Placewrite, Inc., an independent outplacement service, helps unemployed executives find jobs. One of the major activities of the service is preparing resumes. Three word processors work at the service typing resumes and cover letters. Together they h

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    Placewrite, Inc., an independent outplacement service, helps unemployed executives find jobs. One of the major activities of the service is preparing resumes. Three word processors work at the service typing resumes and cover letters. Together they handle about 120 individual clients. Turnaround time for typing is expected to be 24 hours. The word-processing operation begins with clients placing work in the assigned word processor�s bin. When the word processor picks up the work (in batches), it is logged in using a time clock stamp and the work is typed and printed. After the batch is completed, the word processor returns the documents to the clients� bins, logs in the time delivered, and picks up new work. A supervisor tries to balance the workload for the three word processors. Lately, many of the clients have been complaining about errors in their documents�misspellings, missing lines, wrong formatting, and so on. The supervisor has told the word processors to be more careful, but the errors still persist.


a) Develop a cause-and-effect diagram that might clarify the source of errors.


b) What tools might the supervisor use to study ways to reduce the number of errors?


2. What are some of the impacts that the Baldrige program has provided, both in the U.S. and around the world?


3. Please read the Case study in Chapter 11 CLIFTON METAL WORKS (9th edition of our book and I provided case study write up in the next page of this document) and answer the following questions:


a) Comment on the current mission statement. Does it provide the strategies direction necessary for success for this company? b) How can the mission statement be improved? Suggest a better statement of mission, vision, and guiding principles (identify their values)




Clifton Metal Works (CMW) was founded in the mid-1940s by Donald Chalmer in a 3,000 square-foot build-ing with nine people as a small family business to produce custom machined parts. In the 1960s, as business grew, the company expanded its facilities and its capability to develop its own tooling patterns, eventually moving into a 40,000-square-foot building.


However, as technology advanced, small family businesses like CMW met stiff competition. To survive, the company knew it had to listen more to its customers. From surveys and focus groups, the firm discovered that customers were not happy with the quality of the products they had been receiving. In 1985, CMW made a commitment to quality by hiring a quality assurance manager, Paul Levitt. Driven by the Deming philosophy, the company developed a variety of quality approaches and eventually became ISO 9000 certified in 1998. CMW made some substantial improvements in the quality of its products, particularly reducing scrap and reject rates. Paul worked closely with the factory workers directly responsible for the products, asking them what they needed to get the job done and ensuring management commitment to provide the necessary resources. For example, CMW invested in computer-based statistical process control technology, which enabled workers to monitor their processes and adjust them as needed. The success of this project led the company to empower employees to control many other aspects of the system. Business remained steady, but after hearing presentations from some Baldrige winners, Chalmer realized that a lot more could be done. In 2005, he hired a senior executive for performance excellence, James Hubbard. Hubbard saw an opportunity to change the company�s culture and introduce many Baldrige principles he had learned in his previous job at a manufacturing firm that had applied the Baldrige criteria for many years. One of the first things he did was to review the current mission statement, which had remained relatively untouched since 1985: Our mission at CMW is to improve the return on investment. We can accomplish this by changing attitudes and incorporating a quality/team environment. This will improve the quality of our products, enhance our productivity (which in turn will allow us to quote competitive prices), and elevate our service and response level to our customers. There are several factors, which make positive change imperative. The standards for competitive levels of quality and service are becoming more demanding. The emergence of the �World Market� has brought on new challenges. We are in a low-growth, mature market. In order for CMW to improve return on investment, we must develop a strategy to improve quality and responsiveness in all areas of the company. We need to have all employees recognize the importance of product quality and service and move toward more favorable pricing. We need to change thinking throughout the organization to get employees involved, to encourage teamwork, to develop a more flexible workforce and adaptable organization. We need to instill pride in the workplace and the product. We believe that we can best achieve the desired future state by study of and adherence to the teachings of W. Edwards Deming. Hubbard did not feel that this mission statement provided a clear and vivid direction, especially in the twenty-first century. Consequently, he set up a planning retreat for senior management (including Chalmer) to develop a new strategic vision.

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