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Improving Production at Beothic Fish

Improving Production at Beothic Fish

Discuss the case study, Improving Production at Beothic Fish, focusing the following elements of the case:

Identify the problem
Diagnose the cause(s)
The case study indicates that the general manager plans on reorganizing the floor plan of the plant. Offer your recommendations on how to reorganize the floor plan. Please also offer what metrics should be used to determine if the reorganized floor plan is effective.

The competition possessed groups of 3-4 students. Actuarial Mathematics (MAC) majors to Management Engineering (MGE) majors were represented at the event held by IIE. The competition, as does IIE, invited participants from all majors and all year levels. The teams received the case at 9:00 am (while most people would be sleeping in on a Sunday) in the Washburn (WB) Labs lounge and had six hours to understand, analyze, and solve the case. Each team had to have a short paper written and a PowerPoint presentation finished by 3:00 pm, which was the time the presentations started. This experience was one of the most stressful I have ever had, but I would not have changed it for the world. I learned how to work with people I’ve never worked with before in a fast paced environment to solve a problem and present a solution. The case was about improving production at Beothic Fish Processors Ltd., a fish processing facility, by improving the plant layout and taking into consideration the criteria requested by management. Beothic processed capelin (a type of fish) which they had to separate (choosing only the marketable intermediate sized females), package, weigh, and forklift to be frozen and stored. Their current system was inefficient and unsafe for workers as the work space was crowded; workers had to keep one eye on their work and another on the forklift. Good product was lost because it would accidentally fall onto the waste conveyer that was right below the conveyer of unsorted capelin. Management wanted to fix these problems so they could maximize capacity. We needed to figure out a way to fix the problems by changing layout; neither building a new facility nor expanding the current building was an option. At 3:00 pm, each team presented and defended their solutions to a panel of three judges. Professor Renata Konrad (IE Professor and IIE Faculty Advisor), Professor Amy Zeng (Director of the IE Program), and Wally Towner (IE adjunct professor), took time out of their busy schedules to judge the event. Thank you, professors. All of the teams came up with great solutions but “there can only be one” or “there can be only one” (Highlander). The winners and runner-ups received gift cards and everyone received small complimentary prizes. Even though there was only one winning team, everyone who participated was a winner. (Yes, I know that was cheesy but I stand by what I said.) We learned how to work with people that we may or may not have known nor worked with before and come up a solution or solutions to present.

The Truth Research Levels of competition was a fantastic possibility to find out and tactic to group of people. We also had free dinner (the best kind) afterwards. I hope to see more people next year. For those IE majors and others interested in what else IIE has to offer – IIE has just started an chapter-wide Mentor/Mentee Program, hosted a very successful Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Course in February 2011, and has connected with GE Aviation to run great guest lectures at meetings and provide GE Aviation operations-based plant tours!

The third scenario review concentrates on Pakistan. Social dualism, identified as a key factor in the Tasmania and Newfoundland case studies, is a pronounced, arguably defining characteristic of Pakistani society. Pakistan is afflicted by poverty, corruption, dysfunctional institutions and an economy distorted by structural characteristics associated with unproductive rent-seeking activities. Military dictatorship, sectarian violence, a constant threat of war with its neighbours and the rise of militant religious fundamentalism are also features of Pakistan’s seemingly perpetual state of crisis. A fishery case study demonstrates the apparent compatibility and easy integration of market mechanisms and private property rights within Pakistan’s traditional feudal system, but shows how, ultimately, this does not support institutional and social structures conducive to sustainability. The analysis is extended to establish a link between the social and economic insecurity of people displaced from access to resources, whether this is a consequence of political aspects of distribution or results from environmental collapse, and the rise of fundamentalisms, which, through their suppression of communal rationality, become causes as well as symptoms of sustainability dysfunction. In conclusion, the study supports arguments that the transformation of fisheries, and by extension, of societies more generally in accordance with prevailing neoliberal trends undermine the social cohesion and institutional, integrity required for sustainability.

The Pakistan case research contains background information depending on textual examination, sizeable everyday interviews with important informants, and personal findings created throughout go to the area. This is combined with a fishery case study from Rawal Lake near Islamabad that was developed using a traditional, almost stereotypical, ethnographic social science approach. This fishery case study was researched during a one-month visit to Pakistan in April/May 2001. During this visit I also travelled widely in the North West Frontier Province and Punjab Province between Islamabad and Peshawar, and in the northern regions of Mardan, the upper Swat River Valley and the Kagan Valleys. This travel provided the opportunity to observe, first hand, conditions in Pakistan to support information obtained from literature sources and from numerous informal discussions. I was greatly assisted in this field research by a friend and colleague, a Pakistani national who had recently completed a Masters degree at the University of Tasmania, and who provided essential translation skills, background information and logistical support, and who also facilitated interviews with government officials, academics and other sources. Fieldwork for the Newfoundland and Pakistan chapters required flexibility to respond to unforeseen problems and to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. For example, the deterioration of security in Pakistan following September 2001 made a follow up visit in mid-2002 inadvisable and the study, therefore, was limited to working with material gathered during the initial field exercise in 2001. Nevertheless, this was adequate to develop an important section of the thesis. Conversely, unforeseen sources of travel assistance became available in 2002 and facilitated the study visit to Newfoundland in the northern hemisphere summer and fall of that year. A flexible research approach allowed these and other changes to be accommodated with some shifts of emphasis in the degree of attention devoted to the different chapters. While, clearly, the final proportions of different sections of the thesis were influenced to some extent by uncontrollable factors such as these, they did not unduly compromise its general shape and direction.