Case Study 9 – “The Production Process at Washburn Guitars”
There are many small manufacturing facilities in and near my city and town. Some of them would include The Washington Post, Berreta USA, and The Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I have visited the Berreta factory in Akokeek, Maryland and toured the plant to observe their manufacturing process. There are a great deal of different processes that go into the making of a handgun. The gun actually starts as a solid block of metal. It goes through a great many different machining process’s to get to its final finished state. Once there it is inspected for defects and every gun is test fired several times to ensure operability.
I do feel that guitar’s lend themselves well to continuous process manufacturing. Guitars are always in demand, therefore they are bought by music stores from the manufacturers on a continuing basis. This especially holds true for the less expensive models for the beginning guitarist, which usually fall somewhere in the $500 to $600 range. I also know that intermittent process manufacturing is also used, especially for the high priced guitars and special order guitars. Most guitar companies keep their most popular models in stock in music stores, (continues process), while their less popular or very, very expensive models are made on special orders, (intermittent process).
The biggest scheduling tool a guitar manufacturing company can use would be ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning. They would be able to keep the different parts in stock and know when they need to re-order. The manufacturer could also keep track of how many guitars are being sold in music stores so they could always be sure to be making enough guitars to keep the different stores stocked.