Posted: May 5th, 2016
The board department’s assembly schedule is determined at the beginning of each month. The five assembly departments request a time during the month when they plan the delivery of particular kits to the board department and specify the number of boards to be assembled. The manager of the board department then takes these requests and tries to satisfy the assembly departments’ requests. However, the board department manager finds that she has a peak load problem; the assembly departments tend to want their boards assembled at the same time. The only way to satisfy these requests is to work overtime shifts during these peak periods even though the board department has excess capacity at other time of the month.
The total monthly costs of the board department (equipment depreciation, maintenance, direct labor, supervision, and engineering support) are assigned to the phone assembly departments based on an hourly rate. The board department’s total monthly costs are divided by the number of hours of capacity in the month (e.g., if a particular month has 22 working days, this is equivalent to 352 hours or 22 days x 2 shifts x 8 hours per shift) to arrive at a charge per hour. To give the phone assembly department incentives to have their kits (boards and chips) delivered to the board department in a timely manner, the phone assembly department is charged for the time from when the last job (a batch of boards assembled for a phone assembly department) was finished by the board department until the time when the next job is finished. For example, suppose phone assembly department A’s phones were finished at 9:00 AM., and that department B delivered its kits at 1:00 PM and they were completed at 7:00 PM the same day. Department B would be charged for 10 hours of the board department’s costs even though the board department was idle for 4 of the 10 hours.
When first installed, the board department was expected to be operating at full capacity, two shifts per day, and six days per week. But due to increased competition and outsourcing of some models, the board department is now operating at about 70 percent of the initial planned capacity.
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