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Why Did the Problems of Overtime and Truck Waiting Occur at Ncc only Recently?

Essay by   •  January 26, 2013  •  Essay  •  733 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,947 Views

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Why did the problems of overtime and truck waiting occur at NCC only recently?

There were two key drivers creating the overtime and waiting issues that NCC is now experiencing. First, was the growing surplus of cranberries produced over those being utilized, causing the growers to initiate the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1937 to regulate and control the size of the crop in 1968 and again in 1970. What this does is reduce the supply in response to the decreased demand. This will ultimately cause prices to rise in compensation for the reduction in demand. For NCC, the surplus resulted in having to harvest berries that will not be used. This causes labor hours to rise, increasing costs that hurt the bottom line when there is no associated revenue to account for it. Additionally, with the increase in the number of dumpers, which was misdiagnosed as the problem in the process, caused the number of staff to man those dumpers to increase. This caused not only the labor cost of the dumpers to increase, but also the associated overtime costs during both low and high volume periods when the true bottleneck was during the drying process.

The second issue was the increase in the water harvesting method verses the traditional dry harvesting method. From an average number of total berries of 1720 bbls/hr harvested, approximately 1200 bbls/hr are processed, of which approximately 700 bbls/hr are processed currently from the water harvesting method. Water harvested berries must have a drying step that is not needed when using the dry harvested method, resulting in a bottleneck within the process, as this step can only process 600 bbls/hour. With the growers estimating that 70% of the berries to be delivered in the upcoming crop will use the water harvesting method, NCCs capacity on the drying step will not be able to avoid paying for trucks to wait to dump berries during the peak season. This is causing the problems associated with overtime and the trucks waiting in the receiving station of the process flow.

Why did increasing the capacity of the holding bins not help solve the problem of truck waiting to any great extent?

Increasing the capacity at the holding bins did not help solve the truck-waiting problem because the capacity at the dryers is only between 450-600bbls per hour depending on whether the berries will be bagged or bulk frozen. Even at max capacity (600bbls for bulk berries), the Dryers are creating the bottleneck that is leading to the increased truck wait time. Purchasing one new dryer will increase the dryer capacity to 600-800bbls per hour. With 70% of the 18,000bbls of berries received at RP1 daily being wet, it currently takes 12,600bbls(18,000*.7) 21(12,600/600) hours per day to get through the dryer. Adding one dryer will decrease the drying time to 15.75 hours/day (12,600/800), while adding

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