Do You Upgrade Operations or Maintain the Status Quo?

Do You Upgrade Operations or Maintain the Status Quo?


Case Overview:

You are the operations manager for a manufacturing company that makes a medical device.  Business has been growing tremendously and after exhaustive research you discover new technology that has become available that can improve the quality of your product and reduce production time.  Medical devices have the highest quality requirements and this technology could help you reduce the number of defects in manufacturing.  The technology can also reduce manufacturing lead-time which is fantastic because you have a substantial backlog of orders.  Your continuous growing of manufacturing lead-times could result in the risk of losing your client orders.  Your loyal clients have been patient with you as your lead-times have been extended over the last several months, but you don’t know how much longer they will be willing to put up with the delays.

By all accounts, the benefits of the technology appear to be a “no brainer” because reduced lead-times and increased quality have a direct positive impact on company profits.  Which is not only great for the company, but will also have a positive impact on your own personal compensation.  Your hesitation comes in the following: making the switch to the new technology will require the factory to shut down production for at least two weeks.  This means you will have to extend the lead-time on your current backlog before you can reduce it.  You will also have to convince the company president that the multi-million-dollar investment in the technology will be worthwhile when you realize the cost savings, reduced lead time, and hopefully increased business over the coming years.  If for any reason, the adoption of the technology was to be a failure, you’re pretty sure that you would lose your job.  Finally, adopting the new technology would result in a substantial number of layoffs (likely 10-15% over the next year).  Your company has had very low turnover and most of the manufacturing employees have been with the company since the company started about 25 years ago.  Many of these employees are older, with little formal education, and would likely face challenges in securing a new job.

You must decide, do you keep the status quo, and continue with business as usual?  Business is booming, you have a smooth operating manufacturing process in place, the president of the company is very pleased with how successfully you have been managing the plant, and your employees are happy. Or do you decide to proceed with convincing the president to purchase the new technology and upgrade the manufacturing process?


A) Describe the process that you would go through to make your decision.

  • Summarize the key facts of the case that you were weighing.
  • Identify decision making heuristic(s) that you would utilize in making decision.

B) Identify the potential pitfalls of over confidence?  Examine how could overconfidence impair your judgment.  –Explain specifically within the confines of the factors of this case.

C) Identify and explain what are potential biases that might impair the objectivity of your evaluation of the factors? -Include the factors of the case, as well as, factors “at-large”.

D) Discuss how blindness and bounded awareness pose challenges in making an objective decision.

E) Summarize your decision.  Explain how and why you made this decision.  Is your decision in line with the examination above or did you rely on personal “gut” instincts, affective/emotions, personal relationships, or personal values and Faith?

Submission should be in essay form and adhere to APA style requirements.  Be sure to use headings within the essay that align with addressing the above requirements of the assignment.  Support assertions with at least the text, additional resources are encouraged.

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