-=–= 5061-FA22-A02-critical thinking-decision making-math programming-beta

Florida Institute of Technology

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Department of Extended Studies
Virtual Site

MGT5061-FA22 Systems & Logistics Support Management

Dr. Paul Battaglia

A02 critical thinking; decision making; math programming – BETA
This assignment is 8 percent of the course grade
Individual work.
How submitted:
*** post your file (or files) with your answers to the assignment in Canvas.
I suggest that you use MS Word for longer narrative. [Excel is great for math, but Excel is not-so-hot for narrative.]
It is often easy to include tables and figures in the MS Word document.
If you use software (such as Excel), then also load that file.
If you solve hard copy, then best to scan & load that file. Be sure that any scanned work is readily legible.

Please remember to:
.a. put your last name in the file name;
Example for a student named JONES: 5061-FA22-A02-Jones-math prog
the file type usually distinguishes the nature of what is enclosed.
.b. be sure that your name is in the running head; and
.c. number the pages.

I usually print out your answers and these items help me to identify whose work I am looking at, grading, etc.

Prepare your answers to the information asked for.
*** From my experience, here is a reminder — double check to make sure that you have answered all of the questions/parts!

Unless other arrangements are made (e.g., you invoked a self-managed extension and will accept a penalty), your answers are due according to the class schedule.

Basic Copyright 2022 Dr. Paul Battaglia and Florida Institute of Technology. For use ONLY by students enrolled in MGT5061-IU-FA22. Any other use requires explicit permission.

The general LUML scenario continues. You are working for the Light-Up-My-Light, Inc. And need to do certain logistical, analytic, or managerial work. The major topics addressed will be the course topics; and more specifically usually the material from the current chapter and notes plus any outside references you use!


Light Up My Light, Inc.

** Mrs. Elise Ennis, CEO
** Mr. Thomas Dollar, the Comptroller (position title is a tad old fashioned plus LUML feels that it is not big enough for CFO)
** Yourself, senior logistics analyst in the Comptrollers Office mostly working on logistics and general management topics
** Ms. Susan Taylor, Chief Operating Officer.
LUML is a niche manufacturer of light fixtures. Most of the fixtures are high end and have a considerable price tag.

The company has a very flexible manufacturing process and can retool quickly for a large number of fixture designs. (There are some 100 fixtures in its standard catalog plus within its capabilities LUML can do custom work.) LUML has not yet reached the point where it can produce fixtures in lots of one fixture and still make a profit. But LUML is making progress. As a result, LUML can take orders for as few as 20 units of any given type model and produce them at a profit at market prices.

LUML is located in Buffalo, NY. The office is collocated with the manufacturing plant. LUML distributes the fixtures in the US using a network of eight warehouses throughout the US including a warehouse located at the Buffalo location. All the warehouses are operated under contract (e.g., a 3PL, or third party logistics approach).

The CEO (Elise Ennis) holds weekly staff meetings which cover the key aspects of the firms operations. In the current environment this was on-line with almost all managers and support staff working from home.

As expected, during the last review various information was presented on the status of the firms operations. Several metrics for various functions were presented and the results were discussed.

As the last item on the agenda they considered a proposal for a special manufacturing program that would last about a month. Home Depot in the Western New York region approached LUML about a joint advertising effort to have a special on two high-end LED fixtures: the L911 and the L923. The L indicates an LED bulb for the fixture design number 911 or 923. The special would run starting November 1.

Due to the expected volume LUML operations suggested they suspend normal production operations. LUML would produce the L911s and L923s continuously for 20 production days.

LUML has one daytime shift Monday thru Friday from 8 AM to 5:00 PM. LUML does not schedule Saturday or Sunday, but could do so if needed.

By judicious inventory management LUML managers believe that they will be able to support the normal customer base PLUS establish this tie-in with the giant Home Depot.

There was consensus by LUML managers that as long as Home Depot was satisfied with the support HD received in this promotion, this offered a nice opportunity for a continuing relationship with a sizeable customer.

There was a brief discussion on the value of critical thinking for a decision of this magnitude. And the importance of assessing whether LUML could support the production. Mrs. Susan Taylor, COO, said that she recalled during her coursework while in school that there were quantitative techniques that could help in their planning. Something about numerical programming or similar. As if by magic, these techniques could give LUML a good idea of the best production plan.

The CEO found this to be an interesting general discussion, but somewhat lacking in detail and hard numbers. In the interest of time she halted the discussion.

