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(MGTOP 340) Operations Management The Goal Summary

Sandra Watson
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Chapter-wise summary and analysis

  • UniversityWashington State University
  • CourseOperations Management (MGTOP 340)

An Overview
Alex, an adequately educated and conceptually sound manager at UniCo, moves back to
Bearington, his hometown, to settle comfortably with his family. What he had imagined to be
perfectly blissful takes up a bad shape when he realizes that the division he works for faces
several issues with its operation and is close to its end. His troubles extend to his family as
his wife, Julie, is unable to adjust to the monotonous life in the new town. He decides to work
on the company’s prospects and do whatever he can to save the division. His increased
worry and dedication towards work worsens the scenario with his wife. One of his old
Physics professor, Jonah, dawns upon his life as the savior and makes him realize what is
needed to be done. Jonah uses the Socratic teaching method to give him cues on which he
needs to work. Using these cues as the keys, he ventures out with his team at the plant to
find the defects in the operational system. Together, they work out to find solutions to each of
the constraints that impeded the growth. Alex is promoted after the visible growth in the
plant’s statistical accounts, and he also works out the differences between him and his wife.
Towards the end, he realizes that ‘bottlenecks’ or constraints would change with time, and
their solutions would also change with it. What he had, were the key questions on finding
solutions to those and all the other issues that could come up. He had the key to the process
of ongoing improvement.
Chapter-wise summary
Chapter 1
The first chapter goes about introducing the main character Mr. Alex Rogo, an industrial
engineer and an MBA graduate who is positioned as the manager of injection molding part of
a plant of the UniCo Manufacturing Corporation. He reaches his plant to find out his parking
slot was taken by the division Vice President Mr. Bill Peach. Their conversation reaches the
topic of a seven-week overdue order. The very agitated Bill complains about the plant’s
current situation and informs Alex that he has 3 months to turn the tables in the plant’s favor,
otherwise the plant will be shut down. He ends with a word of instruction that the overdue
order gets shipped on the same day at all costs.
Chapter 2
The author takes us into Alex’s life at home and his relationship with the family in this
chapter. Alex, burdened by the tense conversation and the order to complete, gets home to
grab a quick lunch. It is brought to the reader’s notice that the family has shifted to his
hometown six months ago and was facing trouble adjusting to this industrially declining city
as compared to the one they had left. Alex gets into an argument with his wife Julie, who
wanted to go out for lunch. He promises her to be back early that night and then heads
towards the plant. He reaches there only to find a worse case scenario where the machine
had stalled just before he had left. He gets all the employees to work for extra hours that day
and somehow, the order finally gets shipped that night. Later that night, while at dinner with a
colleague, he reflects upon the mismatch between the company’s accounts and actual



(MGTOP 340) Operations Management The Goal Summary

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