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Introduction to Business

Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

Introduction to BusinessPreparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills

  1. Tom Lawrence and Sally Zickle are co-owners of L-Z Marketing, an advertising agency. Last week, they landed a major aerospace manufacturer as a client. The company wants the agency to create its annual report. Tom, who develops the art for the agency, needs about a week to develop the preliminary report design, another two weeks to set the type, and three weeks to get the report printed. Sally writes the material for the report and doesn’t need as much time: two days to meet with the client to review the company’s financial information and about three weeks to write the report copy. Of course, Tom can’t set type until Sally has finished writing the report. Sally will also need three days to proofread the report before it goes to the printer. Develop either a Gantt chart or a critical path diagram for Tom and Sally to use in scheduling the project. Explain why you chose the method you did. How long will it take Tom and Sally to finish the project if there are no unforeseen delays? (Resources, Systems)
  2. Look for ways that technology and automation are used at your school, in the local supermarket, and at your doctor’s office. As a class, discuss how automation affects the service you receive from each of these organizations. Does one organization use any types of automation that might be effectively used by one of the others? Explain. (Interpersonal, Information)
  3. Pick a small business in your community. Make a list of the resources critical to the firm’s production and operations. What would happen if the business suddenly couldn’t acquire any of these resources? Divide the class into small groups and discuss strategies that small businesses can use to manage their supply chain. (Resources, Information, Interpersonal)
  4. Broadway Fashions is a manufacturer of women’s dresses. The company’s factory has 50 employees. Production begins when the fabric is cut according to specified patterns. After being cut, the pieces for each dress style are placed into bundles, which then move through the factory from worker to worker. Each worker opens each bundle and does one assembly task, such as sewing on collars, hemming dresses, or adding decorative items such as appliqués. Then, the worker puts the bundle back together and passes it on to the next person in the production process. Finished dresses are pressed and packaged for shipment. Draw a diagram showing the production process layout in Broadway Fashions’ factory. What type of factory layout and process is Broadway using? Discuss the pros and cons of this choice. Could Broadway improve production efficiency by using a different production process or factory layout? How? Draw a diagram to explain how this might look. (Resources, Systems)
  5. As discussed in this chapter, many U.S. firms have moved their manufacturing operations to overseas locations in the past decade. Although there can be sound financial benefits to this choice, moving production overseas can also raise new challenges for operations managers. Identify several of these challenges, and offer suggestions for how operations managers can use the concepts in this chapter to minimize or solve them. (Resources, Information)
  6. Team Exercise Reliance Systems, headquartered in Oklahoma City, is a manufacturer of computer keyboards. The company plans to build a new factory and hopes to find a location with access to low-cost but skilled workers, national and international transportation, and favorable government incentives. Working in teams, assign tasks, and use the internet and your school library to research possible site locations, both domestic and international. Choose a location you feel would best meet the company’s needs. Make a group presentation to the class explaining why you have chosen this location. Include information about the location’s labor force, similar manufacturing facilities already located there, availability of resources and materials, possible local incentives, political and economic environment in the location, and any other factors you feel make this an attractive location. After all teams have presented their proposed locations, as a class rank all of the locations and decide the top two Reliance should investigate further. (Interpersonal, Information)
  7. Your teacher has just announced a huge assignment, due in three weeks. Develop a Gantt chart to plan and schedule more effectively.
    • Break the assignment down into smaller tasks: pick a topic; conduct research at the library or on the internet; organize your notes; develop an outline; and write, type, and proofread the paper.
    • Estimate how much time each task will take.
    • Across the top of a piece of paper, list all the days until the assignment is due. Along the side of the paper, list all the tasks you’ve identified in the order they need to be done.
    • Starting with the first task, block out the number of days you estimate each task will take. Include days that you won’t be able to work on the project.
    • Track the actual time spent on each task.

After you complete and submit your assignment, compare your time estimates to the actual time each task took. How can these findings help you with future assignments? (Resources, Systems)

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