Management Case Study Page
6: Write-Up of the Solagen case
Case: Solagen: Process Improvement in the Manufacturing of Gelatin at Kodak
Intro - Jaroslav
A - Advantages - Sug Je
A - Disadvantages - Kathy
B - Recommendation - Wyly
a) Analyze the advantages and disadvantages with Solagen
- +Trends for solagen show continued improvement, smaller variance.
- +Increased yeild, more clarity (competitive advantage page 7)
- +Inventory benefits
- +reduced time for whole process
- +Savings 9.8 million dollars, 4 years to pay off initial investment.
- -Technology not proven - set out to have better standards, it didn't meet the standards.
- -Hasn't completely met what was promised by R&D
- -Lower predicted demand, so cost savings would be less.
- -Requires lots of change in the factories and workers.
- -Existing workers were there for 20 years and deep knowledge
- -Need to have a full sized plant in order to test the process
- -Risky, process not completely understood.
- -Page 5, top quote, introducing technology might make people less committed - turning skilled workers into unskilled workers.
- -Any change to the gelatin process really affects the paper and film manufacturers.
- -48 hours time frame, much less flexibility.
b) What is your recommendation?
- competition from japan, they need to improve quality to catch up.
- there's so much resistance right now, we think they should proceed cautiously.
- top management behind it, but everyone else isn't.
- need a champion with power
- if they continue less aggressively, they need to quantify how it's better
- there's still a lot of improvement and research that needs to be done
- possibly establish a smaller company to research and develop it.
- Don't push new plant, work on ways to continue improving and getting existing workers behind technology.
Last modified 8 April 2004 at 10:20 am by Jaroslav Tyman