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Assignment ID: FG133140627
Hailey was recently promoted to the position of production manager in the manufacturing plant of a company that makes desktop printers for commercial and home use. Her department is responsible for producing the printer drums that house the cartridges. Hailey has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and an MBA. She aspires toward eventually holding a high-level leadership position in manufacturing or operations. Hailey therefore considers her promotion to production manager to be a building block in her career. She says: “Our country became great by building things. That’s why I love manufacturing. Here’s my chance at age 26 to make a difference as a manufacturing leader.”
Having worked as an industrial engineer for two years at the plant, Hailey understands the technology behind printer drums, as well as the manufacturing process. During her first week in her new assignment, Hailey spent a lot of time talking with her two supervisors and many production technicians. She was particularly looking for ways in which she could provide leadership to the group.
Hailey asked Jud, an experienced supervisor, what changes needed to be made in the functioning of the department. Jud replied: “Right now things are going well. Despite the worldwide decline in the number of desktop computers purchased, we have a nice steady demand for new drums. The office-supply stores still sell a lot of replacement drums for existing printers. I notice too that morale is okay in my department. Just keep the year-end raises and bonuses flowing (said with a laugh).”
Hailey asked Jenna, a supervisor with five years of experience, the same question. Jenna said: “I think the biggest problem we face is not having enough new, qualified production technicians. Maybe making drums is hum-drum, but you need skill to do the job right. These days, most young people don’t want to make things. They just want to stay glued to their mobile devices. Also, a lot of the people we recruit for entry-level jobs can’t do much math, and they don’t want to talk. We need to find a pipeline of new blood for our basic production jobs.”
Advise Hailey on where she should get started in making a difference as a leader in the drum-man.