OPS 571 Week 3 Discussion Questions

First DQs


Jim Womack, Ph.D., at MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program to describe Toyota’s business during the late 1980s, coined the term “lean.” A lean organization accounts for customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase that value. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste. Does your organization utilize a lean process? If so, please provide what the processes are and how they work. If not, how could lean helped your organization?

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Second DQs


Great points. The numerous organizations I have had the opportunity to work for all attempt to use some sort of LEAN process. To reach the point of LEAN processing, businesses need to use value stream mapping to continuously improve processes. Jacobs & Chase (2014) define value stream mapping as a “special type of flowcharting tool that is valuable for the development of LEAN processes” (p. 423). I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous teams that have been in charge of eliminating waste (i.e. non-value added steps) from a process. The first step in this process is to create a value stream map. This could begin as an “as-is” process for the current state and later become a leaned version of the process with a reduction in cycle time, waste, etc. resulting in a more efficient process. The use of a spaghetti map may help to capture movements of an actor within the production process. In doing this the process may be broken down into small sample sizes and process functions. Have you ever used a value stream or spaghetti map? If so, how did these work for you? If not, would these tools be hard to use?


Jacobs, F.R. & Chase, R.B. (2014). Operations and supply chain management (14th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Third DQ


Sometimes organizations do not advertise their process improvement efforts, but without them there is certainly waste. Looking at waste, there are some companies that tried to implement a higher level of productivity by increasing capacity through reduction of human waste; i.e., taking breaks, unproductive talking, or sick time off. Could you imagine a firm that offers employees bonuses based on reducing bathroom breaks; it happens. How would you feel if your firm docked pay because you called in sick or took to many bathroom breaks because they wanted to increase productivity?

Fourth DQ


Good post and explanation how your organization uses Lean principles. Do you think empowering employees and allowing them to have input and control over their processes and work effort helps with Lean principles? I really believe that allowing for buy-in by employees helps the overall organization. It could be stated, process improvement and employee empowerment goes hand in hand. For example, practicing Lean Six Sigma encourages action along a broad front by empowering people at all levels to contribute. This allows organizations to welcome challenges and implement improvement initiatives. Six Sigma brings the discipline of define, measure, analyze, improve and control, as well as the rigor of statistical analysis, to identify a root cause, sustain improvement and provide the solid measurements that create a balanced scorecard within an organization (Bozarth & Handfield, 2008). Do you agree or disagree and why?

Cited Works:

Bozarth, C. C., & Handfield, R. B. (2008). Introduction to Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Malcolm

Fifth DQ


Nice post, sounds like just-in-time manufacturing. Just-in-time lends well within the pharmaceutical and other medical supply needs also. Understanding the need for medical supplies at a moment’s notice, do you think medical supply managers would establish stock-levels on products while using a just-in-time supply mechanism to ensure shelves would stay no lower than minimum levels? I know some medical supplies have a shelf life, use by, date that if products are not managed well, hospitals operations costs may increase. Within the Air Force, they have a medical logistics system to track demand levels, stocking, and product replacement based on inventory, do you know of a system or systems that help manage demand levels in any business environment? If you do, who validates the demand levels or accounts for cyclical usage adjusting demand levels as needed?

Course: OPS/571 Operations Management
School: University of Phoenix

  • 18/12/2017
  • 40
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