Comprehensive McKinsey, Bain & BCG Operations Case Approach

Strategy Skills Podcast: Case Interview Podcast: Corporate Strategy M&A Study: Market Entry Strategy Study: Case Interviews Training:Operations cases can be tackled from two ways: strategy and operations, and within operations from productivity and the supply chain side. This case uses the supply chain side.

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Hi, could you please write here the name of book you suggested in th beginining of the case to understand the operations? You mentioned that we could also read just a summary.
Great breakdown. I like the layout and walkthrough, especially compared to some other youtube case tutorials.
I'm starting to prepare myself to apply for the consulting groups and I really appreciate your video. Anyway, I'd like to clarify one point with you. In the solution approach, I'd also consider increasing a shift in my company, working an additional day or even hiring temporary employees instead of looking for a third party with idle capacity to fill the remaining demand for me. Does it make sense, since we could face some technical problems at the filling line of the third party partner? Thanks for sharing your approaches. They are way worthwhile.
The bottleneck is just a symptom. It sounds like you are trying to describe resource allocation as a solution. A short term solution (bandage) that kicks the ball down the road. In the mean time, the reputation of the company suffers due to seasonal stock outs. Longer term, since we know it's seasonal, and drilling the problem down deeper. I would focus on the S&OP process. Then get into WIP and/or completion rate. Those may very well be the 20% that solves the problem.
So useful! thank you :)
In the first part you state the bottle neck deficit per day is 2k, after which you implicitly assume another 400 due to q&a. However, after you move the q&a, isnt the maximum you canget as output the 100% or 8k, whereas instead you seem to imply a 8k +the 400 from the bottleneck. Doesnt make sense to me, like you're counting double..
I am not convinced with moving the Q&A before the bottle neck to improve the production. As even by doing so you will still end up producing 8000 good bottles and not 8400 as told in the video ( coz 400 are reject anyhow) maybe your 7600 earlier becomes 8000 now that's it. also this there should be a consideration of addition of another q&a after the bottling again as we can't negate the bottling machine will produce 100% right.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm a Dartmouth MBA who successfully avoided all case interviews while in school. Thanks to your video and subsequent practice, I just crushed a series of case interviews that resulted in two job offers. Could not have done it without you. Thank you for your careful and thorough explanations of each step.
Early on one might have asked specifically which customer was unhappy; the distributor (implying supply chain issue) or the end customer (implying quality issue).
As some comments point out, to produce more before summer comes seems like the most reasonable way. However, after my second thought, I would say this solution wouldn't meet the criteria that "client wants the problem to solved asap" since it's already in summer. So maybe we can mention this solution for record, but really need to dig the other perspectives. Have just finished reading the summary of the book The Goal, it's great but i agree the summary is enough to know the basics
I think that the most natural solution was overlooked, if this is a seasonal problem, with 10k/day demand whereas the past demand was 6k/day, why not just produce in advance (given the bottleneck is 8k/day) for these months and hold the inventory?
I have an MSIE and an MBA, operations are essentially my life, but I'm looking into consulting so I've been studying your videos to prepare for case interviews andI have a question... Would moving QA actually work in real life? I don't think so, for a number of reasons. First off we need to see this as a value chain, not a supply chain. The QA step is non value added but prevents loss. Your solution only works out mathematically. In real life putting QA too far upstream in the process assumes that down stream won't make a mistake, you can fix this with multiple QA steps (which I have seen in practice), but at the same time even theoretically this barely increases capacity. Secondly, it doesn't address the root cause directly, it just moves it slightly. Your extra 400 bottles are artificial as a result of not doing actual math and instead doing "business math." You catch defects early and move toward 100% capacity of 8,000. You don't get extra capacity of 8400. My solution to this problem: I thought this case was simple, if it is a seasonal problem and normally you have excess capacity why not just issue forward production to prepare for the peak season? Soda has a long shelf life compared to the peak season. It could easily be done if storage space isnt an issue. Now your holding costs would go up in the off season so looking at those vs outsourcing production would be where a cost/benefit analysis would need to be done. Thoughts?
Could you post the full details of the Goldratt book you reccommended. It's difficult to understand the audio. Thank you
