Operations & Supply Chain Management
The British connection:A ransom negotiation NG1-141-I
What is the best approach to negotiating the release of a person who has been kidnapped for ransom?
This case details the step-by-step process used by LondonX, a large British insurance company, to help families of individuals who have been taken hostage negotiate their safe release with their captors. It examines negotiation techniques used by both sides and can be used to analyze various issues including negotiation techniques, alignment of interests between the insurer and the family, advice to victims and families, and ethical issues in high-stakes negotiations.Academic Area:Others | Negotiation
General Hospital Coronary Unit DO1-157-I
This case begins by telling about what happened to a woman named Carmen when she thought she may have been having a heart attack so she called 911. After answering a number of questions, the operator transferred her call to a doctor. She had to explain her situation again and answer even more questions. Then the ambulance came, where she answered the same questions again. Next, she went to the emergency room where a different doctor asked her the same questions, some tests were done and then told her she needed an X-ray. Unfortunately, after waiting two more hours, she was told that she the tests needed to be redone because the doctor hadn’t signed the authorization for the first ones. She finally got the results and although everything was normal, she still had to be admitted for further tests. Due to a shortage of beds, she had to be moved to another hospital (General Hospital). But she still did not get a bedroom and had to go through the process of answering the same questions for a doctor and nurse again…
Lopez Vega, a cardiac surgeon at General Hospital, and his colleagues agreed that the way patients were handled needed to be changed. In order to make improvements, they did a failure mode effect analysis in order to expose recurring errors and inefficiencies. At the end of the case, readers are asked to analyze the hospital service chain problems they saw in Carmen’s story and the process flow diagrams with the associated failure models. Then they are asked how they would apply the recommendations to eliminate or reduce the root causes of process failure.Academic Area:Operations & Supply Chain Management
J. Rutz. Developing a Strategic Continuous Improveme … DO1-156-I
The case study describes the experience of Javier Rutz as operations director and later as general manager of NERTUS, a leading company in the sector of railway maintenance services in Spain.
The company was founded by Spanish rail operator Renfe and Siemens, a leading train manufacturing company, to provide maintenance services for Siemens’ trains. From the beginning, NERTUS stands out for the high quality of its services and its great capacity for continuous improvement.
Shortly after its Foundation, Javier Rutz joined the company, first as director of operations and later as general manager. During this period, the philosophy of continuous improvement reached its maximum splendor.
After concluding a highly successful professional stage, Javier Rutz leaves the company and asks himself which is the best way to exploit his experience for his professional future: should he continue as a senior executive in another company or undertake a different challenge through his own company to provide consulting services that offer “the design and implementation of management models based on continuous improvement, with a strategic perspective?”
Aims to identify what are the key strategic and organizational elements that allow the successful implementation of a continuous improvement methodology. These strategic and organizational variables, such as customer orientation, company culture, leadership, transparency of information, etc., are shown throughout the case in a general way and in some examples presented by J. Rutz on NERTUS.Academic Area:Operations & Supply Chain Management
Iberian Lifts, S.A. DO1-155-I
Iberian Lifts is a manufacturer of elevators, which is experiencing a serious financial crisis. The shareholders—the founder’s sons—are selling their shares for a nominal €1 to their main supplier Nomo Electronics. The new owner of the company, Alberto Nogales, has appointed Lucas Alemany as managing director of Iberian Lifts. Up until this time, Alemany has been director of operations at Nomo Electronics.
The morning after signing the share purchase agreement, Nogales is visiting the plant. During his tour of the factory, an incident involving two workers occurs which leads to their dismissal without any warning. The manager of that section is also fired for not carrying out orders.
In the afternoon, Nogales leaves the factory to return to Nomo Electronics’ offices, situated in another city. Alemany remains as the top executive and is unsure about what will happen the following day with the union representatives regarding the dismissal of three colleagues. He is not sure if Nogales’s actions will increase the social tension in the factory even more, or, on the contrary, if it will facilitate the management of the changes to be made.
This case is very well suited as a first approach to the case method for students, especially given its short and concise format.Academic Area:Operations & Supply Chain Management
ABB and Galindo: Winning the Peace (B) RH1-148-B-I
Part B of this case goes beyond the organizational problems of the restructuring described in part A, and addresses the personal situation, commitment and management of the emotions during the mentioned process. This part goes into details of how Esther decided to go above and beyond in many aspects to help resolve the personal situation of workers and managers alike with the best of all of their abilities.Academic Area:Human Resources | Negotiation
ABB and Galindo: Winning the Peace (A) RH1-148-A-I
The complexity of restructuring of large companies can hardly ever be ignored. ABB & Galindo brings up the dilemma of Esther, Human Resources director at the factory, when she is faced with the transition of a factory into a service center. This meant either relocating, retraining or letting go most if not all of the current workers, with the additional complication that even after the official announcement the factory still had to run for another 18 months. This case also has a part B.Academic Area:Human Resources | Negotiation
ABB & GALINDO: Stretching managerial responsibil … DE1-212-I
The case follows the implementation of ABB´s decision to restructure its operations in Spain and close the manufacturing line at its Galindo factory in the Basque Country. ABB was required to enter into formal negotiations with its workers towards a Labor Force Reduction Procedure (ERE). The workers at Galindo strongly objected to ABB´s restructuring proposals and were not placated by the company´s generous offers of compensation and employee retraining. The workers employed a number of strategies to derail the ERE including appealing to local politicians and engaging in public protests. After negotiations failed, a final decision was made to approve the ERE by the Ministry of Labor in Madrid.Academic Area:Strategy | Negotiation
Managing capacity in the intermediate term: aggregat … DO2-003-I
“Notes and cases of operations often seem to be based on the analysis of operating systems in an unchanging environment. The emphasis is placed on understanding and evaluating basic characteristics of company’s operations, working under reasonably stable conditions in terms of demand and markets. However, business works differently in practice. Markets demand competition and strategic change. Operating systems should be adapted to new strategic needs. Even in situations where strategic and competitive framework is reasonably stable (where the convenience or otherwise making of changes in a coherently designed and well managed operating system could be questioned), demand does not usually remain stable in the course of time.”
This technical note related to strategy details planning and scheduling procedures to manage dynamic capacity.Academic Area:Operations & Supply Chain Management
Developing enhanced business analytics in healthcare … DO1-154-A-I
This case reveals the importance of business analytics and process data to nurture organizational excellence and continuous operational improvement. The organization in focus is a paradigmatic example of a data-driven health care organization with outstanding worldwide levels of excellence. In 2005, the organization faced various challenges: it was increasingly difficult to improve donation rates (due to fewer traffic accidents and aging population) and the system exhibited large variations in observed performance (some hospitals could not replicate other’s ability to find donors). In contrast to manufacturing contexts or simpler service deliveries in the case of organ donation and transplant, the appraisal of performance is complex and subjective as (1) some factors are not controllable (e.g., patient’s age, medical background, relative’s propensity to consent) and (2) some processes are not fully observable (e.g., surgeon deciding not to accept an organ, judge not allowing a donation to take place). As a result, performance metrics are hard to define and realize in practice.
The case can be used as part of an operations management core or courses related to business analytics, service delivery or data science.Academic Area:Operations & Supply Chain Management | Digital Technologies & Data Science