ForeFront Holdings Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

1.                  What changes would you propose to implement in the five months before the move to the new factory?

Breakdowns in finishing department:

One of the major problems analyzed is that the machine gets breakdown regularly in the finishing department. In addition, the parts required to make that machine functional again needs to be imported from Italy. Once, the laser textured roller and fine sanding machine failed together results in five months of shutdown. In this period, department use the less precise sanding equipment, which is highly effective than that machine. On the other hand, the roller continues to be used in spite of knowing the fact that the one piece out of five gets defected. That defected door requires additional process, which affects the limited capacity and material. The roller cost RMB 10000 and sanding machine cost ForeFront Holdings about RMB 1.5 Million. In order to solve this problem, the textured roller has to be sold out that will minimize the defected number of doors.

Number of Defected Piece Per Month

Number of doors per day Number of Regular Working Days Number of doors per Month Ratio of Defected Piece for Rework Total







The ratio of rejection piece is 20%. According to the daily manufacturing of the production, 9100 is the average total numbers of door that are roughly produced in the factory. 1820 are the defected piece per month, which is affecting the cost of production, labor and overheads.

Secondly, the sanding machine should be disposed-off or placed on leased and adopt the alternate method, which is practiced during the waiting period. Fine-sanding machine is the bottleneck because the cutting department has the capacity to cut 350 door woods per day. But fine sanding machine will have the capacity to entertain 300 pairs per day. Access use of machine produces uneven sanding, which leads to an increase in the rework or rejection ratio from 20 to 30%.

Number of Defected Piece Per Month

Number of doors per day Number of Regular Working Days Number of doors per Month Ratio of Defected Piece for Rework Total






Spare parts:

It has been noticed that the maintenance department need to carry almost all the parts of the machine because they do not even know which part of the machine needs to be replaced. Disposing-off the current machine or the local one will decline the cost of carrying and buying the spare parts it will cut down the average cost of Maintenance Worker’s wages that is RMB 100000. It is almost 6.66% of the machine’s cost.

Inventory management system:

After visiting the manufacturing area, the information has been taken from the skilled workers about the use of the raw materials. The work in process inventory has not been properly documented before, during and after the project. There is no handing off inventory between one process departments to another. It is impossible to track the process yield of each department. The problem arises when the management needs to evaluate the appearance of mistakes. The culture of the workers is not to accept blame no matter what happens. Cutting is the initial part of the process but even at that time the error was not reported. At the finishing part of the process when the roller disastrous to touch the surface of the wood, the error gets reported and it leads to rework the manufacturing process. On the other side, the bills of material that was developed by department of engineering were not been followed as well. This predicament can only be solved by making an inventory tracking system, which accounted for the tracking of work in process inventory. It will also help in finding the error measurement of each department.

2.                   What specific changes would you propose to implement after ForeFront moves to the new plant? Explain your reasons.

New factory:

The new factory has got the space of 60000 square meters which is purely for the production facility. The new factory contains five buildings as well as multi story administration area and big area for dormitory for workers. It a good chance to introduce additional finishing equipment in order to resolve the bottleneck....................................

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