Operations Management Case Study: Carter's Bakery

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Carter's Bakery can be classed as a small/medium sized business which is currently expanding; however this expansion has also brought about a few problems for its owners. This expansion is also affecting the management of the bakery's operations through its effects on the production and other functions.


As part of the consultation, a few operations management issues have been identified and recommendations have been presented.
Carter's Bakery differentiates itself from its competitors by specialising in high quality decorated fruit cakes, instead of making a variety of products. This suggests that Carter's Bakery is focussing on its quality objective (Waters 2002, Slack et al 2007) and this is reflected in the bakery's processes and procedures which place an emphasis on quality. However, the need to maintain quality has raised the operational management issue of design. Carter's Bakery is currently operating on a batch process which means that there is little room for variation and flexibility (Waters 2002, Slack et al 2007). This process is appropriate for the volume of orders that Carter's Bakery is processing, and the high volumes can only be output by a batch process. However, the bakery also decided to capitalise on growing sales by producing smaller cakes to retail shops for family purchases and this is when the operations design issue became apparent to the owners. Due to the high demand for the later product, the bakery had to increase production, and even this was not enough to sustain demand. The batch process can no longer sustain the operations of the bakery as the process requires certain periods of rest which do not allow for the bakery to meet demand. ...
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