Lee Corporation manufactures various types of colour laser printers in a highly automated facility with high fixed costs. The market for laser printers is competitive. The various colour laser printers on the market are comparable in terms of features and price

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Lee Corporation manufactures various types of colour laser printers in a highly automated facility with high fixed costs. The market for laser printers is competitive. The various colour laser printers on the market are comparable in terms of features and price

Lee Corporation manufactures various types of colour laser printers in a highly automated facility with high fixed costs. The market for laser printers is competitive. The various colour laser printers on the market are comparable in terms of features and price. Lee believes that satisfying customers with products of high quality at low costs is key to achieving its target profitability. For 2011, Lee plans to achieve higher quality and lower costs by improving yields and reducing defects in its manufacturing operations. Lee will train workers and encourage and empower them to take the necessary actions. Currently, a significant amount of Lee’s capacity is used to produce products that are defective and cannot be sold. Lee expects that higher yields will reduce the capacity that Lee needs to manufacture products. Lee does not anticipate that improving manufacturing will automatically lead to lower costs because Lee has high fixed costs. To reduce fixed costs per unit, Lee could lay off employees and sell equipment, or it could use the capacity to produce and sell more of its current products or improved models of its current products. Lee’s balanced scorecard (initiatives omitted) for the just-completed fiscal year 2011 follows:

 

Objectives Measures Target Performance Actual Performance
Financial Perspective      
Increase shareholder value Operating income changes from productivity improvements $1,000,000 $400,000
  Operating income changes from growth $1,500,000 $600,000
Customer Perspective      
Increase market share Market share in colour laser printers 5% 4.6%
Internal Business Process Perspective      
Improve manufacturing quality Yield 82% 85%
Reduce delivery time to customers Order-delivery time 25 days 22 days
Learning and Growth Perspective      
Develop process skills

 

Percentage of employees trained in process and quality management 90% 92%
Enhance information system capabilities Percentage of manufacturing

processes with real-time feedback

85% 87%

 

  1. Please explain whether Lee successful implemented its strategy in 2011.
  2. Review Lee’s balanced scorecard against design principles, for example:
    1. whether it explains and communicates the strategy; whether it measures what it is designed to achieve;
    2. whether it needs additional measures relating to customer perspectives and why, etc.
    3. Would you have included some metrics of employee satisfaction in the learning-and-growth perspective and new-product development in the internal business process perspective? That is, do you think employee satisfaction and development of new products are critical for Lee to implement its strategy? Why or why not? Explain briefly.
  3. What problems, if any, do you see in Lee improving quality and significantly downsizing to eliminate unused capacity?

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