Process Cycle Time
Assuming that the company will produce 600 iPhones every minute, this translates to a cycle time of 10 minutes. Within every ten minutes, the team is expected to have commenced and completed the production of a single iPhone device. If the production rate is 600 iPhones in a minute and a team of a hundred personnel handling the process, the takt time will be 6. This means that after every six minutes, a customer will reach out to the company to order the new iPhone model. Given that the cycle time is ten, and the takt time is six, the production rate can meet customer demand. Thus, the firm operates optimally with a higher capacity to meet increasing demand in the market.
Bottlenecks relate to congestion issues experienced during the production phase. They often lead to delays and augmented production costs. According to Wang, Zhao, and Zheng (2005), bottlenecks exist as systemic congestion points that slow down the production chain. They limit the ability of a system to meet the intended milestones and objectives. One of the potential bottlenecks likely to affect the cycle time for the new iPhone products is a system failure. If the machines used to manufacture the iPhone fail for a few seconds or minutes, they would affect the overall cycle time. The team can only realize the bottleneck once it has obtained the process outcome. The realization that it has failed to meet the expected production range informs them about a potential system failure. Notably, inadequate communication is a crucial bottleneck during the production of the new iPhone models. If one team member fails to relay a crucial message at the right time and context, this may have an adverse implication on the cycle time. Timilsina (2012) reveals that people act as a crucial factor in production and often challenging to manage. An issue such as poor communication has a greater implication on the production process. Effective assessment of such challenges calls for the adoption of tactical measures and strategies. Urban and Rogowaska )2018) argue that establishing a comprehensive plan supports the quality handling of production bottlenecks. Apple’s management should be on the frontline to examine these bottlenecks and find viable solutions to meet the expected production level.
The lean management principles have a significant potential to reduce bottlenecks that limit the cycle time. Ramezani (2014) highlights that lean management’s rationale is to meet the total performance of an organization. Its integration at Apple Inc. stands to accelerate its production and performance. Major principles such as waste elimination, quality, delivery fast, and optimizing the whole system play an essential role in bettering the cycle time. The commencement and completion of a process that oversees the transformation of raw material into a finished product depend on the development of effective processes. For instance, adhering to the set time and resources reduces waste and delivers the desired products at the needed time. Also, system optimization helps to reduce time and resources wastage. Overall, the lean concept will help Apple Inc. deliver quality and needed units at the right time. It also ensures that the company can adjust its processes to meet any rising demand while reducing waste when the supply is low.
The development of a quality and positive mindset is a strategic approach that can improve the company’s cycle time for the new product introduction. Leaders should shift their corporate role as a supervisor and become more of a teacher and a coach. It ensures that the lean principles and processes applied in the organizational setting focus on delivering value to the consumer. The leader goes beyond the improvement to engaging innovative thinking and actions (Gray, 2018). Therefore, leadership should be based on coaching and being a teacher as opposed to a supervisory role. This accelerates the attainment of a quality cycle time as the firm targets to meet quality and market demand.
The delivery of the new product in the market requires labor, equipment, and material needs. Apple Inc. will hire a qualified and experienced team of professionals to oversee and manage the production process. Depending on the expected production, supply, and demand, the firm will select a sizeable pool of workforce. Besides labor, the company will need equipment such as circuit boards, Gorilla Glass, chips, wires, connectors, and a software system. Lastly, materials such as Aluminium, Carbon, Iron, Nickel, Chrome, Cobalt, and Copper will be required to meet operational needs.
Plan Needs and Support
The labor plan will integrate a top, middle, and first-level of management. The top leadership team will undertake a long-term plan for the business. The middle management leadership group will handle short-term plans. The first-level team will integrate policies, procedures, and the budget in conjunction with the middle-level. The strategic equipment model will integrate critical elements such as the cost and description, condition, useful life, and any need for replacement. Lastly, the material plan will integrate purchase orders, work orders, and reports.
The labor plan will enable the firm to allocate roles and responsibilities to the various workers based in the company. Each of them will understand their duty and expectations. The equipment plan will inform the team about the status of the equipment utilized to reduce an issue such as breakdown that could likely alter operations and delay results. The materials plan will enable the team to view the order made by the company and consumers and the organizational report.