National Cranberry Case

920 Words4 Pages
Introduction National Cranberry Cooperative (NCC) is one of the largest cooperatives formed and owned by cranberry growers to process and market their berries. During the harvest season it has been experiencing problems of employee overtime costs, waiting time for trucks to unload the fruit, and half of the berries graded top quality are actually not top quality. Hugo Schaeffer, VP of operations, realizes the need for a change in the operations strategy to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Background The receiving plant’s (RP1) main problem is the trucks waiting time to unload the cranberries. This causes a high cost to the growers even after employing additional over time workers. Additionally the trucks arrive at RP1 randomly which makes the incoming shipment unpredictable. Currently, the manual classification of berries results in a $1.50/bbl premium incorrectly assigned to half of the highest graded berries. Also, RP1 doesn’t have enough capacity to hold wet harvested berries resulting in high truck waiting costs due to increase in wet harvested berries shipment. One of the important trends in the cranberry industry is the increasing surplus produced over the utilized berries. This is done by either limiting the crop or destroying some amount of the surplus crop to prevent downward pressures on market prices. Another important trend is the increased mechanization of water harvesting which results in high yield but gives fruit a shortened shelf life. This requires most RP’s to convert their dry holding bins to accommodate wet berries and to purchase dryer units to support processing of wet harvested berries. Currently NCC is subjected to various sources of variability. First, the quantity of cranberries delivered to NCC varies between 11,000 – 19,000 bbls/day during the harvest season. This makes it difficult for NCC to plan the scheduling and decide

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