team specialization

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Introduction

Even well-managed organizations don’t always work as efficiently and effectively as management would like. At Hewlett-Packard (HP), billions of dollars of products—from computers and diagnostic devices to toner cartridges—are shipped each year. Customer orders come in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nearly 16,000 different products are requested daily and must be shipped from six different warehouses—often located 30 or more miles apart. It often takes weeks to get the products into the customer’s hands. This delay is a serious problem with customers who have contracts with HP stating that deliveries are to be made in four hours or less. That means that from the time a customer calls the HP customer service line, they should have their replacement part and be back in operation within four hours—regardless of where the customer is located!

One characteristic that distinguishes an outstanding organization is its ability to know when problems need to be addressed and then proceed to do something about it. The job of correcting this problem fell on the shoulders of HP’s distribution supervisor, Loretta Wilson.

Loretta quickly assembled a team of experts—both internal and external to the organization. These included logistics, systems, and operations experts. They quickly assessed the situation and established their goals. In essence, the team wanted to “find smarter and simpler ways to handle parts fewer times at several points in the distribution channel.” They concluded that a new, high-tech facility was needed—one in which the distribution process could maximize efficiency. The team designed a 405,000-square-foot facility and specified the precise equipment and layout of the operation. In the new facility, sorting machines can sort more than 45 pieces a minute, enabling the company to process more than 60,000 products each day. Inventory is now stocked after it’s received in the warehouse in minutes, rather than the nearly eight days it previously took. Packing and crating is done with the assistance of robotics.

Workstations for employees were redesigned to reduce their involvement in handling products, and a specially equipped shipping dock can hold shipments and determine weights right up to the moment that Federal Express backs up to the dock. The cargo is immediately placed into the trucks, and the drivers are sent to the airport. As the FedEx drivers head to the airport, they use their cell phones to call in the cargo’s weight and drive to a waiting aircraft—and the cargo is off to the customer.

Instructions

Prepare a 10-slide PowerPoint presentation that responds to the following:

  1. Outline the design of a complex project like the HP distribution center. Classify the team(s).
  2. List the advantages accrued from team specializations.
  3. Explain how Loretta Wilson’s team achieved its objective and how they were successful.

Organize your presentation as follows:

  • Slide 1: Title of PowerPoint presentation and your name
  • Slides 2-3: Answer question 1
  • Slides 4-5: Answer question 2
  • Slides 6-7: Answer question 3
  • Slides 8-9: Include closing statement
  • Slide 10: List references used

Be sure to follow these requirements in your work:

  • Type your assignment in a PowerPoint document (.ppt or .pptx).
  • Do not copy word for word from the textbook or any websites you visit.
  • Use Times New Roman.

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