The CEO asked if it would be possible to do a quick analysis of the issues. [Of course, that was a rhetorical question. As you might expect, the answer from the Comptroller and COO was sure we can do an analysis for you. Even though this meeting was online, you could sense that they both looked in your direction.]

The CEO said that she would send over some more specific questions after the meeting. Susan Taylor said that she would send over some information on the Home Depot project that Operations had been working on.

A brief discussion on how likely the Corona virus problem was be around; and then the potential to have a company holiday party.

The meeting adjourned.

As the senior logistics analyst for the company you are to play a key role in doing the analysis and writing the reply to the CEO of the results.

The next day when you open up your email you find a message with the questions that the CEO had promised to send over.

To: {your name}
From: Tom Dollar, Comptroller
Date: {date}
Subject: FWD: questions on possible Home Depot WNY project.

Here are the question from the CEO. Remember that the CEO is a numbers freak. She wants to see the backup; and have a clear but concise explanation on what-we-are-doing and why-we-are-doing it.

Please send a copy to the CEO and me.

Please handle ASAP

Thanks, Tom

To: Tom Dollar, Comptroller
From: Elise Ennis, CEO
Date: {date}
Subject: questions on possible Home Depot WNY project.


Ref the weekly briefing and the discussion on critical thinking and number programming (or whatever) as a decision aid. Very interesting. Not too often that we go off on a pretty academic discussion. Nor is it very often that we get an opportunity like this to tie in with a part of a major national chain like Home Depot.

Below are the major things that jumped into my mind as the topic was being discussed and when I got back to my office.

Thank you.


#1. (100) What is critical thinking, anyways?

#2. (100) How might critical thinking generally help us in formulating our analysis of this proposal? And then more specifically influence our use of math aids?

#3. (100) Susan said that she would send over some work that operations had been doing. What is the result of your analysis? I suppose that for starts we would assume that we want to maximize our profits. We can look at other objectives later on.

So how many units of each type do we produce in each daily cycle? Over the 20-day planned production period?

What is the projected profit for each daily cycle? Over the 20-day period?

[NOTE ON NUMERIC ANSWERS]. Prefer (but not required) that you solve using Excel or similar software; or graphically with reasonable attention to scale.
In any case the right numeric answers are obviously important.]

For the number of units to be produced LUML ultimately will need a whole number (i.e., no three tenths or 0.3 of a fixture). If you think that the answer involves a fraction, then give interim result to ONE decimal point and then clearly indicate that you are rounding to the nearest whole number. Example: If your answer is to produce 25.6 L911s, then say 25.6 rounded to 26 L911s.

#4. (100) What happens if we do not produce at the best point? The heads of the two product teams (Tim for L911 and Chuck for L923) are pretty aggressive. Both might prefer to produce all of their model; and fewer (or even none) of the other model. What would that do to us profit wise? Impact on meeting our commitment to Home Depot?

#5. (100) From what I recall of the discussion we are likely to run into shortages or binding constraints. If we do have some of these, then (a) please clearly identify them; and (b) offer at least two suggestions for each binding constraint on how to overcome the constraint.

[Hint: remember that this is a time constrained situation; and limited duration for 20 production days. Any proposed effort needs to be capable of being implemented rather quickly. So building a new factory is not a serious solution. Similarly, in the short run it is unlikely that we can completely revise the production process.]

#6. (25) As we add more variables (say more fixture models or steps in the production cycle) what happens to the ability to use graphic solutions? {Hint: is adding a product (e.g., a model) the same as adding a step (e.g., process)?]

#7. (25) As we add more variables (say more fixture models or steps in the production cycle) what happens to the ability to use math programming solutions? [Hint: ditto.]

#8. (25 if answered with other than none; 0 if answer is none). Any other comments that you think I should know. If none, then please be sure to say that so I know no answer is an answer and not an omission!


Although not directly included in the CEOs questions, as noted in the assignment for week 1 there are other academic grading elements. These include with typical weights:

E1. (Variable depending upon how late) Timely submission.

E2. (20) APA document format.

E3. References for ideas, etc. that are not your own.

(typically 10 percent of each answer) in-text citations are a part of EACH question/answer.

(20) reference list.

E4. (varies with each question) The ability to easily find the answer.

[Seemingly far-fetched example: do not include part of the answer to one question (say Q#2) in another answer (say Q#7). It is NOT the readers job to be looking for prepositional phrases and other tidbits of possible parts of the answer. Similarly, do not bury the answer (e.g., 22 L911s) deep in a lengthy paragraph.


A note:
To Tom Dollar

Tom. Here is the information on the Home Depot project that Operations had pulled together that I promised I would send over.

