Case Study 1: Lew-Mark Baking Company

2157 words 9 pages
Case Study 1: Lew-Mark Baking Company

The Company
The Lew-Mark Baking Company is located in a small town in western New York State.The bakery is run by two brothers. Lew and Mark, who formed the company after theypurchased an Archway Cookie franchise. With exclusive rights in New York and New Jersey,it is the largest Archway franchise. The company employs fewer than 200 people, mainly bluecollar workers, and the atmosphere is informal.

The Product
The company’s only product is soft cookies, of which it makes over 50 varieties. Larger companies, such as Nabisco, Sunshine, and Keebler, have traditionally produced biscuit cookies, in which most of the water has been baked out, resulting in crisp cookies. Archway cookies have no additives
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Potential Improvements
There are a number of areas of potential improvement at the bakery. One possibility would be automate packing the cookies into boxes. Although labour costs are not high, automating the process might save some money and increase efficiency. So far, the owners have resisted making this change because they feel an obligation to the community to employ the 30 women who now do the boxing manually. Another possible improvement would be to use suppliers who are located closer to the plant. That would reduce delivery lead times and transportation costs, but the owners are not convinced that local suppliers could provide the same good quality. Other opportunities have been proposed in recent years, but the owner rejected them because they feared that the quality of the product might suffer.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Do you think that the company is making the right decision by not automating the packing of cookies? Explain your reasoning.
2. Propose an automation implementation plan that is most suitable for the cookie production in the company. Explain your proposal.

Briefly describe the cookie production process.
The production process is called a batch processing system. This process entails the company obtaining orders from distributors. From this point the amount of ingredients are calculated by the person in charge of mixing who enters the information into the computer to calculate the amount of ingredients

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