Process Control at Polaroid (A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Process Control at Polaroid Case Study Analysis


The Polaroid Company was an American company that is found by Edwin H. Land in 1937.It provided most remarkable services to their customer’s regarding instant cameras and films while company had a great reputation in market by revolutionized the instant photography and film production where company used polarized technology through which company initially worked on polarized sunglasses and then company started manufacturing of 3-D movies and the protective googles for the military dogs by using polarized technology. The company was at its peak when it manufactures polarized camera, which led the instant photography market. The company generated most revenue from instant photography and other two divisions, which include consumer photography division and technical division or industrial division.

The main products that company manufactured include Instant Cameras, Instant Films, action Camera and digital cameras. With use of the polarized technology company successfully create a huge market value in the market and in 1991 company got its peak revenue which was around $3 billion.


Question No 01

The company revolutionized the instant photography and created an anonymous market as compared to its rivals, but because of certain issues, company growth rate decline. The company moved the film production from traditional QC inspection to operator-based process control, while the quality control process of the company was not incompetent and could not handle the good quality of sampling. The incompetency of the QC management badly affects the quality of the products and the products could not entertain their customers as much due which company decline started.

  • The quality of the products is badly affected because of the QC control processes because it was traditionally based on destructive sampling due to which company could not able to manufacture qualitative products.
  • The main issue of product quality is because of the irresponsible behavior of both quality auditors and production operator toward the QC maintenance.

See Appendix X and R bar.

SWOT Analysis

There are certain issues due to which the market value of the company was disturbed, but the company had a remarkable market due to which the company was at its peak where other companies could not able to compete with the Polaroid.

Strengths of the Company

Polaroid brought a revolution in the instant photography, which created an effective and remarkable market due to which it led the market of instant photography. The most influential factors that aid the company in leading the company are as under:

  • The use of advance technology (Polarized Technology) which aid company to create a remarkable market place
  • The customers of the company are loyal towards the products of the company
  • Organization culture of Polaroid Control is dominated by turf wars within various divisions, leading to managers keeping information close to their chests
Weaknesses of the Company

The analysis shows the company’s economic health decline because of certain issues, which are mentioned below:

  • Company has many issues related to the quality of the product.
  • The QC management of the company need to upgrade so the quality of product would be better.
  • According to the analysis, the company cannot manage the inventory and cash flow.
  • The track record of the company is not enough encouraging, so that is why the customer’s market value decreases with passaging time.
Opportunities of the Company

The company has a remarkable market place and their customers are loyal to the company furthermore company had versatile technology. However, company had opportunity to create a diversified market by upgrading and advancement in their technology

  • By revolutionizing the technology, company can improve the product level so they can able to take over the market in various divisions.
  • The social media-oriented business help Company to improve the supply chain and with minimum investments, company can easily enter to international market and can target a valuable market.
  • Company had a great experience in technology company can invest in diversified projects which help to build up the valuable market.
Threats of the Company

The threats are the factors that are the macro-environmental factors that affect business due to which company can able to compete with their compotators. These factors emerge because of the certain issues like change in the consumers, political effects, and change in the customer’s taste, technological innovations and others. The main threats that can critically upset the company market are as under:

  • Polaroid manufactured various products that cannot entertain their customers, so their market economic health can be upset at any time.
  • The behavior of the quality auditors and production operator towards the quality is not well productive, so it is important to manage the quality of product while the products cannot able to target the valuable market.
  • The retention of the customers is the biggest challenge to the company because it may cause the disruption of company.
  • Company should never under-estimate the customers while it may disturb the market value.

Question No 02

Project Greenlight since start was essential to allow for reliable measurement of quality control processes during the processes. It was in opposition to the process end. If it is implemented, it will help identify the defects that were not in control before and make the manufacturing process smooth and efficient. It is necessary to provide clear instructions and guidelines on how to use this greenlight project as a source of consistent improvement. We see that in X and R bar for both finger height and pod weight in the appendix, we can draw conclusions: Both ranges are in control. And variation in subgroups seems to be persistent. Nevertheless, we see from the finger height X-bar, this process is not in control.

Question No 03

The Appendix3 suggest that quality of output R2 dwindled. Reported defects have appeared to be increased to 0.5% and from auditor central process to 10%. The types of defects seem to be the same but the number is increasingly higher.

Question No 04

Greenlight will not only involve the statistical analysis of the manufacturing process, but also the work of staff in alignment with the process to continuously achieve the satisfactory results for the next six months. It will be a herculean task to create a culture of continual improvements, and as a result, measurements can be a cumbersome, but at the same time will help increase the quality output, thus reducing the cost in R2.

In this scenario, capital investment is a must decision and he has to persuade the upper management for this and also a compensation bonus should be given to staff so that their motivation to work with Greenlight does not decline. The quality should be kept in control with the consultation of upper management.


Company had great efficiency in taking over the company because of its remarkable market and the technology which company used to manufacture their products. Here are some recommendations that help company to grow in the international market and able to keep their customers.

  • Company should upgrade their QC management so the quality of the products would generate profit to the company.
  • Customer’s taste is most important for the company, so it is necessary for the company to never under-estimate the taste of the customers.
  • There should be proper coordination between the customers and the company, so this would boost the economic growth of the company.....

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