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Kuiper Leda, Inc. is an electronic components manufacturer of Electronic Control Units and Sensors for the auto industry. The company currently has a plant that assembles Electronic Control Units (ECU) and a production line dedicated to microchips. Kuiper Leda currently added another production line for Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) tags. Kuiper Leda is aggressively adding new technology in anticipation of being able to meet the growing demand in the automotive industry. The 21st century corporate environment is distinguished by competition, complexity, and change.

To prepare for the upcoming changes, Kuiper Leda has hired a new VP of Supply Chain Management who is charged with making decisions that affect the companies supply chain operation. The new VP will have to immediately consider how to meet the increased demand for products under the current output conditions. As the company grows, the VP will need to understand demand management and how to streamline Kuiper Leda’s supply chain operations. The new VP will need to identify key drivers of the supply chain from raw materials to finished goods.

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Situation Analysis Issue and Opportunity Identification There is a difference between forecasting and the Just In Time (JIT) concept. Forecasting is the method used in determining what the future needs of the company are. Forecasting methods have developed from simplistic to complex equations. Forecasting can be classified into four basic types: qualitative, time series analysis, causal relationships, and simulation. Qualitative techniques are subjective or judgmental and are based on estimates and opinions. Time series analysis …

is based on the idea that data relating to past demand can be used to predict future demand. Past data may include several components, such as trend, seasonal, or cyclical influences, … Causal forecasting,… assumes that demand is related to some underlying factor or factors in the environment. Simulation models allow the forecaster to run through a range of assumptions about the condition of the forecast. (Chase, Jacobs, and Aqiulano, 2005, p. 513). Forecasting accurately allows for companies to utilize the Just-in-Time (JIT) concept.

This concept allows for companied to order from suppliers just the amount needed to facilitate the production schedule. Develop a plan that optimizes the supply chain. For a company to achieve a competitive advantage in today market, the management of the supply chain needs to be set as a high priority. To optimize the supply chain a plan should be developed that includes a supply chain design strategy, mass customization, global sourcing, and a design for logistics, value density, and outsourcing. A supply chain design strategy is design differently for global and national companies.

The strategy consists of applying “a total systems approach to managing the entire flow of information, materials, and services from raw materials suppliers through factories and warehouses to the end customer” (Chase, Jacobs, and Aqiulano, 2005, p. 406). Mass customization is the ability of a manufacturer to customize its product for the end consumer. “The key to mass-customizing effectively is postponing the task of differentiating a product for a specific customer until the latest possible point in the supply network” (Chase, et al.

, p. 419). Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas Kuiper Leda is interested in obtaining a greater portion of the market share in the automotive industry. Zach Muir, Chief Executive Officer, is interested in obtain the goals of the company. Natalie Zamora, Vice President of Finance, is focused on looking forward at the changes within Kuiper Leda. Nicole Swanson, Vice President of Operations, is a champion of testing the ideas presented. The suppliers of Kuiper Leda desire to provide a needed product at a competitive price.

Stakeholders play multiple roles in the supply chain. Most consulting projects impact in some way each of five types of stakeholders: customers, stockholders, employees, suppliers, and the community. The importance of considering the interest of all stakeholders is reflected in the mission statements of virtually all major corporations and, as such, provides guidance for consultants in formulating their recommendations. (Chase, et al. , p 388).

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