In 150 words or more response: Rutgers University Camden Dining Services (because in 2019-2020 there was an overhaul there ….an outside firm called Gourmet Dining took over over from a previous internal University department). In the past, mostly for undergrad Ops Mngt classes, I have solicited the dining services director to come talk to my classes. One of the topics we have discussed is how they manage inventory, which is daunting because they want to have enough material to prepare the foods sought by their customers, but also not have too much that results in spoilage. Think about bananas, for instance. Most bananas in our country come from Central America. They depart there by ship, arrive at a local port (say in South Philly), where distributors pick them up, and deliver orders to customers. In some cases, there are two firms involved at the Philly location – a cold storage firm, and then the delivering company. But either way, Gourmet Dining gets its bananas through this supply chain.

Scenario: you are the new RU Camden food services director for Gourmet Dining. You have been told that historical demand for bananas during the school year is variable, where for 95% of school weeks the demand is between 20 and 50 pounds (there have been some weeks outside of that range). Lead time has only small variation: if you place an order on a Monday, 99% of the time the bananas arrive either Wednesday or Thursday (there have been very few cases in the past of variation there, mostly due to storms). There are no easy emergency orders available; you would have to get some from a local market if you wanted more in between orders. Safety stock is not a concern; you are not afraid to run out of bananas. Assume the bananas are not edible after one week. Assume a linear daily consumption/demand rate during weekdays, and on weekends, a consumption/demand rate of half of the weekday rate (they are open seven days per week). Assume holding costs are negligible (just some space in a basket). Assume ordering costs are modest, at $5 per weekly order (but any emergency ordering costs would be $50). Assume the bananas cost you $0.25 per pound, and sell for $1.50 per pound.

Offer your thoughts on how you, as Dining Services director, would manage inventory for bananas. Refer to the concepts identified in the Chapter, and which would be a part of your operating practices for banana inventory management. I’m looking forward to a variety of viewpoints, and interactions between all of you debating the merits of your ideas. Your response should includeboth quantitative and qualitative elements.

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