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Operations at Apple Inc.
Statistical technique to measure the quality characteristics of Apple Inc.
Six-sigma was created in the 1980s at Motorola as a strategy to measure and enhance high-volume processing procedures. Its overall objective was to measure and dispose of waste by endeavoring to accomplish nearly perfect outcomes. The term six sigma refers to a statistical technique of measuring quality with a maximum of 3.4 imperfections out of a million. Various organizations like General Electric, Ford, and Apple Inc. have used six-sigma in their operations and have been able to save billions of dollars (Hubbard, 2009).
Six-Sigma is a statistically conscious strategy-to-process change that uses many tools to guarantee success. These tools include total quality management, statistical process control, and experimental designs. It may be facilitated with other vital activities and frameworks like a new item improvement, planning of material requirements and controls of just-in-time inventory. Initially, Six-sigma was considered a framework that could be utilized just within production operations (Merchant, 2010). However, it has recently ended up being auspicious in non-manufacturing operations like billing, accounts payable, marketing and data frameworks. At first, six-sigma may appear excessively disorganized and unsuccessful in breaking down non-standard and monotonous methods similar to assembling scenarios. However, the six-sigma hypothesis is adaptable enough to suit any methodology. In any case, many lessons studied on manufacturing lines are extremely crucial in other processes (Hubbard, 2009). The essential steps that must be followed in a six-sigma-guided process are outlined below:
1. Break down the flow of business processes into distinct steps
2. Define existing defects
3. Measure the amount of imperfections.
4. Investigate the roots of the defects
5. Implement updates for improvement
7. Take an enduring perspective of objectives.
Current facility location
The global headquarters of Apple Inc. are located in the Silicon Valley at 1 -- 6 Infinite Loop Cupertino in California. This facility has six structures that sum up to 850,000 square feet and was created in 1993 by Sobrato Development. In 2006, Apple reported its plans to establish a second facility on a fifty-acre land gathered from nearest adjoining plots. Later acquisitions expanded this to 175 acres of land. The new facility in Cupertino was approximately 1.6 km east of the present facility. Norman Foster (Hubbard, 2009) designed the construction of the new facility.
On June 7, 2011, Steve Jobs gave a presentation to Cupertino City Council, enumerating the architectural plan of the new building and its environs. The new facility was meant to house 13,000 workers in one focal four-storied circular building (with a restaurant for 3,000 sitting individuals combined). This was characterized by an impressive landscape with car-parking chiefly underground and the rest unified in a parking structure. There were additional structures, including R&D facilities, an auditorium, a fitness center, and a committed generating plant as an essential source of power (Hubbard, 2009).
The Apple's head office in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East are placed in Cork in the south of Ireland. The office, which opened in 1980, was Apple's first area outside of the United States. Apple Markets International, which manages all of Apple's worldwide sales outside of the U.S.A., is housed at Apple's Grounds in Cork plus Apple Distribution International. It comparatively deals with Apple's global distribution network. Changes are evident at the giant technology firm. Recently, the company announced its intentions of expanding its campus in Europe. Apple will create 500 new employments opportunities to its European head office in the next financial year (Merchant, 2010). This expansion will make the total workforce shift from an estimated 3000 to 4300 employees. The organization will construct another administration block on its Hollyhill Facility to take care of the additional employees.
When industrial engineers or the field directors were choosing how they might enhance manufacturing productivity, the first thought was, "How would I advance this undertaking as far as the first stage, second stage and 3rd steps are concerned?" Was there any literature or procedure that could be followed by field workforce? Based on a wide literature search, many manufacturers implement various changes in an informal manner or shift the change process to the final users. In this study, Apple will follow the three-step approach in determining a new location for the facility (Hubbard, 2009).
Step1: Determining if the new facility will Use Skilled Labor
Numerous production choices including machines, unskilled labor, and skilled labor are utilized during a production process for the successful completion of orders. Issues arise when choices have to be made on the one that is best for the needed work as far as viability and effectiveness are concerned. Two issues are raised when this perspective is adopted. The company determines whether skilled workforce is the only choice or whether skilled workforce is the cheaper alternative. In this case, Apple's new facility will employ skilled labor. Therefore, the issue will head off to Step 2 (Lussier, 2012).
Step2: A definition of the most ideal Specifications for Using Skilled Labor
It is essential to know how to utilize them to acquire the maximum rate of output with the minimum manufacturing cost after choosing skilled labor for the new jobs. Consequently, this demands Apple's management to define the most suitable particulars for utilizing skilled labor. This is recognized as the second Step and examined under two themes: Assessing most extreme potential increase and determining the ideal specifications (Hubbard, 2009).
The evaluation of the maximum possible performance deals with establishing the potential maximum increase while encountering minimum loss in the arranged condition. The investigation depends on the designers of the operations who have experience in designing skilled workforce for production operations. In the case of Apple, four general bearings are distinguished in this theory for the minimization of loss. They include optimizing the usage of assets, minimizing the procedure time, minimizing the occurrence of errors and maximizing a safe working environment (Merchant, 2010).
In the next step, determining the most suitable details after the general structure and methods for the operation must be worked out. The operation is outlined and evaluated in terms of meeting the specifications and expectations. With complex operations utilizing skilled specialists, a principal thought is premised on the decrease of operational mistakes and smooth recuperation when errors are made (Hubbard, 2009). Assuming that changes could be made to the operation, an iterative strategy of enhancing and running is utilized until a suitable effect is realized. For Apple to get the best outcomes, the accompanying techniques are utilized. They include 1) Analyze the flow of production 2) Establish components to measure, 3) Determine weak points in the production design as well as possible solutions, 4) cost estimation
Step 3: Attaining and Maintaining the Required Productivity
After selecting skilled labor and the most suitable particulars are outlined, it is indispensable to know how to achieve and support the defined profit margin. This is recognized in step 3 and backed by three sub-steps: 1) Determine the level of productivity; 2) Locate causes, and 3) Finding a solution
Sub-Step1: Determine the Productivity Level. To enhance the profit outlined as the opposite of expenditure, it is fundamental to grasp the present benefit level to see if any waste exists. In terms of waste, everything on earth has a reason and no waste exist from the biology perspective. In this context, the term waste is a relative notion since waste for one individual may not be a waste for another person. Case in point, reused paper is a waste for most businesses, yet not for the recycling business because it is the primary source of its income (Hubbard, 2009). Waste is any undesired or unwanted material left over after completing an activity like the conversion of crude materials to semi-fulfilled or completed items. In the case of Apple, Waste" is described as any unplanned loss as far as amount, quality and time in production is concerned. The primary focus in this definition is that the waste is measured against the planned quality, quantity, time, and cost. For instance, an unintended idleness is considered as a waste although it is not a waste if was intentional. Taking into account this definition, this "Waste" is additionally considered as "Pure waste" in some circumstances.
This sub-step is upheld by the further 4 steps: 1) Analyzing the flow of production, 2) Determining components to measure; 3) Identifying waste and 4) Estimating cost, which are essentially the same as the ones in Step 1. The instruments used to gather the data include interviews with operators, supervisors, and getting data from dependable production data framework. The main contrast is Identifying loss in Step 1 while identifying waste in this step. The waste in the case of Apple is characterized by unplanned losses such as excessive capability, excessive availability, and unplanned purchases (Kasilingam, 2010).
Key concepts related to capacity planning and facility location for the new location
Technology companies are continually facing sudden decreases and increases in demand. The economy has an instantaneous effect on this industry and new items are continually…[continue]
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