National Cranberry Cooperative 1996 Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


NCC is a company that is owned and founded by the farmers of berries. The main purpose of the growers is to market and process their berries. The company is known to be one of the biggest cooperatives along with its operational presence in most of the regions in America where there was an ample growth of cranberries. As the company is known to be a leader in the market, the management of the company is planning to bring some changes in its operations to make the overall process more efficient.

national cranberry cooperative case solution

national cranberry cooperative case solution

For this, the company was planning to increase its operational capacity by buying some new equipment. The company believes that problems have not changed in nearly two decades and its high time now to make changes in the process that will become more effective for the company.

By making slight changes in the process, the company can make improvement in the overall processing of the cranberries and make it faster. The process is based on entrance of berries into the plant, moving towards receiving plant 1 and then further processing that include destining, deshafing and etc. in this way, NCC would be successful in reducing their cost that in turn result in increasing efficiency of the company. The overall waiting time of the company with respect to trucks would be decreased if the company takes some measures to reduce its overtime. NCC, for sure, will get benefit from these strategies, if implemented properly. In addition to this, it would able to solve the problems faced by the company as a whole.

The problems facing by the company:

  1. One of the major and most sensitive problems that the company is facing is related to the arrival and waiting of the trucks. The overtime cost of the company was still out of control last fall. In addition, the growers are upset because of the fact that the workers like drivers were forced to waste their time in waiting for the trucks to unload to the RP1. It has been mentioned in the case that a usual truck takes almost 7 to 8 minutes for a truck to unload cranberries in the RP1 and back a truck onto a Kiwanee dumper, empty its contents and leave the platform. The truck drivers need to wait for a long time during this process. These waits occurred when the holding bins became full and there was no place in the receiving plant to temporarily store berries before going for further process. Often, the truck drivers have to wait for three or even more than three hours and pay as much as $100 per hour to lease a truck and a driver. The whole scenario has shown that there is a need of temporary holding bins so that a major problem in the RP1 can be solved.
  2. Another issue faced by the NCC is related to the overtime issue. The overtime expenditures of the company were out of the limit and thus there is a high need to limit capital related to the overtime expenses. The pay rate for seasonal workers in the process fruit section was $8.00 per hour. They were paid the overtime rate of 1-1/2 times their straight-time rate for anything over 40 hours per week. The issue becomes more prominent during the peak seasons as the demand for the labors and temporary workers has become increase. In general months the number of workers required in the plant is 27. On the contrary, the number of workers required in the peak season increase from 27 to 53.

In addition to these problems, holding bins 25 to 27 are for wet water harvested berries. Holding bins from 17 to 24 can be used for both types of berries that is either wet or dry. The superintendent told the manager that demand for wet berries will rise this year with a rate of more than 70%, so the company needs to do some preemptive measures to deal with the demand.  Currently, the company is in acute shortage of holding bins for wet berries. Although, advancing in terms of mechanization has increased the trend more towards harvesting berries through water, but it eventually decreases the life of a fruit. In the coming year, the company would be facing disparity in holding capacity to a much larger extent for the dried cranberries that is up to 6000 bbls in comparison with 3200 bbls of water cranberries before the dispensation of these raw materials......................

This is just a sample partial case solution. Please place the order on the website to order your own originally done case solution.

Describes the process used for continuous flow processing cranberries in juice and / or sauce. Requires students to analyze the process, to determine where the bottlenecks are, and to decide how and how much, to expand capacity. The original version written by JG Miller and RP Olson. "Hide
by Roy D. Shapiro Source: HBS Premier Case Collection 10 pages. Publication Date: May 31, 1988. Prod. #: 688122-PDF-ENG

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