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Case Study Of The Realco Breadmaker and The Challenges Faced By Japan After The Earthquake In the Supply-Chain

A master schedule of production is imperative to any organization. The master schedule of production defines the functioning of the organization or the industry. Moreover, it enables the business the ability to adapt to the alterations in the production at a rapid pace. However, such an adaptation may have the undesired consequence of an adverse effect on the schedule of the production as a whole. Still, the master production schedule, commonly referred to as the MPS, is a brilliant strategy and is efficiently utilized as a productive tool to plan the process of production, incorporating the restrictions imposed by the timelines for the creation of the products. Also, such a schedule also presents a forecast of the number of products that may be available to the consumers or the suppliers. This process also establishes a firm control on the quantity of the resources that would be required to cater to the needs and the requirements of the consumers. Through the incorporation of all the above mentioned aspects and factors, it establishes the goals and objectives of the process and functions towards the achievement of these objectives. It enables the production of the products or the commodities within the allocated time, considering the restraints of time and in the end, produces the right quantity or number of inventory.

The following paper discusses the cases presented in the 12the Chapter, the Realco Breadmaker, and the 13th chapter, the challenges faced by Japan after the earthquake in the supply-chain.

After carefully analyzing the case of the Realco breadmakers, it is concluded that the product of the breadmaker produced by Realco has been a source of great success for the producers. The breadmakers manufactured by Realco have several advantages over the same product made by its market competitors. The Realco breadmaker holds a distinct competitive edge over its rivals regarding its low prices, which are significantly less than the competitors and the particular features possessed by the Realco breadmaker. Over the passage of time, the Realco breadmaker has experienced an enormous increase in sales, and it has transformed the breadmaker into one of the most popular such products in the market. However, the owner of the Realco breadmakers has emphasized the production of the breadmakers within the time limits and to ensure that these constraints presented regarding time are catered for. To assess the required information, it is rudimentary to formulate a valid master schedule of production that would analyze the limitations and then would calculate the desired answers.

Therefore, in this regard, the master production schedule is established and is presented in the following table.Demand for the

Management Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Weekly Demand of the breadmakers 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000
Orders that are booked 23,500 23000 21,500 15,050 13,600 11,500 5,400 1,800
Final Inventory of the Project 3,500 500 1000 Negative 1000 Negative 1000 Negative 1000 Negative 1000 Negative 1000
The Master Schedule of Production 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000
Available to Promise 500 0 3,950 0 30,350 38,850 53,450 0

Projected Ending Inventory and the Available to Promise Numbers

            Upon the formulation of the master schedule of production, the calculated project ending inventory has demonstrated an excess of the inventory. The amount of this inventory is more than the demand, in the case, an amount of 20,000 effectively adjusts the numbers. It has catered for the possibility of a scenario in which there may be an additional demand for the inventory. In such a circumstance, this schedule would prove to be very beneficial, and the data represented by it could be quite accurate in catering for the increased demand. Furthermore, it can be judged that the company of Realco has not overpromised. It is because the calculations of the master schedule of production demonstrate that the inventory produced is more than the demand and hence, the number of the production has been adjusted in accordance and with great accuracy during the entire process of the production.

Update of the Forecast or the Numbers of the Production

According to my opinion, it would be in the best interests of the Realco breadmakers to update their production figures. Indeed, it is of the utmost importance to forecast the demand for the product by the desire on the part of the consumers. However, such is not recommended at the expense of a deterioration in the quality of the product. Mass production may result in the creation of the product that does not conform to the high standards of quality maintained by Realco. It should be kept in mind that it is the high quality of the Realco breadmaker that has enabled it to capture the market and has distinguished it from other breadmakers manufactured by the competitors of Realco. Producing and selling the product that is of low quality may end up being returned to the company, and this phenomenon would result in the rising of the costs. Furthermore, in the long run, it would have a devastating effect on the popularity and hence the sales of the breadmakers manufactured by Realco. The manufacturer should avoid such a scenario at all costs.

