Resource Scheduling and Inventory Management



Milestone Two
Manufacturing and Production/Resource Scheduling and Inventory Management Brief
Presented By: Kimberly D. Hall
Presented To: Christina Behling
Southern New Hampshire University

Manufacturing and Production/Resource Scheduling and Inventory Management Brief
As outlined in milestone 1, the goal of the present project is to develop and launch a new, improved breast milk bag container that will facilitate the storage of breast milk under optimal conditions. The Milk Pop bags, as opposed to existing breast milk storage bottles, have the advantage of allowing for the horizontal storage, saving storage space and maximizing the visibility of the stored batches of breast milk. The presence of a label will also allow the customer to write the date and time in which the milk got extracted, allowing for the implementation of a first-in, first-out schedule that ensures the baby always gets the freshest possible breast milk. The present brief goes a step further in the description of the product introduction strategy by analyzing aspects like the manufacturing and service-related requirements, the inventory management approach, and the capacity planning. The report also presents a process flow chart outlining the most critical steps in the production process of Milk Pop bags.
Manufacturing Requirements
The manufacturing process for the Milk Pop bags adapts the already existing manufacturing line that the company was previously using in the production of the breastfeed baby storage bottlers. The introduction of the new product in the form of bags requires, however, from some adaptations to take place. The specific manufacturing requirements to use for the production of the new Milk Pop bags are as follows. Firstly, the manufacturing system will feed the cutting machine with two instead of one layer of plastic (Yemen & Weiss, 2013). The plastic, obtained from left-over rolls, may be the same as the one currently used in the production of the baby bottles. However, the introduction of two layers of plastic will allow for the creation of a thicker and heavier billet that provides a to the plastic bag so that it complies with the necessary technical specifications establishing the minimum flexibility and fragility of the bag. The objective of using this thicker plastic layer is thus that of minimizing the potential breakage of the bag during the handling and storage of the breast milk, ensuring that the breast milk is safely stored. Secondly, the billets produced will weight either 4 or 8 ounces (Yemen & Weiss, 2013). The tools used in the production and shaping of these billets are the same as those currently used by PBM Plastics in the production of plastic baby bottles: 4000, 5001, and 5002 (Yemen & Weiss, 2013).
Additionally, the Milk Pop bags incorporate a spout of the rim that allows for screwing the bag into a bottle nipple, thus facilitating the customer’s usage of the bag. In this sense, the bottle nipple and the attached gasket to the bag will provide an easy to use system in which the customer screws the bag on a bottle nipple and uses this bottle nipple attached to the bag containing breast milk to feed the baby; as he would typically do if using a traditional baby bottle (Yemen & Weiss, 2013). The design of this system will thus minimize the hassle of any new customer that decides to shift to the original product, increasing the acceptability of the new product among the customers.
Inventory Management
One of the significant requirements to enable the continuous production of the Milk Pop bags is to have sufficient inventory available. In this regard, the practice implemented at PBM Plastics, maintained in the current case, is that of ensuring that there is adequate inventory available to allow for a of the different products commercialized by the entity. The compliance with such a requirement implies that the company should have sufficient available to produce the thicker plastic billets used in the production of the Milk Pop bags. The major constraint with such requirement is the fact that there are only a few suppliers available capable of producing the plastic sheets of the for the production of the Milk Pop bags. The company has settled an agreement with one of such suppliers that guarantee the provision of sufficient amounts of high-quality plastic sheets for $0.85/lb of plastic fed sheet.
The inventory management strategy that the company will use in optimizing the inventory stocks is the ABC analysis. This approach enables the company to classify the different materials as per their ease of use, their required demand for the of the various products, and the existence of potential alternative suppliers should any of them present a temporary problem that prevents them from delivering the raw material. The implementation of this management strategy is critical for ensuring that the company has sufficient amount of plastic fed sheets since, as noted previously, the lack of suppliers may become problematic if the company has not considered alternative solutions.
Capacity Planning
The key to the successful production of the Milk Pop bags is that of correctly estimating the existing demand for the product, and calculating the necessary capacity, in both productivity and resources, to be able of meeting such demand (Larson & Grey, 2017). The introduction of a new product as the Milk Pop bags represents a challenge for business managers when attempting to estimate the existing demand for the new product. However, the company has experience with the demand for baby bottles. The demand for the new bags, considering they are a replacement to the baby bottles, will not likely exceed the original demand of baby bottles until the company reaches new customers. A reasonable estimate for the demand will thus be the current demand for the baby bottles. As outlined previously, the company uses two layers of plastic fed sheet when preparing the billets that will later be transformed into the bags. The rest of the materials, on the other hand, are equivalent to those used in the production of the plastic bottles. The capacity resources breakdown will thus require the doubling of the inventoried plastic sheets while maintaining the rest of inventories at a similar level as they now are. The production capacity, on the other hand, will likely remain at its current level, considering how the company intends to use the same machines it is currently using to produce the plastic bottles. Table 1 summarizes the current capacity planning estimates and the new planned capacity after the company initiates the production of the Milky Pop bags.
Table 1. Current and prospected capacity planning for the satisfaction of a weekly demand of 45,000 units
Material Current Capacity Prospected Capacity
– Plastic fed sheets 1 pound per baby bottle
Total = 45,000 pounds 2 pounds per Milk Pop bag
Total = 90,000 pounds
– Bottle nipples 1 per baby bottle
Total = 45,000 bottle nipples 1 per Milk Pop bag
Total = 45,000 bottle nipples
– Sterilization material 1 unit 1 unit
Productivity 270/h 270/h

Process Flow Chart
Figure 1 shows a detailed process flow chart for the production of Milk Pop bags suitable to feed newborn babies, produced in the 4000 machine, or older babies, produced in either the 5001 or 5002 machines. As observed, the production process is parallel, with the only difference being the size of the billets employed in the production of the Milk Pop bags. Such difference arises from the fact that the Milk Pop bags for newborn babies use 4 ounces billets, while those suitable for older babies require 8 oz billets as they are bigger.

Figure 1. Process flow chart used in the manufacturing of the new product. Adapted from Yemen & Weiss (2013)
Larson E.W. & Gray C.F. (2017). Project Management: The Managerial Process. 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education. 179, 295-298.
BOTTLE. Darden Business Publishing. 1, 5.


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