The other night, I had the opportunity to watch a free webcast titled “Use of @RISK for Probabilistic Decision Analysis of a Manufacturing Forecast in an Environment of High Uncertainty”. This presentation was extremely timely, since many companies are struggling to survive in these challenging economic times. Dr. Jose Briones did an excellent job discussing and illustrating how profitability projections in a manufacturing environment are directly tied to how the sales forecast fits with the capability of the operation, and how different manufacturing capacities and productions rates impact the output of the plant and the allocation of the fixed cost of production.
In the example he presents, a company is trying to decide how best to balance the sales of certain families of products to maximize revenue, maintain a diverse product line, and properly price each individual product based on the impact to the manufacturing schedule and fixed cost allocation.
He spends an appropriate amount of time discussing different input distributions such as the Triangular, Normal, Pert and Gamma distributions as well as sharing his recommendations on when to use them. He also shares his expertise on fixed cost allocation by product and the dangers in using the common method of dividing the fixed cost by the total production, and recommends doing so by allocating the fixed costs based on the projected run time of each product family. Lastly, he spends some time discussing the interpretation of the results, which I feel does a great job wrapping up the information presented in the webcast.
Dr. Jose A. Briones is currently the Director of Operations for SpyroTek Performance Solutions, a diversified supplier of specialty materials, BPM software and innovation consulting services. Dr. Briones has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and is a graduate of the Business Administration Program of Wharton Business School. If you have any questions about the webcast, you can contact Jose at Brioneja@SpyroTek.com or through Jameson Romeo-Hall at Palisade Corporation.