1. What are Meditechâ€™s problems in introducing new products? In manufacturing ALL products? Meditech was continuously turning its products obsolete by introducing new products. Every time a new product was introduced it resulted in serious supply problems, which in turn resulted in the dissatisfaction of customer due to poor service resulting from each product introduction. The variation of production schedules was often higher than variation in demand. Another problem was monthly forecasting that was the base of determining assembly schedules and parts orders. 2. What is driving these problems, both systematically and organizationally? The driver of the problem was the way to determine the production planning and scheduling. The Material Requirement Plan (MRP) system, which determines assembly schedules and part orders was based on three components one of them is the monthly forecast which was an erroneous approach. Customer Service and Distribution department could not figure out why Meditech consistently had shortages with each product introduction. Their distribution system was decentralized; the information existed on many systems in several different areas of the organization which make it even more difficult to realize what the problems were. 3. Why is the customer service manager the first person to recognize major issues? Customer services deals with everything from occasional customer complaints to establishing strategies to improve delivery to customers. Customer service department noticed that customers were becoming tired of the poor service resulting from each introduction. Through many meetings with hospital material managers, they began to realize about its customerâ€™s frustrations when handling new products. 4. How would you fix these problems? The demand of any product is higher during the introduction stage and growth stage after that the demand of that same product will decrease during the maturity stage, therefore the supply could also be reduced so they wonâ€™t experiment surplus. As the book suggested I would change the method of planning production schedules. Instead of using monthly forecasting they should use more simple statistical methods. 5. Relate the learning of this case to a similar supply chain with which you are familiar? Iâ€™m familiar with a different industry that can experiment supply and demand differences, it is the case of restaurant distributors. Certain foods such as fruits and vegetables become obsolete in a very short period of time, so the distributors may get a lost if they donâ€™t receive orders from restaurants, that is the reason why if there is an unexpected increase in demand they must be ready and have a back up or find a way to supply their customers, or else the distributors can lose customers. Restaurants on the other hand might have ten customers one day and seventy the next day so they also need a prestigious supplier to rely on in the case of sudden demand.
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