Key Facts: The Fauquier Gas Company, a leading gas provider, set strategies to ensure that it always completed its tasks of providing new gas lines to commercial and residential areas. There was an increase in the demand of gas, and 3 ½ miles of new gas lines had to be available for a customer in September. Secondly, the construction and design organizations were under the vice president of operations management. Thirdly, a design superintendent known as Mr. Charlie Buck headed the design organization. Lastly, Mr. Pat Wilson was the design engineer and Mr. Bill Murphy was the supply manager at the Fauquier Gas Company.
Problem: There are many problems, which are present in the Fauquier Gas company case study. Mr. Murphy did not have prior information about the scheduled new project that was to commence in June. He only happened to hear about it from Mr. Byers while having lunch. Based on the experience of Mr. Murphy, it would be quite hard to obtain the pipe purchases from the suppliers. The suppliers had to be given quotations in advance in order to prepare everything on time. There was also a conflict of interest as the vice president of operations had dealings in two critical areas of the project. Furthermore, changes were being made to the specifications of the pipe. The original pipe specifications would have a length of 57 feet, a wall thickness of ¾ inches, and 24-inch diameter. However, according to the new changes, the length would be at 40 feet or fewer 5 feet, and a thickness of 3/8 inches. To add on to the existing problems, the new specifications proposed the use of two wrappers, the pry-tech, and the coal tar. The two companies that supplied the wrappers were located in Atlanta and Philadelphia; thereby, triggering additional problems. A lot of time and money would be spent in transporting the wrapper to the Fauquier Gas Company coupled with the delays in transportation schedules. The changes to the length and thickness of the pipe would affect the schedule and this would have an economic impact on the company. Lastly, even by April, the pipe specifications purchase request was yet to be given to Mr. Murphy.
- A meeting involving Mr. Murphy, Mr. Byers, Mr. Buck, Mr. Wilson and the vice president of operations should be scheduled.
- Wilson should immediately give Mr. Murphy the purchase order for the pipe specifications.
- Murphy should immediately get in touch with the suppliers of the pipes and wrappers.
Discussion of Solutions:
In this case, it is evident that there is a lack of proper communication, which is the main trigger of the problem. Mr. Murphy should not waste any time in calling all the involved parties for a meeting at once. The purpose of the meeting should be to discuss how the project deadline can be met, as well as about the changes in the specifications of the pipe. During the meeting, they should talk about the manner in which information should be passed to all the concerned parties. In this case, they should consider options such as sending emails and even posting memos in the various notice boards at the gas company. The most suitable method of communication would be to have weekly meetings whereby they discuss any new project. This will greatly assist in ensuring that no one misses any crucial company information.
Once the parties are in agreement with all that is taking place concerning the new project, Mr. Wilson should give Mr. Murphy the purchase specifications. Upon receiving the specifications, Mr. Murphy should make a call to the suppliers in order to book for an appointment to meet the people who are concerned with the issue at hand. When Mr. Murphy finally gets the opportunity to meet the suppliers, he should let them acknowledge the justifications for the changes. This will give the supplier a better idea as to why the sudden changes on the specifications were implemented rather than engage in futile speculations about the issue. It should be known that personal communication makes quite a difference when trying to sort out a problem as compared to other forms of communication. Lastly, the company ought to contact another supplier that deals with wrappers and are located with close proximity to the company’s premises. This will help save on a lot of additional costs that the company would have occurred.
Recommendations: It is most likely that once the solutions are followed the Fauquier Company will benefit. However, there are some recommendations that I suggest so that the problems do not recur in the future. A communication channel needs to be established and all the concerned parties need to be able to receive and give feedback. Secondly, a supplier that is located near the gas company should be found instead of the others that are located in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Lastly, Mr. Murphy should always ensure that he knows about the ongoings at the company because his role as a supplier is critical towards the company’s success.
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