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Matching Supply with Demand: An Introduction to Operations Management
4e
Solutions to Chapter Problems
Chapter 2
The Process View of the Organization
Q2.1 Dell
The following steps refer directly to Exhibit 2.1.
#1: For 2001, we find in Dellโs 10-k: Inventory=$400 (in million)
#2: For 2001, we find in Dellโs 10-k: COGS=$ 26,442 (in million)
26,442$ / year
#3: Inventory turns=
= 66.105 turns per year
400$
40% per year
#4: Per unit Inventory cost =
= 0.605% per year
66.105 per year
Q2.2. Airline
We use Littleโs law to compute the flow time, since we know both the flow rate as well
as the inventory level:
Flow Time = Inventory / Flow Rate = 35 passengers / 255 passengers per hour = 0.137
hours
= 8.24 minutes
Q2.3 Inventory Cost
(a) Sales = $60,000,000 per year / $2000 per unit = 30,000 units sold per year
Inventory = $20,000,000 / $1000 per unit = 20,000 units in inventory
Flow Time = Inventory / Flow Rate = 20,000 / 30,000 per year = 2/3 year = 8 months
Turns = 1 / Flow Time = 1 / (2/3 year) = 1.5 turns per year
Note: we can also get this number directly by writing: Inventory turns=COGS/ Inventory
(b) Cost of Inventory: 25% per year / 1.5 turns=16.66%. For a $1000 product, this would
make an absolute inventory cost of $166.66.
Q2.4. Apparel Retailing
(a) Revenue of $100M implies COGS of $50M (because of the 100% markup). Turns =
COGS/Inventory = $50M/$5M = 10.
2-1
ยฉ 2019 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or
distribution in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in
whole or part.
(b) The inventory cost, given 10 turns, is 40%/10 = 4%. For a 30$ item, the inventory
cost is 0.4 x $30 = $1.20 per unit.
Q2.5. La Villa
(a) Flow Rate = Inventory / Flow Time = 1200 skiers / 10 days = 120 skiers per day
(b) Last year: on any given day, 10% (1 of 10) of skiers are on their first day of skiing
This year: on any given day, 20% (1 of 5) of skiers are on their first day of skiing
Average amount spent in local restaurants (per skier)
Last year = 0.1 * $50 + 0.9 * $30 = $32
This year = 0.2 * $50 + 0.8 * $30 = $34
% change = ($34 – $32) / $32 = 6.25% increase
Q2.6. Highway
We look at 1 mile of highway as our process. Since the speed is 60 miles per hour, it
takes a car 1 minute to travel through the process (flow time).
There are 24 cars on ยผ of a mile, i.e. there are 96 cars on the 1 mile stretch (inventory).
Inventory=Flow Rate * Flow Time: 96 cars=Flow Rate * 1 minute
Thus, the Flow Rate is 96 cars per minute, corresponding to 96*60=5760 cars per hour.
Q2.7. Strohrmann Baking
The bread needs to be in the oven for 12 minutes (flow time). We want to produce at a
flow rate of 4000 breads per hour, or 4000/60=66.66 breads per minute.
Inventory=Flow Rate * Flow Time: Inventory=66.66 breads per minute* 12 minutes
Thus, Inventory=800 breads, which is the required size of the oven.
Q2.8. Mt Kinley Consulting
We have the following information available from the question:
Level
Associate
Manager
Partner
Inventory (number of
consultants at that level)
200
60
20
Flow Time (time spent at that
level)
4 years
6 years
10 years
(a) We can use Littleโs law to find the flow rate for associate consultants:
Inventory=Flow Rate * Flow Time; 200 consultants=Flow Rate * 4 years; thus, the flow
rate is 50 consultants per year, which need to be recruited to keep the firm in its current
size (note: while there are also 50 consultants leaving the associate level, this says
2-2
ยฉ 2019 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or
distribution in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in
whole or part.
nothing about how many of them are dismissed vs how many of them are promoted to
Manager level).
(b) We can perform a similar analysis at the manager level, which indicates that the flow
rate there is 10 consultants. In order to have 10 consultants as a flow rate at the manager
level, we need to promote 10 associates to manager level (remember, the firm is not
recruiting to the higher ranks from the outside). Hence, every year, we dismiss 40
associates and promote 10 associates to the manager level (the odds at that level are 20%)
Now, consider the partner level. The flow rate there is 2 consultants per year (obtained
via the same calculations as before). Thus, from the 10 manager cases we evaluate every
year, 8 are dismissed and 2 are promoted to partner (the odds at that level are thereby also
20%).
In order to find the odds of a new hire to become partner, we need to multiply the
promotion probabilities: 0.2*0.2=0.04. Thus, a new hire has a 4% chance of making it to
partner.
Q2.9. Major US Retailers
a. Product stays on average for 31.9 days in Costcoโs inventory
b. Costco has for a $5 product an inventory cost of $0.1311 which compares to a
$0.2049 at Wal-Mart
Q2.10. McDonaldโs
a. Inventory turns for McDonaldโs were 92.3. They were 30.05 for Wendyโs.
b. McDonaldโs has per unit inventory costs of 0.32%, which for a 3$ meal about
$0.00975. That compares to 0.998% at Wendyโs where the cost per meal is $0.0299.
Q2.11. BCH
I = 400 associates, T = 2years. R = I / T = 400 associates / 2 yrs = 200 associates/yr.
Q2.12. Kroger
Turns = R / I = 76858 / 6244 = 12.3
2-3
ยฉ 2019 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or
distribution in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in
whole or part.

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