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Transcript of Hazel Case
Questions:1. Hazel is the operations manager of her business. Among her responsibilities are forecasting, inventory management, scheduling, quality assurance, and maintenance.a.What kinds of things would likely require forecasts?
Estimatethe entire cost: Items| Price| Quantity| Total Cost| Lawn Mower| $150| 1| $150| Edger| $70| 1| $70| Hand Tools(Rakegrass cutteretc.)| $80| 1| $80| Truck and Trailer| $40| 1| $40| Chemicals| $50| 1| $50| Seeds| $50| 1| $50|
Weather and Climate Condition
The demand of law mowing services.Estimate market demand.Defined Customer Group: Customers who need the lawn mowing servicesDefined Time Period: within a month/a yearDefined Marketing Environment: the level of the customers purchasing power Service supply capabilityThe ability to provide lawn mowing services to the customers.
b.What inventory items does Hazel probably have? Nameone inventory decision she has to make periodically.
Lawn MowerThe most basic piece of equipment to start a lawn service is a lawn mower. If you plan to start your business caring for commercial properties, you may need a larger, more powerful mower as well as a smaller one. You will cover larger spaces with the larger one and use the smaller one for areas in which the larger mower cannot function as well.
Edger An edger is also a piece of necessary equipment to have when you start a lawn service. It allows you to trim grasses and weeds near trees, landscape edging and buildings. When you purchase an edger, consider the edgers source of power. Unless you have access to an electric outlet at all of your clients properties, a battery-operated edger with extra, charged batteries or a gas-powered edger will be necessary.
Hand Tools Landscape services provide more than lawn mowing and edging. Clients may ask you to pull weeds, trim hedges and bushes, and rake and bag leaves. Rakes, pruners, gloves, leaf and clippings bags, shovels and other hand tools are necessary for a lawn service. For each job you do, you may have to purchase a new hand tool, which will give you the tools necessary to do similar jobs in the future.
Truck and Trailer A truck to carry your equipment is necessary to starting a lawn service. As you buy more tools and equipment, you may need a trailer to help you carry them around from job to job. Your truck should ideally have a long bed and a bed liner of some type. Lawn service trucks see heavy usage and receive significant amounts of wear and tear.
Chemicals You should also purchase herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals to help lawns stay healthy. If youre going to provide organic lawn care, you may need to complete a green training course for lawn care providers.
c. What scheduling must she do? What things might occur to disrupt schedules and cause Hazel to reschedule?
It depends upon the demand of the customers, but Hazel will schedule weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly lawn maintenance service throughout the year to keep the lawn and garden in optimum condition through the winter, nourish it for a new season in the spring, maintain it during the hot summers, and prepare it for cooler temperatures in the fall.
Season| Services| Frequency| Winter:November, December,January, February| Winter lawn maintenance. * Raking leaves. * Over seeding with winter rye. * Good time to mulch beds. * Scheduling for top dressing lawns.| Mowing:monthly andbi-weekly| Spring:March| Spring lawn maintenance. * Scalp the lawn to cut off the winter kill of the grass blade. * Aerate lawns. * Fertilize lawn and landscape. * Clean up or install new flower beds. Cutting lawns. * Mulching and picking up spring leaves. * Landscape and grass installation.| Mowin|
Summer:April, May, June, July, and August| Summer lawn maintenance: * Mowing lawns. * Aerate lawns. * Check for insects and diseases in the lawn. * Water only in the early morning hours to prevent fungus growth in your lawn. * Landscape and grass installation.| Mowing:weekly is recommended however we do offer bi-weekly schedules.| Fall:September and October| Fall lawn maintenance: * Start planning for the fall. * Aerate lawns. * Schedule color changes. * Over seeding with rye seed which will last all winter long.| Mowing:weekly is recommended however we do offer bi-weekly schedules.|
Lawn Maintenance:January and February at least one time a month. March, November and December, bi-weekly. April through October maintenance on lawns is weekly.
Fertilizing:We like to fertilize three times a year with a professional grade fertilizer.
Aeration:This is best done in the spring and fall.
Bushes:All bushes are different in how they grow. Most bushes need to be trimmed every two months. We can put together a program to fit your needs.
Landscape and Grass Installation:The best time for installing a landscape is between the months of March through July. However, in Austin you can do it anytime, just be prepared to water well for the first few weeks!!!!
Top dressing lawns:Best done February through June and September and October. Works extra well with aerations.
