Question Description

Please write a reply to this students discussion board post that was answering the 5 questions related to the case study that is attached.

Here is what the student posted, that you are replying to:

Discussion Board One: Meditech Surgical Case Study

Question 1

The first question in the Meditech Surgical case study by Simchi-Levi, Kaminsky, and Simchi-Levi (2008) asks students: what are Meditech’s problems in introducing new products? In manufacturing all product?

Simchi-Levi et al. (2008) explained that one problem with supply chain management is that each facility in the supply chain has different and conflicting objectives. Therefore, the issues plaguing Meditech derive from the decentralized nature across the country. Each facility in the Meditech network is dealing with their problems and conflicting objectives, as well as the lack of organizational processes when it comes to forecasting demand and record keeping. The production problems plaguing Meditech stem from a hybrid push-pull system when it comes to manufacturing their product. Meditech has no difficulties when introducing a new product to market. However, they have a problem when fulfilling those orders and keeping the customers happy.

Question 2

The second question in the Meditech Surgical case study by Simchi-Levi et al. (2008) asks students: what is driving these problems, both systemically and organizationally?

Systemically, these problems derive from the lack of data collection and record keeping. Currently, Meditech does not track forecast and demand accuracy. Also, these systematic problems occur from the lack of standardized systems and record keeping across the network. Organizationally, these problems derive from the overall decentralized nature of the Meditech organization. Meditech currently operates four manufacturing facilities across the country. Simchi-Levi et al. (2008) explained that a supply chain is a vast and complex network. However, the decentralized network of Meditech facilities is only increasing the complexity of their internal networks.

Question 3

The third question in the Meditech Surgical case study by Simchi-Levi et al. (2008) asks students: why is the customer service manager the first person to recognize the major issues?

Hazen and Ellinger (2019) explained that fulfilling customer service requirements are critical for building long-term collaborative relationships. Meditech’s sales force markets these new products directly to their distributors, who then sell to the material managers of the hospitals. Those managers focus not only on cost but also the delivery of the end product. These managers build a trusting relationship with Meditech, and when that relationship falters, they will look elsewhere for their products. Mr. Franklin, the customer service manager, is the first person to recognize these issues because his team is the one handling all the communication with these angry customers.

Question 4

The fourth question in the Meditech Surgical case study by Simchi-Levi et al. (2008) asks students: how would you fix these issues?

Meditech has not been keeping forecast accuracy data on potential demand and solely relying on the word of the marketing and sales teams. First, Meditech should implement a centralized system and methodology for demand patterns, production rates, and forecasts. Then, that data should be reviewed after the product launch for accuracy to gauge forecast accuracy for future orders. Simchi-Levi et al. (2008) explained that matching supply and demand is a significant challenge, and one of the most significant concerns when managing uncertainty in the supply chain. However, accurate data mining and collection of these trends and patterns would minimize these risks. This would increase delivery accuracy to the customers, which would alleviate the dealers from panic ordering larger quantities in hope to receive a small portion of their order on time. Therefore, mitigating the calls that Mr. Franklin and his team are receiving from the customers that are not getting their product in time. Second, Meditech should reduce its decentralized nature by expanding into one manufacturing facility that also houses all leadership and management. This centralization of leadership and manufacturing would increase communication, and give the decision makes real-time information of what is happening in the manufacturing facilities. Finally, Meditech should introduce a pull system throughout the entire process. This pull system will start at the order point, back through packaging and sterilization, and ending with assembly and components. Kumar, Choe, and Venkataramani (2012) showed that a pull system is a lean approach that will reduce inventory, motion, and waiting time throughout the production process. This pull system will be based on the new and more accurate forecast data, which will then lead to a leaner inventory and reducing capital that is tied up in finished goods.

References

Hazen, B. T., & Ellinger, A. E. (2019). Special issue editorial: Logistics customer service revisited. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 49(1), 2-3. doi:10.1108/IJPDLM-02-2019-373

Kumar, S., Choe, D., & Venkataramani, S. (2012). Achieving customer service excellence using lean pull replenishment. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 62(1), 85-109. doi:10.1108/17410401311285318

Simchi-Levi, D., Kaminsky, P., & Simchi-Levi, E. (2008). Designing and managing the supply chain: Concepts, strategies and case studies (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Richard D. Irwin, Inc.