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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.
  • -Expensive
  • -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