03) Albatross Anchors needs to look into finding a bigger building for them to operate out of. In the building that they are presently in, the space is limited. They have to work in areas that are cramped. This can make things hard on the employees and also make morale low because the employees are annoyed because they do not have the space they need in order to work in a more appealing manner. If the employees are happy that would tend to increase production and with the increase in production it would also help profit. Albatross Anchors needs to put in place is to have a separate shipping and receiving department. They currently have their materials coming in and out of the same location which can be much unorganized. They will need to set up precise schedules for incoming and outgoing materials.

Question 2
From the list of 10 operational issues in this assignment instructions select four operational issues. For each of the four operational issues explain in detail that operational issue will help Albatross Anchor improve; 1) job retention, 2) employee morale, and 3) employee dedication.

Operational Issue One: The first operational issue that would help Albatross Anchor to improve would be to cross train the employees which will help to create a more productive workplace. This will help to improve job retention because it helps employees to learn all of the areas within the company and makes them more aware of how the different departments affect each other. Cross training will also help to improve the employee morale because they are getting the chance to work on something else so that they do not get bored and uninterested in what they do on a daily basis. Cross training will also help to improve the employee’s dedication because they will fell that they are being given opportunities to grow within the company which helps to retain lifelong employees. Cross training has benefits for the employees, as well as the employers. Some of the benefits for employers are, mitigate risk; discover leaders; enhance teamwork; morale; higher efficiency and productivity; recruiting tool; and derive cost savings. Benefits for the employees are, growth opportunity; increase employee satisfaction; develop new skills; build teams and relationships and higher motivation (Yurkschatt, 2015).

Operational Issue Two: The second operational issue that would help Albatross Anchor to improve would be gain sharing and profit sharing. Gain sharing (GS) and profit sharing (PS) are two pay-for-performance systems used by organizations to reward workers for increased performance at the group, unit, or organization level (Gain sharing, 2016). If employees are getting the perks through some type of payment, they will be more willing to stay with the company knowing the will be receiving a good payment in return for their hard work. This also boosts the employee’s moral because they are more willing to work harder and stay dedicated to their job. When employees know they will be compensated they tend to be happier and willing to put more effort in. The margin of success for an organization comes from replacing the adversarial relationship between management and employees with cooperation and collaboration. Workers who feel they have a stake in the company make contributions to the success of the company (Gain sharing, 2016).

Operational Issue Three: When it comes to the third issue I would have to go with ergonomics because of the vital role in production that ergonomics play. Ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace, keeping in minds the capabilities and limitations of the worker. Poor worksite design leads to fatigued, frustrated and hurting workers (Ergonomics, 2016). When recognizing ergonomic risk factors at the work place is an important step in improving the protection of the workers when the workers feel safe in their work environment it prevents unnecessary accidents, also when the worker feels safe in their work environment it offers a higher moral than it would it they were working in unsafe conditions. Ergonomics can reduce costs, improve productivity, improve quality, improve employee engagement and create a better safety culture (Ergonomics, 2016).

Operational Issue Four:
The fourth operational issue that Albatross Anchor should focus on is environmental analysis. There are key factors in the employee’s workplace environment that impact greatly on their level of motivation and performance. The workplace environment that is set in place impacts employee morale, productivity and engagement - both positively and negatively. The work place environment in a majority of industry is unsafe and unhealthy. These includes poorly designed workstations, unsuitable furniture, lack of ventilation, inappropriate lighting, excessive noise, insufficient safety measures in fire emergencies and lack of personal protective equipment. People working in such environment are prone to occupational disease and it impacts on employee’s performance. Thus productivity is decreased due to the workplace environment (Chandrasekar, 2011).

Conclusion
Albatross Anchor has a few issues that they need to address in order for their business to perform better. They need to update their technology, look into getting a bigger building, check into outsourcing and work on their distribution management. They should have programs in place that will help motivate their employees, which will be good for both the company and the employees. They need to make sure to keep their employees happy. Albatross Anchor needs to put more focus on the working environment that they are providing for their employees. They need to make sure that it is safe and free from harm.

References
Case Study #2 Retrieved June 14, 2016 from file:///C:/Users/aaron's/Downloads/MT435%20Case%20Study%202.pdf
Chandrasekar, K. (2011). Workplace environment and its impact on organizational performance Retrieved June 14, 2016 from http://www.ijecbs.com/January2011/N4Jan2011.pdf
Gain sharing and Profit Sharing (2016). Retrieved June 14, 2016 from http://psychology.iresearchnet.com/industrial-organizational-psychology/recruitment/gainsharing-and-profit-sharing/
Russell, R.S. & Taylor, B.W. III (2014). Operations and supply chain management, Eighth ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
Workplace Ergonomics (2016), Retrieved June 14, 2016 from http://ergo-plus.com/workplace-ergonomics/
Yurkschatt, J. (2015). Importance of Cross Training in the Workplace Retrieved June 14, 2016 from http://www.directrecruiters.com/uncategorized/blog/importance-of-cross-training-in-the-workplace/…...

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