BTW I looked up some of my old class notes and the name is really mathematical programming.


** There are 3 steps for producing either fixture: inspection, storage, and assembly.
** Believe that Elise would like to make the most profit on this deal as we can.
** Marketing says that Home Depot will accept any quantity of each fixture since HD anticipates being able to sell all that we can produce. But we do need to produce SOME of BOTH fixtures.
** Production cycle is one 8-hour day.
** For each L923 fixture we need 2 hours of inspection; 4 hours of assembly; and 3 cu ft of storage until picked up.
** For each L911 fixture we need 3 cu ft of storage; 1 hour of inspection; and 10 hours of assembly.
** Each day we currently have 220 hours of inspection time; 390 cu ft of storage space; and 1000 hours of assembly time.
** Pickup is usually scheduled for once a day at 5:30 PM after the production line has closed.
** We currently employ people in 3 classifications: assemblers; warehouse/storage specialists; and inspectors. Currently there is no real cross training.
** We estimate that L911 will cost $850 to produce; and L923 will cost $540 to produce. Those are very firm.
** For the purposes of this analysis the costs are loaded (e.g., include items such as taxes, depreciation, overhead, other miscellaneous costs, etc.).
** L911 should sell to HD for $900; L923 for $600.
** Retail price is mainly a HD worry.
** Anticipate no problem with getting the needed supplies and parts.
** As long as we plan ahead for a period of 20-days we can dedicate all production to these two models. We are confident that we can manage current customers thru inventory.

Your job as senior analysis is to

Prepare the answers to her questions. One key reason that we do this type of analysis is to help manage better, solve problems, and the like. So, interpreting the information in relation to the business situation is important.

Keep in mind:
#1 not everyone who reads the answers will know the questions that were asked. Consider including both the Q & A.
#2 the
answer to each question needs to be
easily identifiable. The CEO is probably not going to remember the details of every question that she asked. And she is unlikely to go looking for the answer somewhere in a document.

PLUS, you want to be sure that you have indeed answered all the parts of all the questions.
#3 Each answer needs to have the answer plus supporting rationale. That does not mean that each answer needs to be pages long! The answer itself and the rationale can easily be only be a couple of sentences. In many cases the back-up math will fit neatly in the memo itself. For others you can reference an attachment. But be specific as to where the answer is found.
See attachment A is not very specific. For the profit computation see cell C22 in attachment A is more specific and gives the reader a fighting chance at finding the answer.
#4. As the old saying goes, sometimes a picture/figure can be worth a thousand words. On the other hand, a picture with no explanation might not be much of a help.
This is also an academic work so include references. Recall that APA standard convention is in-text citation and then a reference list at the end (except for personal communications of which there tend to be very few in these type assignments). In any case, we do NOT want to use only a URL nor a WIKI-type source unless it is the only remaining option (you need to justify!).

#6 Remember that according to the grading guidelines, work that is only from the book and/or notes typically is not usually excellent



You work at a dialysis center where people with impaired kidney function come to use a dialysis machine to clean their blood as would their kidneys if they were working properly. You are the Facility Administrator in a location of a small chain of dialysis centers founded and run by a group of doctors who treat kidney disease. You supervise a group of med techs who work with the patients to help them undergo dialysis. The center is located in a state that has mandated that all healthcare workers be vaccinated against Covid and that covers all of your med techs. All of them have produced CDC vaccination cards that show they are fully vaccinated.
One of your med techs in particular stands out. It is Rob Spears who just charms all the patients. Everyone who comes into the center seems to know him and he is particularly good with the older patients who make up the majority of the center’s customers. Rob has become very friendly with the center’s Medical Director who is one of the owners of the chain. Occasionally, they play golf.
One Saturday, while you are grocery shopping, you run into an old friend who used to be a med tech at the center. She mentions that she attended a party not long ago and saw Rob Spears. She was going to say hello but stopped to listen to the conversation he was having. She states that he was bragging about fooling his employer with a fake CDC vaccination card he bought off the internet. He noted that he would not be forced to be vaccinated by an employer.
You are a little overwhelmed by this information. Dialysis patients are particularly susceptible to Covid and you are very concerned that an unvaccinated med tech is working so closely with them. Even so, Rob is popular with the patients, is a great employee otherwise, and has a personal relationship with one of the owners. No one knows that you are aware of this possible problem. Should you choose to, you can keep silent, and it is unlikely that anyone will know. What do you think is the ethical thing to do in this situation and what would you choose to do regardless?


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