Operations Management: Ben & Jerry Homemade Inc.

a. Why Ben & Jerry ice-cream production serves as an illustration of secondary production

Secondary production entails the transformation of raw materials into finished goods. The production process might generate two types of goods namely capital goods and consumer goods. During secondary production, value is usually added to the inputs of raw materials. This is a common process normally assumed by Ben & Jerry Inc. In fact, Ben & Jerry Homemade Incorporation basically produce first-class ice cream novelties, both super-premium and premium ice creams as well as frozen yogurt that is original and rich in flavors.

Most of the quality natural ice cream alongside the associated products materializes from ground-breaking flavors manufactured using Vermont dairy products. For instance, an ice cream named rainforest crunch which is produced by this company originates from nuts that are harvested by the traditional nut gatherers from the forests.

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Ben & Jerry Inc then possibly use the best ingredients to ensure that the available raw materials such as nuts and various other Vermont dairy products are converted into ice-creams which are known to be rich in calories, color and flavors.

b. The probable roles of a Production Planner at Ben & Jerry Homemade Inc

A production planner can as well be dubbed as either a production scheduler or production coordinator. Such an executive person found in the production line is widely known as an operation professional charged with the responsibility of creating and administering the schedules for the mechanization and manufacturing of assorted products.

In a corporation such as B&J, such a professional is obliged to make certain that clients’ demands are effectively met and all commodities which have been produced are appropriately shipped to the consumers and buyers in a timely and efficient manner. Therefore, B&J production planner has the responsibility of liaising with various areas of the corporation’s supply chain network. These may include sales and procurement.

The production planner may assume the responsibility of developing a master schedule used in products or ice-cream manufacturing. Such a schedule must always incorporate both the distribution deadlines as well as the total number of clients’ orders. The production planner only creates the schedule subsequent to a comprehensive audit of the workforce size, manufacturing capacity and production specification.

Provided the production of ice-cream and other related products have instigated at Ben & Jerry Inc, the planner has the obligation of monitoring the pace to make sure that timelines are duly followed. Finally, the production planner plays the decisive role of maintaining and equally preparing comprehensive reports all through the ice-cream production cycles.

c. The constituents of ice cream production

Inputs: This refers to all ingredients used in the production of ice-creams. The ingredients include eggs, skimmed milk powder, fat, gelatin, flavoring, sugar milk solids and suitable stabilizers. Various milk products including whole milk, instant skimmed milk powders, creams and condensed milk could also be used as inputs or ingredients.

Processes: These are the assumed steps and procedures used mixing various ice-cream ingredients to realize the end product which is the ice-cream. In fact, to produce an ice-cream, the mixed unfrozen ice-cream which has the main constituents or input is usually cooked or pasteurized.

When pasteurizing ice-cream mixture, double boilers need to be used to avoid scorching. The liquid ingredients are then placed on the upper part of the twofold boiler. Eggs mixed with skimmed milk powder, sugar and gelatin are then added to the mixture while constantly stirring. When stirring, the mixture is heat at 700C. The container containing the ice-cream mixture is then placed in very cold water which is below 180C.

Outputs: This is the end product resulting from the transformation of inputs. In ice-cream production, the outputs include the assorted ice-cream mixtures and related products. These include, hubby-hubby, Vermont, vanilla and many more.

d. How Ben & Jerry add value during ice cream production

Values are essential, ardent and stable principles which are developed by the founders of a certain organization and represent their important philosophies and behavior. They act as the motivators to its investors, workers, local populace and their clients as a whole. The values should not change due to the prevailing market conditions, operations and short-term financial objectives.

The values should address the issues of clients, market and the products. B&J Homemade add value to their ice cream company by integrating social and business issues together. To entice clients, the ingredients used serves as the basis of ice cream value augmentation. Various constituents including milk solids, fats, gelatin, flavoring, eggs and sugar are all used to add value to B & J ice creams.

Various milk products such as condensed milk, creams, whole milk and other Vermont dairy products are used as recipes during B & J ice-cream production. Indeed, whole milk, whipping creams and tables creams are utilized to give ice-cream the desired taste and flavor.

This is because fat available in the creams and other Vermont dairy products help in giving the product suitable taste, flavor, richness and smoothness. Skimmed milk powder may be used to augment the solid ice cream content besides giving it more body and acting as an imperative source of protein. This protein content helps in improving the nutritional content of ice cream.

Alternatively, liquid coffee whitener is added in the recipe to yield different flavor and make the ice cream texture very creamy. However, to make ice-cream much sweeter, sugar is usually added. This improves ice-cream texture and body while at the same time increasing its palatability.

Gelatin is an ingredient that helps B&J to absorb most of the free water available in the ice cream mixture and prevent large crystals from forming in the produced ice creams. In fact, it offers less watery taste during ice-cream consumption. Finally, eggs are added to make both water and fat miscible while vanilla adds decisive flavor.

e. Two probable production decisions which Ben & Jerry might be obliged to make

Ben & Jerry Homemade Inc. have had its key competencies in the world market of flavored ice cream. Its development is rooted deep in its social, environmental and economic values that have engaged the consumers in the overall management of the company. Such a niche is always threatened by new entries in the market and fierce competition is likely to hit the markets and shake the company.

Thus, B&J will be forced to make diversification changes to the current production strategy. In quest of growth prospects the company will have to create new products and find new markets. These products will have to be popularized in the new markets to prevent facing out old products in the market.

The products may include selling other products other than ice cream under the B&J name to new and old markets. Product improvement may include creation of other products rather than ice cream. The situation analysis will give the company serious policy related aspects that effect the existing development and then make decisions to support the production strategies, diversify production, exploit new prospects or correct a flaw.

Another production decision will be based on the market forces currently affecting the firm. Such a decision will help in identification and targeting a particular market with a high consumption for a particular product. The decision making will engage several key policy makers in the company. This trend emphasizes on meaningful product specialization that is utilized maximally to bring more profits.

In essence, it diverts production efforts from less profitable activities to more profitable ones. Specialization will involve setting production goals and reining the product to fit the customer specifications. Specialization will also involve aspects like product characteristics, packaging and assurance among others. It will also involve identifying specific product position in the particular market. For example, position of shops, outlet stations, supply, transportation and stock amount.