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Ops Management

Cost to Sizzling Stir Fry this means the importance of keeping their cost to a minimum, through their raw materials, labour cost and the cost of running the machinery; Speed means their ability to get the products made once they receive the final order as fast as they can to be able to get enough quantity made; Quality is their need to do things right through out all the processes in the process flow; Flexibility means their ability to change as they have different product mixes; Dependability is their need for orders to be ready to be delivered on time on to its customers, mainly supermarkets.

The 4 ‘Vs’ are also looked at, volume, variety, variation in demand and visibility. Volume was determined to be high; variety – low; variation in demand – high; visibility – low. The process flow shows that there are many processes that go into the manufacturing the product which are all essential. The product moves through in a ‘push’ movement, the whole process flow has an effect on the performance dimensions, quality, dependability, speed, flexibility and cost.

Currently, Sizzling Stir Fry have 3 plastic tray suppliers, although one supplies around 98% of the total and 3 plastic

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film suppliers, their noodles are bought from Trafford Park and they have 16 vegetable suppliers; they have a business that grows their own bean sprouts, but other vegetables are supplied depending on the season, in season, they try to stick to UK growers but out of season, supply is sourced through a UK based agency.

Sizzling Stir Fry uses batch processes (BP, n. d.) and the report involves a diagram, visibly showing how the product moves through the factory, which seems to take an ‘up and down’ movement. The information also takes a similar flow to the product through the factory. The year at Sizzling Stir Fry is quite seasonal, and at the moment Sizzling Stir Fry assumingly operate using due-date sequencing, The company currently employs 186 staff in total, with its core staff fluctuating between 20% and 40%. Sizzling Stir Fry have just launched a business improvement programme, supported by regional and government funding.

It involves a 12 week workshop, looking at lean production, and specific areas within operation. All employees which take part in this gain an NVQ level 2 in business improvement techniques. Sizzling Stir Fry supply 2 of top 5 supermarkets, as well as several smaller supermarket chains and they have approximately 30% market share. From the process flow, you can see that there are lot of processes that have to take place, all of which are quite essential from receiving the raw materials to ending up with the finished product.

The product moves through in a ‘push’ movement (Slack, 2007, p309) so it moves into the next workstation as soon as it is finished in one, rather than waiting for the next work station to say when they want it. Sizzling Stir Fry have managed to cut some labour cost and save time but introducing a machine that cuts the heads and tails of carrots. The whole process flow has an effect on the performance dimensions, quality, dependability, speed, flexibility and cost. For quality, it means that everything needs to be done right throughout the process, in order to finish right.

For dependability, it means the process needs to run as smooth as possible, to have everything finished on time. The speed, directly influences their dependability, the throughput time has to be as quick as possible, to get orders ready on time. For flexibility, it is their ability to change, getting the machinery/workers ready for a different batch. For cost, obviously the quicker the throughput time is, the more they save on storage, the amount that is wasted, the ability to get things done fast.

It is also the cost of the raw materials. Currently, Sizzling Stir Fry have 3 plastic tray suppliers, although one supplies around 98% of the total and 3 plastic

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film suppliers, their noodles are bought from Trafford Park and they have 16 vegetable suppliers; they have a business that grows their own bean sprouts, but other vegetables are supplied depending on the season, in season, they try to stick to UK growers but out of season, supply is sourced through a UK based agency.

Sizzling Stir Fry appreciate that they care more about the relationship they have with the suppliers of their vegetables than the suppliers of their packaging, they describe it purely because they believe that by having a better relationship with their vegetable suppliers, it helps to ensure a good quality of raw materials, the safety in the knowledge that they can trust the suppliers, especially for the UK growers. With the packaging suppliers it is easy to find others that can provide the same things.

The director explains that the noodles are from Trafford Park, ‘the noodle capital’; in this case it is also better to maintain a good relationship with their supplier because there is almost a monopoly for the best quality supplier of dry noodles. Sizzling Stir Fry uses batch processes (BP, n. d. ) and from the diagram, it is visible how the product moves through the factory, it seems to take an ‘up and down’ movement, ideally the product would move in a straight line or in a circular motion, to improve the throughput time.

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