Marketing -AW-Q46

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Answer All. Each question is worth 25 points.

  1. Your role is to provide assistance to Tisha and help her prepare a forecast for the next four quarters (quarters 3 and 4 of 2011 and quarters 1 and 2 of 2012). As a part of the analysis, your report should first identify if the data exhibits any seasonal characteristics. Based on the graph of Sales data, then identify an appropriate forecasting technique, develop a forecasting model, use the forecasting model to generate forecasts for the historical quarters (2007- 2011) as well as for the planning quarters (2011 and 2012) and provide an assessment of the forecasting model’s accuracy.

Period             Sales

1Q-2007          571216

2Q-2007          446781

3Q-2007          462418

4Q-2007          532339

1Q-2008          750308

2Q-2008          569922

3Q-2008          562211

4Q-2008          546235

1Q-2009          753131

2Q-2009          567191

3Q-2009          573539

4Q-2009          558543

1Q-2010          805850

2Q-2010          643072

3Q-2010          660513

4Q-2010          640426

1Q-2011          917147

2Q-2011          717715



  1. For following 5 samples of plywood thickness taken every 2 hour time period, calculate the UCL, CL, and LCL using X-bar and R-bar chart. Next, plot the two control charts and provide your observation to the Plant manager.


Hour Period

Plywood 1 Plywood 2 Plywood 3 Plywood 4 Plywood 5
1 0.642 0.612 0.659 0.691 0.689
2 0.705 0.584 0.644 0.685 0.618
3 0.63 0.599 0.594 0.621 0.628
4 0.586 0.634 0.639 0.656 0.64
5 0.641 0.64 0.693 0.649 0.646
6 0.636 0.713 0.678 0.725 0.631
7 0.703 0.602 0.668 0.679 0.711
8 0.649 0.635 0.672 0.64 0.675
9 0.607 0.625 0.604 0.64 0.65
10 0.652 0.641 0.72 0.597 0.629
11 0.572 0.696 0.612 0.631 0.675
12 0.666 0.679 0.67 0.609 0.617
13 0.673 0.662 0.622 0.644 0.656
14 0.669 0.656 0.623 0.71 0.667
15 0.654 0.677 0.678 0.632 0.623
16 0.686 0.614 0.603 0.674 0.671
17 0.72 0.696 0.692 0.655 0.652
18 0.666 0.651 0.619 0.596 0.677
19 0.665 0.671 0.658 0.62 0.69
20 0.642 0.625 0.626 0.638 0.637

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  1. Overall, Steve Edwards, vice president of Marketing at Rauni’s Fine China, is very pleased with the success of his new line of Gem-Surface china plates. Gem-Surface plates are different from regular china in that the plates have a special polymer coating that makes them highly resistant to chipping and fading. Not only are the plates more durable, they are also completely dishwasher safe.

In order to manufacture the new plates, Rauni’s has leased a special machine to apply the coating and has put in place a drying system to “cure” the coating on the plates. The research and development (R&D) lab has determined that in order to prevent defective plates, it is important that the machine apply the polymer coating at the proper temperature and in the proper thickness. Specifically, R&D has written up the following guidelines:
Coating Thickness. The optimal polymer-coating thickness is 4 microns. If the coating is > 5 microns, the plates will take too long to dry. If the coating is < 3 microns, the plates will be inadequately protected.
Coating Temperature. The polymer coating needs to be applied at a temperature between 160 degrees Fahrenheit and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, with the target temperature being 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower than 160 degrees, the polymer will not adhere properly and will flake off. If the temperature is higher than 170 degrees, the polymer coating will fade the design on the plates.
Traditionally, quality control at Rauni’s has consisted of visually inspecting finished items for defects (chips, cracks, etc.) as they are being packed for shipment. This was acceptable in the past, when defects were few and far between. With the new polymer-coating technology, however, this has caused some serious problems.
For instance, on one Friday during the Christmas season, the packers noticed that nearly all of the plates they were getting ready to ship had faded designs, which suggested that the temperature of the polymer-coating machine might be too high. Sure enough, when a supervisor went back to check on the polymer-coating machine, he found that the thermostat was set at 190 degrees. Apparently, someone had set the temperature higher to clean the machine but had forgotten to reset it back to 165 degrees. The good news was that the problem was easily fixed. The bad news was that the machine had been running at 190 degrees since Wednesday. In the interim, 2,400 plates had been run through the coating machine. In the end, Rauni’s had to destroy all 2,400 plates and was late making shipments to several important customers.
In another instance, a worker just happened to notice that the polymer-coating machine was not using as much raw material as expected. When the worker measured the thickness of the coating being applied to the plates, she found out why
The coating thickness was only 2.4 microns. A quick check of plates being dried and those being packed revealed that they, too, had a coating thickness of around 2.4 microns. While manufacturing was able to correct the problem and save these plates, no one knew how many plates had been shipped before the problem was discovered.
The customer service office is responsible for pricing and entering customer orders, tracking the progress of orders, and making sure orders are shipped when promised. If an order is going to be late or there is some other problem, the customer service office is also responsible for notifying the customer.
In addition, the customer service office handles customer complaints. As would be expected, Steve Edwards often visits the larger dealers to find out how satisfied they are with the products and service they have received. During one of these trips, Steve realizes there might be problems with the customer service office. When visiting Nancy Sanders, owner of Lenoir Home Furnishings, Steve gets an earful.
Steve, I understand that you have been busier ever since you introduced the new line of plates. However, I feel that the service quality has deteriorated and no one seems to care! Just last week, I found that an order I had expected in on Monday was not even ready to ship. No one called me—I just happened to find out when I was calling to place another order. Your information system also seems to be antiquated.
The sales assistant apologized for the shipment delay and tried to be helpful, but she couldn’t tell me the status of my order or even when I had placed it! It seemed that the previous sales assistant had changed jobs, and no one knew where her notes were. Notes!? Why isn’t this stuff on a computer? It makes me have serious reservations about doing business with you.
Steve is caught flat-footed by the criticism. When he gets back to the office, he puts together a letter to his top 200 customers. In the letter, he gives customers a self-addressed stamped postcard and asks them to list any problems they have had dealing with the sales office. He gets responses from 93 of the customers. Their responses are summarized here
Problems                                                                                 Number of Citing

Incorrect Pricing                                                                     23

Lost the Order                                                                         8

Did not notify customer with regard of change in

Delivery date                                                                          54

Did not know status of customer’s order                               77

Order Incorrect (Wrong Items shipped)                                 4

Slow response to queries                                                        80

Other Problems                                                                      11

  1. On which dimensions of quality does Rauni’s compete? How are these dimensions being threatened by the problems in the manufacturing and customer service areas?
  2. What do you think are the problems with the current manufacturing process as a whole and with the polymer-coating machine in particular? How might you use process mapping and root cause analysis to get to the bottom of these problems?

  4. Develop a Pareto chart based on the customer survey results for the customer service office. What seem to be the key problems? How might you use the PDCA cycle to go about resolving these problems?
  5. Suppose the polymer-coating machine currently provides the following results

Variable                                   Process Mean                          Process Standard Deviation

Temperature                           165 degrees                            2.55 degrees

Thickness                                 4 microns                                0.42 micron

Calculate the process capability ratio (Cp) for both the temperature and thickness variables. Is the polymer-coating process able to meet the engineering standards 99.7% of the time? Explain.

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