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Danshui Case

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Apple Corporation released iPhone 4 on June 24, 2010 and sold more than 1.7 million units in the first three days. To prepare for the launch of the new product, Apple contracted with the Danshui Plant No. 2 to assemble the new iPhones. Danshui Plant No.2, a contract manufacturer in southern China that assembles electronic products for companies wishing to save on labor costs, received a one-year contract starting on June 1, 2010 with the Apple Corporation to assemble 2.4 million iPhone 4s. In the first three months of the contract it became obvious that the plant was unable to assemble the expected 200,000 iPhones per month and was operating at a loss. Although the plant is known for hiring semi-skilled workers, the new iPhone contract required a complex assembly process entirely based on handwork by 325 workers, with 140 steps involving 100 components during 5 days. To anticipate the need for qualified workers, Danshui had raised their factory wages by almost 30%. But even with the wage increase, Danshui was not able to hire enough qualified workers to assemble the complex new product. Another issue was that, based on original modeling, Danshui was actually operating at a loss and was unable to fill the expected 200,000 per month iPhone quota in the first three months. To begin analyzing the root causes for the shortfall, the controller had considered preparing a “flexible budget” to provide a more realistic comparison of the performance to the budget. If the plant does not analyze the root causes of the problems and find the alternatives ways, it will not be able to deliver on the Apple contract, in the short-term, and in the long-term will lead to inefficiency of controlling the material costs, labor and overhead.
Problem Statement:
Danshui Plant No. 2 faced two major important issues: The fact that for the first three months of the Apple contract, it…...

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