You are a partner at a major consulting firm that has won a competitive bid to provide Logistics consulting services to a large, world-class maker of cellular phones, tablets, and laptops. This client is the market leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing, of their tablet products. However, technological advancements and competitive pressure in the tablet market have combined to compel the client to continue to innovate, and to do so quickly, to ensure that they are not left behind. A major concern is that the client has stockpiled an enormous quantity of tablets that are no longer in demand.
Sales are now lower than expected, and client senior management has decided to to switch their product to state-of-the-art hardware and digital technology and equally importantly, to move to a JIT manufacturing model until the client is certain that the new tablet will be competitive and can enter the worldwide market. In your Logistics consulting role for the company, you are required to:
1) Recommend a way to reduce inventory. Our class readings share several ways that inventory can be reduced. Choose the best one and explain why this would be cost effective and beneficial for the company.
2) Explain the advantage and disadvantages to switching to a JIT system, and why this would or would not be the best system for this company and its products at this time. What are other considerations that might adversely influence the decision to transition to a JIT system?
3) Given that the JIT system is chosen, in what way will the supplier relationships change or improve? How should the company now work with their suppliers?
4) [Safety stock is held as a buffer to protect against shortages that may arise owing to uncertainties in demand, lead time, and supply. Improving forecast accuracy to reduce uncertainties in demand, reducing replenishment lead time, and working with more reliable suppliers are some of the approaches to reduce safety stock levels.] What risks would the company run up against if no safety stocks are present and how can they compensate for these risks if they choose the JIT system?
5) Distinguish between recycling, re-manufacturing and refurbishing. Give an example of how this company may use each, and which (any, all, or none) of these would be effective with the tablet product.
Cite sources and provide a reference page as appropriate.
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