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BUSN Assignment Questions - Campus Cookie




Assignment Questions;1. Provide a clear statement of the main issue that this new company must resolve.;2. Discuss at least two approaches that can be used to address the issue.;3. Present quantitative analysis that is on a spreadsheet that provide insight into how to resolve the issue.;4. Discuss alternatives that can be used to address the issue and present your recommendations.;5. Clearly state any assumptions you make.;As a recent graduate of your business school, you and your roommate are preparing to start Campus Cookie Company in your apartment, located close to campus. The company will provide fresh cookies for starving students late at night. After two nights of operation, you want to assess the quality of your process and ways to improve it.;Business Concept;Your idea is to bake fresh cookies to order, using any combination of ingredients that the buyer wants. The cookies will be ready for pickup at your apartment within an hour.;Several factors will set you apart from competing products such as store-bought cookies. First, your cookies will be completely fresh. You will not bake any cookies before receiving an order, therefore, the buyer will be getting cookies literally hot out of the oven.;Second, you have a variety of ingredients available to add to the basic dough, including chocolate chips, M&M?s, chopped Heath bars, coconut, walnuts, raisins and other specialty ingredients. Buyers will telephone or email their orders and specify which of these ingredients they want in their cookies. You guarantee completely fresh cookies. In short, you will have the freshest, most exotic cookies anywhere, available close to campus.;The Production Process;Baking cookies is simple: mix all the ingredients in a food processor, spoon out the cookie dough onto a tray, put the cookies into the oven, bake them, take the tray of cookies out of the oven, let the cookies cool, and, finally, take the cookies off the tray and carefully pack them in a box. You and your roommate already own all the necessary capital equipment: one food processor, cookie trays, and spoons. Your apartment has a small oven that will hold one tray at a time. Your landlord pays for all electricity. The variable costs are merely the cost of the ingredients (estimated at $0.60/dozen), the cost of the box in which the cookies are packed ($0.10 per box that holds one dozen cookies), and your time.;The first step is to take an order. One way customers could place an order is to arrive at the apartment, place their order and wait for it to be completed. Another way to order, which your roommate has figured out how to do quickly and with 100% accuracy, is using the campus email system.;The first physical production step, typically performed by you, is to wash out the mixing bowl from the previous batch, add all of the ingredients, and mix them in your food processor. The mixing bowls hold ingredients for up to 3 dozen cookies. You then dish out the cookies, one dozen at a time, onto a cookie tray. The next step, performed by your roommate, is to put the cookies in the oven and set the thermostat and timer. The cookies bake for the next nine minutes. So total baking time is 10 minutes, during the first minute of which your roommate is busy setting the oven. Because the oven only holds one tray, a second dozen takes an additional 10 minutes to bake.;You or your roommate perform the last steps of the process by first removing the cookies from the oven and putting them aside to cool, then carefully packing them in a box and accepting payment. Removing the cookies from the oven takes only a negligible amount of time, but it must be done promptly.;First Day of Operation;Opening day was Friday, and although the first few hours were slow, volume built throughout the evening. Most of the orders were very exotic, and you were swept away in the rush to get fast turnaround of orders. It was a hot day, and the air conditioning stopped working, so the room was stuffy. After closing, you and your roommate spent considerable time cleaning up and restocking inventory and reviewed your first day. Customers seemed to like the concept and judged the cookies favorably. However, there were many overdone and underdone cookies.;When cookies were overdone, the cookies were removed from the order, so customers did not get the dozen that they expected. You then had to explain the reduction in quantity. (The other option was to risk a reputation of poor quality, which was not an option you wanted to consider). Some batches had so many overdone cookies that customers wanted a new batch with a dozen cookies. This meant a rush to push a dozen through as fast as possible.;You also noticed that cookies were underdone. If they were noticed as soon as they came out of the oven, the entire batch was put back for more baking. This process was unreliable, however, because some or all of the cookies could end up overdone. This also disrupted your production process. During the day, you made several hasty decisions about whether to scrap cookies or offer them to the customer and when to refund money to customers who rejected a partial batch. In the rush, you did not get any data, but you know you clearly have a problem. You decide to gather more data the next day to assess the problem more fully.;Second Day of Operation;The second day was even busier than the first day and the air conditioning was still not operating. At times, there were more than 10 customers waiting to order and another 10 waiting to pick up. In spite of this, you still had time to collect data. Your basic approach was to remove three cookies from a tray holding a dozen, putting them aside to cool. Once cooled, you measured their average ?doneness?. (Because this meant removing cookies from these trays, you only did this with your standard recipes. You boxed the measured cookies in with the others and planned to sell these later.) You developed a way to measure doneness by using a calibrated press for measuring doneness. The press uses a 9-point scale. Your sampling results are shown in Figure 2.;It was your opinion that most customers would accept cookies in the 4 to 6 range, which you describe as your doneness specification. All cookies sampled measured in the 1-8 range, with several scoring a 9. While measuring the doneness, you were trying to notice the conditions under which the cookies were cooked. You noticed that doneness depended on the type of cookie and whether its shape was irregular, the oven temperature, where the cookie was located in the oven, the set point on the thermostat, the baking time, and whether the cookies were removed promptly from the oven. All cookies tested were baked at 375oF for 18 minutes. The oven was not the only possible explanation. You also thought about the materials ? maybe they are irregular or just getting mixed poorly? Also, does the temperature of the dough affect doneness and/or how long the dough was mixed? Or maybe you and your roommate are so busy that you can?t remove the cookies promptly from the oven. You have noticed that your roommate tends to return cookies to the oven if they are undercooked, but then got so busy that a few trays of cookies were totally burned. You, on the other hand, will just take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool (when you are not busy with a customer).;Unfortunately, it is midnight by the time you tally up your results. Maybe you should go to sleep, but you are more determined than ever to make cookies the way your customers want them.;Figure 1;Measured Scale of Doneness;1. Raw, with no outer crust.;2. Slight crust formed but raw inside. Cannot be taken off tray without falling apart.;3. Crust formed but not cooked all the way through. Cookie collapses when held by one edge.;4. Cooked all the way through but not evenly. If held on edge, cookie will droop over.;5. Hard, but not solid. Bends only a little before it breaks.;6. Solid all the way through. The cookie is brittle, snaps if bent (like many pre-packaged cookies);7. Solid and dried out. May be traces of charring on the edges.;8. Completely dried out. Charred and rock hard.;9. Other ? several kinds of ?funny appearances? that could not be easily characterized but made the cookie look inedible.;Figure 2;Second Day of Operation Sample Results;Sample Number Doneness Codes;1;2;3;4;5;6;7;8;9;10;11;12;13;14;15 5, 5, 5;5, 5, 5;5, 4, 5;5, 5, 6;5, 6, 5;9, 9, 9;5, 6, 6;6, 4, 5;5, 6, 6;4, 6, 7;6, 8, 5;5, 5, 5;6, 5, 5;6, 6, 6;5, 5, 5


Paper#29757 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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