To control the production of the inventory, various methods and strategies may be utilized. However, in my understanding, the most effective and efficient among these would be the system of “Kanban.” This system would also ensure that the breadmaker is produced by the standards of quality established by Realco. The Kanban System is excellent and sets a limit on the overstocking of the inventory built through a strict control on the process to ensure the production of only the required quantity. It provides this through a gradual process that advances step by step. Through this continuous process, the entire process of the production is carefully operated and supervised to eliminate the prospect of the investment or the funds being wasted on unnecessary production or its misuse as a result of the overproduction of the breadmakers. Moreover, the space available in the warehouse is also efficiently utilized to enhance the productivity and avoid wasting it.

The Approach of Jack

            The approach adopted by Jack is not simple but quite complicated. It has both benefits and cons, and it is imperative to consider both the sides of the approach to gauge its effectiveness. The confidence displayed by Jack regarding the possession of the product that is sufficient in meeting the consumer demands is undoubtedly commendable. He has demonstrated such faith in the light of the figures and numbers projected by his master schedule of production or the MPS. Still, there is a persistent concern regarding the efficiency of the product and the angle of the production. However, such matters can efficiently be catered for by utilizing the Kanban System as already mentioned above.

The Advantages

            There are various advantages to the approach adopted by Jack. Among all these benefits, the foremost importance can be attributed to the presence of the sufficient production and achievement of the numbers of production. In this regard, the main reason behind this advantage is the utilization of the ideology of Available to Promise or the ATP by Jack. According to the explanations made by the textbook, the Available to Promise strategy ensure that the required number of products are manufactured and hence, available to be sold at the end of every week. However, the guiding criteria in this regard are the promise made to the customer. Such a strategy allows the production of the precisely precise number of products so as the space available in the warehouse is utilized efficiently and the delivery of the demand is readily ensured.

The Disadvantages

            On the other hand, in addition to the various advantages to the approach adopted by Jack, as mentioned above, there also are some disadvantages to it. Among the disadvantages, one is that in the case of an unfortunate or any unforeseen circumstances, the suppliers do not order the quantity determined in the forecast, a vast amount of the inventory would be left on the shelves of the warehouse. Such an instance would mean a substantial financial loss for the manufacturer as the product would remain there for prolonged periods of time, and would not generate any revenue by selling. Moreover, as it has an expiry date, if this period extends for further periods, the product may stale and expire. However, such an unfortunate event may be avoided by utilizing the Kanban system. As this process is a gradual one, that progresses step by step, the next stage is started only after the completion of the previous one. It ensures an even more accurate system of forecasting the demand of the consumers and therefore, the inventory is produced in the exact required quantity. It would assure that the storage space of the warehouse is efficiently utilized and nothing goes to waste.

Improvement of the Process through the Formal Master Scheduling

The process would be significantly improved by the usage of the concept of a formal master scheduling. Through it, the data would be analyzed with an increased accuracy through the projection of an accurate production number via the idea of tracking. The produced inventory that is sold would be matched against the actual number of orders by the customers. In this regard, the presence of a scheduled receipt would prove to be very helpful in the master production schedule or the MPS. These receipts are the planned ones from the former periods and the calculations and exist in the form of a scheduled receipt. Due to this, it now exists in the form of an order of manufacturing that incorporates particular content and is determined as “sure.” Moreover, the formal master scheduling would also make sure that the product is delivered within the set schedule of time.

Organizational Changes

            However, such a process would necessitate specific changes in the organization, such as a change in the role played by the manager of the production and her responsibilities regarding the scheduling of the inventory. This concept can be better understood by considering the example of the implementation of the Kanban system in line with the formal master scheduling, in contrast to the simple method of establishing the forecast of the inventory to be produced within the available time limits. The Kanban system would mandate additional structural responsibilities that can only be ensured through an adequate process of planning. Therefore, the manager of the production would assign the other duties to analyze the data at a more comprehensive level and conduct additional research by the new system.

Assessment of the Unavailability of Units or Delivery Failure

            It is one of the nightmares of any manufacturing company to fail to cater for the orders of the customers. In my opinion, to offer a customer a false promise of the delivery of the product is far more terrible than a failure to deliver the required inventory to the consumer in the case of insufficient stock. It is because the delivery of the product needed to the customer within time is the foundation of the company policy.