Tree Trimming:We only trim low branches. Call for more information.
The things that might occur to disrupt the schedules are fortuitous events, such as stormsfloodsearthquake and other calamities.
d.How important is quality assurance to Hazels business?Explain.
Quality assurance is the process of verifying or determining whether products or services meet or exceed customer expectations. Quality assurance is a process-driven approach with specific steps to help define and attain goals. This process considers design, development, production, and service.The most popular tool used to determine quality assurance is the Shewhart Cycle. This cycle for quality assurance consists of four steps: Plan, Do, Check, and Act. These steps are commonly abbreviated as PDCA.Plan: Establish objectives and processes required to deliver the desired results.Do: Implement the process developed.Check: Monitor and evaluate the implemented process by testing the results against the predetermined objectivesAct: Apply actions necessary for improvement if the results require changes.Quality assurance is the most important aspect which affects the level of success of the business. The quality assurance will determine the number of Hazels customers, it will reflect on her business credibility.
e.What kinds of maintenance must be performed?
Checking of fertilizers (expiration dates).Checking if the tools are in well conditionProper communication with the customers via telephone linesMaking sure that the facilities are clean
2. What are some of the trade-offs that Hazel probably con-sidered relative to:a.Working for a company instead of for herself?
Advantages: * No great responsibilities to be handled * No need for a capital * Knowledge from previous work experience will be applied * Fixed working hoursDisadvantages: * Less probability of being hired because of her work history and age * Lower income - just enough to support her basic needs.
b. Expanding the business?
Advantages: * She handles her time * Generate more profit * Bigger market share * Continuous incomeDisadvantages: * Needs higher capital * Needs more employees thus resulting to higher expenses * Insufficient knowledge/training in operating the business * The bigger the business the higher the risk it would face
c. Launching a website?
Advantages:* allows for easy communication* cuts down on emails*can provide means for feedbackDisadvantages:* requires investment in technology* requires manpower time to maintain and ensure security
3. All managers have to cope with variation.a. What are the major sources of variation that Hazel has to contend with?
Quality of service: customer service has become one of the most important factors for business success because consumers have lost their patience with bad customer service. Are your competitors neglecting their customer's needs? If so, you can offer those customers superior services that solve their problems and bring you some new business. Improve marketing efforts: Study all the information you can find regarding your potential lawn mowing customers. Think about the kinds of advertising campaigns that would appeal to your target audience. Try creating different types of campaigns to run simultaneously. To narrow which campaigns are bringing in the majority of your lawn mowing customers.Affordability: helping the consumer get the absolute lowest possible free market driven price for getting your yard mowed while helping the lawn maintenance provider find new value driven customers they might not normally have acquired.
b. How might these sources of variation impact Hazel's ability to match supply and demand?
Hazel will easily determine how much she will supply to the demands of the customers.
c. What are some ways she can cope with variation?
Development of new ideasImprovement of services: running a lawn mowing business means, "you have to be a lot more adept at mowing, trimming and pruning than the average person." Analyze the ways you can improve the quality of services your business offers. Take a landscaping class or find a mentor to help you hone your abilities. Consider expanding the services you offer. Research the needs of your target customers.
Hazel Revisited (refer to Hazel Case) 1. Hazel is thinking about the purchase of new equipment. One would be power sidewalk edgers. She believes edgers will lead to an increase in productivity. Another would be a chain saw, which would be used for free pruning. What trade-offs should she consider in her analysis? Productivity is one of the factors if somebody is going to deal with trading. Most of jobs at present times also deals on productivity base. Therefore Hazel should prefer an equipment that would help her in a more productive manner. It also depends upon how much capital that she wants to put into the business.
2. Hazel has been fairly successful in her neighborhood, and now wants to expand to other neighborhoods, including some that are five miles away. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?
AdvantagesNew market opportunities: Through expanding the lawn mowing service, Hazel will get more customers.Income and profit: earn more money from business.Disadvantages Increased costs: There are increased operating expenses including the investment of new equipments, the hiring of additional staff.
The advantages would definitely in increase in production that would result to increase income/profit. However if the capital is limited, it would take time to be able to service the needs of other neighborhood. Another factor to consider is the need for additional manpower, since there would be expansion, now if these factors cant be met, this would be a big disadvantage on her part.2. Hazel is the operations manager of her business. Among her responsibilities are forecasting, inventory management, scheduling, quality assurance, and maintenance. A. What kinds of things would likely require forecasts?
