Interpret the solution output and develop your advice. 

 

H&H is a Singapore-based tannery that supplies high quality exotic leather to major international fashion houses and customers globally. Tanning is the process of treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather. The three major steps in the production of leather are curing, beamhouse operations and tanning. Due to the increased demand and limited production space, H&H sourced pre-tanned leather (the supplier has already completed the curing and beamhouse operations processes), and raw and untreated skin (another separate supplier). The company has a production area of 7500 sq m.

The weekly demand for tanned leather is at least 22,000 sq ft. There is a supplier who provides H&H pre-tanned leather at three different grade: Grade A, B, and C. After purchasing the pre-tanned leather, H&H will then perform the last step in tanning the leather before shipping it to clients. H&H has a small section within the production facility that could perform curing and beamhouse operations on raw and untreated skin, up to 12,000 sq ft per week. It costs $15 per sq ft for H&H to perform the pre-tanned process while it could purchase up to 10,000 sq ft of grade A pre-tanned leather, 14,000 sq ft of grade B pre-tanned leather, 18,000 sq ft of grade C pre-tanned leather per week at $60 per sq ft, $53 per sq ft, and $46 per sq ft, respectively. It costs H&H $34 per sq ft to purchase raw and untreated skin. The tanning process will result in shrinkage and the final yield depends on several factors such as the raw skin quality and pre-tanned process quality. 1 sq ft of Grade A pre-tanned leather will result in 0.95 sq ft of finished leather, while 1 sq ft of Grade B pre-tanned leather will result in 0.80 sq ft of finished leather and 1 sq ft of Grade C pre-tanned leather will result in 0.70 sq ft of finished leather. H&H in-house produced pre-tanned leather generally results in a yield of 0.75 sq ft of finished leather for every 1 sq ft of pre-tanned leather. The tanning equipment has the equivalent of 1200 production hours per week. For the tanning process, every sq ft of Grade A, B and C pre-tanned leather would require 1 minute, 2 minutes and 4 minutes, respectively. The in-house produced pre-tanned leather would require 5 minutes per sq ft for the tanning process.  (a) You are just hired as a purchasing officer at H&H. Develop an LP model to minimize  the cost of leather purchasing, solve it with Microsoft Excel and make your recommendations, and show the Sensitivity Report. State assumptions you made in formulation if there are any.   Answer the following questions by using the Microsoft Excel solution output you obtained for Question 1  (a) and do not re-run your LP model in Excel for the following scenarios.  (b) During the presentation to showcase your recommendation, a colleague raised a query

on why the cost of running the tanning machines is not being taken into consideration? The management proposed that you re-run your analysis again noting the cost of running the tanning machines. What is your response to this demand?  (c) Your manager asked you if it makes sense to increase the capacity of the in-house capability in curing and beamhouse operations which currently stands at 12,000 sq ft per week. Interpret the solution output and develop your advice.  (d) Suppose a new tanning technique was developed, and the new technique would reduce the shrinkage loss significantly. With the new tanning process, 1 sq ft grade A leather hardly suffers any shrinkage, while the field for Grade B and Grade C leather will increase to 0.95 sq ft. Interpret the solution output and answer how it will affect your optimal solution.  (e) Due to increases in demand from the China market, your local supplier just informed you that their commitments to you will be cut. They say that they have to reduce the supply of pre-tanned leather unless you are willing to pay more. Interpret the solution output and develop your negotiation strategies.

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