Operations & Supply Chain Management

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. J. Rutz. Desarrollo de un modelo estratégico de mejo … DO1-156

    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
  4. Iberian Lifts, S.A. DO1-155

    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
  5. 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
  6. 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 | Information Systems & Technologies
  7. 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
  8. Centros deportivos AQA. Estrategias para reducir las … DO1-151

    Something is changing in the sport center sector, and AQA in the district of Hortaleza (Madrid) is no exception. It is necessary to add the changing habits of current clients to the increased drop in members - Clients now use the center more intensively, which is generating a saturation that is affecting the level of service. The management of the center is doing everything possible to counteract the dwindling number of members by gaining new memberships.

    AQA is a chain that manages eleven sports centers in Spain, all of which are under a government concession for operations. AQA’s closest competition in the district of Hortaleza is the various sport centers owned by other national and international chains. But there is another new player on the court: low cost sports centers.

    AQA’s CEO believes that, thanks to the launch of concrete steps to increase customer loyalty, now is the time to reorient itself.

    Academic Area:
    Operations & Supply Chain Management
  9. Supply and demand management at UBS DO1-150-I

    Thomas Schnadt, head of supply management for Swiss bank UBS, is challenged with the goal of achieving significant cost cuts and with savings targets for non-personnel related and 3rd party costs of one billion Swiss Francs in the following two years. In order to accomplish this goal, Schnadt must restructure cost planning in order to not only deliver short term savings, but also savings that would carry on into the future. In this case, students will investigate solutions that allow for continued cost reduction.

    Academic Area:
    Operations & Supply Chain Management
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