Excel Logistics Services Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


            Run charts, which are also called as line charts, have been generated in excel spreadsheet based upon the data which has been presented in the case exhibits for the receiving process, module 1 and module 3. These run chats are shown below:

Run Chart for Receiving Process

            The three run charts that have been generated for the three processes show the performance of the process over a period of time. It also shows large aberrations and the upward and the downward trends within the process and the acceptable upper and lower control limits for each of the process. The three logical reasons for the variation of the proportional errors in the receiving process are that it was difficult to identify in the warehouse setting that how wrong a process had been. The second reason was that there was an absence of rechecking mechanism and the third reason was that the error was identified in the process late when the product was being delivered to the store from the stock.


            The process control charts show that whether the processes are within the control of the management or not. First of all in order to generate the charts, the controls have to be calculated and then based upon that information, the control charts are formed. The control charts for the three processes are shown below:

Receiving Process Control Chart

Module 1 Control Chart

Module 3 Control Chart

            If we look at the control charts of all the three processes, then it could be clearly seen that the process, which is out of control of the management and the errors are increasing, is module 3 process. The receiving process of the company according to the generated control chart seems to be well organized and has a robust checking mechanism. The module 1 control chart also crosses the lower control limit which is alarming for the management of the company.


            The necessary computations for the receiving process, module 1 and module 3 have been performed in the excel spreadsheet. Based upon the total days, the proportion of the total days for each of the process on which the number of errors exceeded the 2% limit has been calculated. These proportions are 31%, 29% and 27% respectively for the three processes. Hence, it could be said that the higher process capability is shown by module 3, whereas the lowest process capability is shown by the receiving process, which is also confirmed previously from the generated control charts.


            The Pareto Chart has been constructed in order to prioritize all the set of the actions that would be taken by the management in order to minimize the receiving process errors for the range of the activities. According to Pareto Chart, the set of actions should be first designed for the ‘Other’ error source and then for Slotter errors and so on. The Pareto Chart is shown below:

            The set of the actions could include establishing more stringent internal controls to control the number of the errors occurring in the receiving process. The company should carry out monthly appraisal interviews with the employees as the case states that the company has been facing the problem of dissatisfied store managers and employees. All the reasons for the large percentage of the errors could then by identified and analyzed. Furthermore, the data collection system of the company can be computerized to increase the accuracy and the speed of the receiving process and reduce unacceptable error by introducing the rechecking mechanism.


            The performance of the receiving process and all the other processes could be improved at Springfield through a continuous improvement framework. A consultant could be hired by the management of the company to guide the management regarding the receiving process. The performance of the employees of the company would also be monitored by the consultant and timely feedback from the employees would ensure that they are not dissatisfied with their performance and work tasks. Logbooks could be used at each of the checkpoints in the processes to ensure continuous improvement is taking place. Currently, there is no process in the organization for continuous checking at different parts of the receiving process and other processes of the company. Lastly, the last way to introduce continuous improvement in the process and reduce the total number of the errors is to introduce a coding system in the process. This system should be established by the management and it would reduce the number of the total errors in all the processes significantly............................

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