If the above case study was an actual case, I would have FIRED the plant manager for not being able to figure out something so basic to identify. There was actually no need to hire a consulting firm for this project.
Solution makes sense, and a cost-benefit analysis will yield an accurate basis for making a decision as to whether to bring in more equipment or ship product in from another plant to fix the supply shortage problem.
Since Cola is a durable product, I would find out whether there are certain months in which the production capabilities exceeds the demand. if so i would push production to the limit in those months and store the product in order meet the demand in those summer months. how about that?
Another solution is taking into account the expiration date of the soda, the on-shelf time before purchase, and then implementing a plan (if this is a yearly production issue) to overproduce in expectation of the summer months during the low-demand period immediately preceding the high-demand period.In addition, you could use your scientists on staff to test whether expiration dates could be stretched without any effect on the quality or safety of the soda.
How is the name of this book - cannot find it in the internet?
Hi I have a small question,during solution you mentioned to move QA before bottleneck (somewhere around @18:00 minutes) where the maximum capacity is 8000 caps per day. How can a company scrutiny the quality before the complete finished good is in hand. What if there is a lack of efficiency during the last stage that comes after QA as the solution suggested by you?
What if defects happen post-bottling?
Hi could you share the name the book you recommended? I just cannot tell from the voice. Thanks.
If you move "Q&A" before the bottleneck, then what happens with the bad products created at the bottleneck station? Nobody detects them since there's no more quality assurance after it, so they get shipped to the customers. Don't think that will work - not in the real world at least.
The initial hypothesis (10:17) doesn't make any sense, as it's not proper English ("Due to.., it is causing"...). Please fix it.
Hahah what an agressive guy. sounds like one of these chokers of all these business schools who think they understand the word :D XD
Thank you friend. :)
Excellent, thank you. I am going to link to this video as part of a research methods course (section on "case studies") because I think the series of 7 steps (step no 7 seems to be missing?) could also be used outside of the interview situation to build a case study (for a master or MBA thesis). Cheers!
Are you sure your maths is correct? You say that by moving the Q&A before the bottleneck you will get an additional 400 bottles. You say that the plant is running at 95% with 5% defects. If the defects are 400 then the plant at full efficiency will produce 8000 bottles - thats 100%. This means that by moving Q&A before the step you are NOT getting an ADDITIONAL 400 bottles, you are merely getting to full efficiency, you will need another 2000 bottles, not another 1600. If instead you are saying that the plant produces 8000 at 95% efficiency, then by moving Q&A before the bottleneck you will be reaching 8421 bottles. In this scenario you will need another 1579 bottles, not another 1600. Am I wrong? Please comment. Also please comment on whether you should estimate the numbers rather than get precise figures. I understand that is an important part of case interviews.
How can one improve his analytical skills and start linking the various concepts like you did here. I Mean i could understand what was being said here, however linking this those concepts could never come in my mind. i m a an undergrad and taken up a professional qualification course of a Chartered accountant. however my interest is there in business development too.
Alex,  The idea suggested is used in manufacturing whenever a bottleneck's throughput needs to be elevated.  The idea is to protect the bottleneck operation from any defects that will waste machine cycles.  The function of QA to protect the customer downstream of the bottling operation remains.   The expense of moving some of the QA process upstream, even if the effort of duplicated, is small with respect to the value created by increasing the throughput in the bottleneck operation. 
I guess that the same question has been asked below but, what about producing the "surplus" of bottles needed for summer during winter in the same plant?  Assuming that: - 5% of bottles are not passing the quality test (thus max effective capacity of 7.6k bottles per day) - The expiry date of 1yr per bottle - Having roughly 5 months of summer-time and 7 of winter-time We would fit the demand of 10k bottles during summer time and 6k during wintertime Also, would you have a video of the Russian Telecom Company? I am curious now XD
Customer, do they mean retailer or consumer
Q&A is Questions & Answers. Quality Assurance is usually abbreviated QA.
I take it's the retailer, can you write out your thoughts on a grease board or something
Where are the customers located? Lead times are the biggest complaints, is this a new bottle design? Customer compalints. Cut costs by trying to reduce the price of the current materials, since more is being bought!

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Comprehensive McKinsey, Bain & BCG Operations Case Approach