However, the manufacturing business is very hard. In particular cases or instances when the manufacturer may be overbooked. In such a case the manufacturer cannot confess to the customer that he is overbooked as the profitability of the company comes first. However, it is preferable, in such a case, to promise the delivery according to the timeframe the owner thinks is suitable or possible, so that the customer may maintain her confidence in the manufacturer. Such a case may result in the customer leaving for another vendor, the relationship between the manufacturer and the customer remains intact.

Implications of the Master Scheduling

            Regarding the business of Realco, the master scheduling plays a very critical role in the understanding of the period required for the production of the stated quantity of inventory. When the required timeframe is already established, it becomes effortless to give accurate time to the clients for the delivery of the required amount of product.

Impact of 20,000 Breadmakers

            It is clear that if the amount of the product is reduced, the inventory output would be profoundly affected. Such a condition can be conducive to saving money by the reduction of the cost of production. It would be financially beneficial. However, from the forecast point of view, it may result in a high risk in the practical cooperation and may adversely affect the future delivery on time.

Challenges in Post-Earthquake Japan

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Supply Chain of Japanese Auto Industry Before March 11 Earthquake

            The auto industry of Japan has always been very efficient. In fact, it is the reason that ensures that Japan has remained on top in the said industry. Before Japan suffered from the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, the supply chain of the auto industry possessed various advantages over the supply chain of other nations. A few benefits maintained by it can be regarded as its ability to manufacture products that not only conform to the highest global standards of quality but also ensures the highest efficiency in the manufacturing process and the process of delivery to the suppliers.

On the other hand, the supply chain of the auto industry of Japan also had certain disadvantages. Among these disadvantages, the most major was the lack of the availability of the solutions of the forecast. This weakness is primarily related to the particular unforeseen environmental aspects and disasters. They did not consider the possibility of the production of inventory in excessive amounts. Hence, a number of the parts of the vehicles were manufactured in surplus amounts. It should have been kept in mind before the beginning of the planning of the process of manufacturing.

Consistency of the Plan of Toyota with Lean Production

            The philosophy of Lean production is instrumental in the reduction of the production of any excess inventory. When Japan suffered from the devastation caused by the 2011 earthquake, the Japanese automobile company of Toyota decided to mitigate the loss of the manufacturing by incorporating a safety blanket, like a foolproof plan. This measure played an essential role in the protection of the production and the supply of the inventory. This plan has been implemented in a format of isolation to cater for any production disruptions in the case of any future unfortunate disasters.

The main idea behind the concept of Lean supply is to reduce or minimize the production of waste regarding both, the logistics and the sourcing of the organization. Moreover, this concept further extends to the internal operations of the company. This idea closely monitors the waste inventory and therefore, the Japanese recovered the stability of their automobile industry through the availability of the adequate amount of stock.

Improvement of the supply chain

            The incorporation of the Kanban system can further improve the foolproof supply chain of Toyota. Through the utilization of this method, the supply chain can be synchronized by the placement of the element of “Just in Time” (JIT). It would result in the production of the required amount of inventory well within the established time limit. The Just in Time system in output adopted by Toyota is often regarded as the most efficient production strategy in the world. Furthermore, the quantity of the orders should be protected from fluctuations as much as possible.

Impact of Toyota’s Plan for Relationship Management

            The plan of Toyota would positively affect the management of the supply chain. The manufacturers that Toyota outsources would greatly benefit from the financial flexibility of the inventory assured by Toyota. It has created an environment of comfort for these manufacturers. It has also been very influential in the globalization of the business of Toyota in the regions which are culturally diverse.


In conclusion, it can be stated that both the cases have a common aspect. Both the cases have emphasized the importance of the forecast of the inventory by the demand of the consumers. It is an area of extreme concern and should be addressed. By the incorporation of the adequate strategies and theories of production, the organizations would enhance their effectiveness, productivity, and profitability. Therefore, it is highly recommended for the organizations to take decisive measures in this regard.



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