Estimating how much money she will have to invest for gas based on the amount of lawns that she will be cutting, finding the best prices on trash bags in order to throw away the grass she will be carrying. Setting a budget for herself and the company in order to pay her employees, paying for the materials that she may need to continue running her company and making a profit out of what she is making in the end , and money for her to pay other bills as well like her home, car. Etc
B. What inventory items does Hazel probably have? Name one inventory decision she has to make periodically.Weed eater, Sod Cutter, Weed killer and other chemicals, as well as lawn mower blades just to name a few.She needs to figure out how much of each item to buy in order to have enough supplies to do each job correctly.
C. What scheduling must she do? What things might occur to disrupt schedules and cause Hazel to reschedule?
Making sure that she allows enough time to make sure that all lawn cuttings can be done correctly, travel time between jobs must be allowed for, day light hours will vary somewhat, and allowing for special attention if something needs to be redone.Rain or bad weather, equipment failure, and if she gets sick or has a family emergency.
D. How important is quality assurance to Hazels business? Explain.
Very important because if she doesnt do quality work that she has promised, her customers will fire her and will go elsewhere, and she will be out of business.
E. What kinds of maintenance must be performed? Lawn equipment will need to be maintained, blades sharpened, oil changed, motors overhauled,I. PROBLEMWhat should Hazel do in order to achieve continuous financial stability which will support her basic needs and lifestyle?
II. SUB-PROBLEMS * Why Hazel always rejected in her job applications? * What would be the best source of capital or income Hazel should have?
III. ASSUMPTIONS * Hazel was terminated because she became complaisant. She did not perform well in her work knowing that she had been working with Fortune 500 Company for 15 years. She was confident enough that she will not be terminated. * She was rejected from her job applications because she is already old. The companies preferred younger applicants. There was also a negative impact on her termination from Fortune 500 Company. * Hazel is in need of additional personnel now that she performed other services.
IV. ALTERNATIVE COURSES OF ACTION * Hazel should continue with her new business and expand in the future * Hazel should search for a job in other companies V. ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION * Hazel should continue with her new business and expand in the futureADVANTAGES: * She handles her time * Generate more profit * Bigger market share * Continuous incomeDISADVANTAGES: * Needs higher capital * Needs more employees thus resulting to higher expenses * Insufficient knowledge/training in operating the business * The bigger the business the higher the risk it would face * Hazel should search for a job in other companiesADVANTAGES: * No great responsibilities to be handled * No need for a capital * Knowledge from previous work experience will be applied * Fixed working hoursDISADVANTAGES: * Less probability of being hired because of her work history and age * Lower income - just enough to support her basic needs. VI. CONCLUSIONOut of the two alternative courses of action, it is more advisable that Hazel should continue and expand her lawn mowing business in order...* Insufficient knowledge/training in operating the business * The bigger the business the higher the risk it would face * Hazel should search for a job...Case overview
This case is about Hazel, an employee that has worked for a Fortune 500 company for nearly 15 years. She suddenly finds herself unemployed and in need of a job.
After many months of searching for employment unsuccessfully, she began to mow the lawns of her neighbors for income while she continued to look for employment. When she failed to gain employment, she decided to go into business for herself maintaining neighborhood lawns.
In the beginning, the business was slow, but once the word got out about her lawn service business, she began to obtain many clients. Hazel believed that she could earn a living from her new business and eventually hired 2 part-time employees.
Case relevance to operations management
There are many aspects of this case that has relevance to operations management. The concept of being in business for herself came about when Hazel was forced to use current resources in order to survive after losing a position that she relied on for a very long time. While the overall concept of running a business was not Hazels initial convection, however it was derived from her need for income and for her neighborhoods demand for lawn care services. Meeting the demand of the neighborhood meets Hazels needs and a company evolved from that. From a consumers standpoint, Hazels work was just as good as professional lawn care services and probably less costly. While for other consumers, the freedom of not having to be personally responsible for doing ones own lawn was more valuable than having to pay for it. Hazel was able to beat out competition without having to put forth much effort or cash into advertising and building her business; instead business became a steady flow of production forcing Hazel to have to hire part-time workers to meet demand for her services.
Key issues of case
The key issues/problems of this case are:
1. Hazel lost her job after 15 years of working for the same... [continues]Read full essay