Managing Quality Case: Manila Laundry

Topics: Clothing, Washing machine, Laundry Pages: 9 (2301 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Managing Quality Case: Manila Laundry

The owner of Manila Laundry has decided that a quality improvement program must be implemented in his dry cleaning service. Customers bring clothes to one of five stores or pick up stations. Orders are then delivered to the cleaning plant twice each day (morning and afternoon), with deliveries of orders being made to the stores at the same time, allowing for same-day serve by customer request.

Although Manila Laundry is a larger-than-average cleaning operation, total annual revenues for the dry cleaning service are approximately P600,000. Therefore, any suggestions must be relatively inexpensive. The other parts of the company are a shirt laundry (retail and wholesale), wedding gown cleaning and preservation, fire restoration (smoke removal from fabrics after a house fire), leather and suede cleaning, and drapery cleaning and hanging.

The stores are opened at 7:00 A.M. by a full-time employee. This person is relieved at 3:00 P.M. by a part-time employee, who closes the store at 6:00 P.M. When the clothes are received from the customer, a five-ply ticket showing the customer name, phone number, due date, and special requests is prepared. One ply is given to the customer as a claim check and the store keeps one ply (to show what it has in process). The clothes and the remaining plies of the tickets are put in a nylon laundry bag for delivery to the plant.

At the cleaning plant, the departments are:

Mark in: Each order is removed from the bag; items are tagged for identification later and sorted into large buggies according to due date, type of garments, and cleaning requirements. Buggies are moved to the cleaning department as they become full. Also at mark-in, garments are checked for spots, stains, tears, or other special handling. The problem is written on a strip-tag (a ½ in. wide paper tape) and attached to the garment with the identification tag.

Cleaning: The buggies are emptied into the cleaning machine one item at a time to allow for inspection. The primary items checked are spots and stains requiring special attention and foreign objects. For example, an ink pen left in a pocket could ruin the whole load. As items are removed from the cleaning machine, they are placed on hangers and moved by conveyor to the pressing department.

Pressing: There are four presses: one for silks, one for pants, and two general-purpose. On an ordinary day, three of the presses will be operating, but which three of the four are operating will depend upon the total demand and product mix that particular day. As items are pressed, they are placed on a conveyor that delivers them to the assembly department.

Assembly: Cleaned items are grouped into customer orders, bagged, and put in the appropriate queue for delivery to the respective store. At this time, two plies (of the remaining three) of the ticket are attached to the order, and one ply stays at the plant to show that the order was completed. When the customer picks up the order, one ply will stay on the order.

The store will retain the last ply and pull the corresponding ply from its work-in-process file to show that the order is complete.

At present, a majority of the employees are cross-trained to allow for flexibility. The table below indicates the production employees and the positions for which they are trained. P indicates this is the primary duty, or the one they perform most often. A check indicates they are also trained in that function.

For example, one day David may only clean; the next day he cleans a while and then presses pants. This presents a problem in determining who put a double crease in Mrs. Jones’ slacks, but the owner believes this flexibility in scheduling is valuable and must be maintained.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1) Design the quality program. Consider the following issues: a) Where should inspection(s) occur? Include a process chart of the operation that shows the movement of the...
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