ISCOM/305 Week 4 Operations Management Problem Exercises

Complete the following from Ch. 7 and Ch. 8 of Operations Management:

  • Case Problem 7.1
  • Problem 8-1


Case Problem 7.1. Workout Plus

Workout Plus is a health club that offers a full range of services to its clients. Recently, two other fitness clubs have opened up in town, threatening Workout’s solvency. While Workout is tops among serious fitness buffs, it has not attracted a wide spectrum of members. Shannon Hiller, owner and manager, has decided it’s time for a face lift. She started the process by sponsoring a week-long “ideathon” among club members. Nonmembers who frequented an adjacent grocery store were also canvassed for suggestions. Their comments are provided below, along with the current facility layout.

Current layout:

Free Weights

Circuit Training

Aerobics Room

Cardio Machines

Member comments:

The cardio machines fill up too fast on rainy days. Then everything else gets backed up.

I don’t feel like strutting through the gym from one end to the other just to finish my workout.

How about a quick 30-minute workout routine for busy folks?

I like working out with my friends, but aerobics is not for me. What other group activities are good for cardio?

Separate the people who want to gab from the people who want to pump.

It’s so confusing with all those machines and weights. You need a novice section that’s not so intimidating.

It’s hard to work yourself in when you come from across the gym. I’d like to see the machines I’ll be using to gauge my time.

Circuit training is for wimps. The next thing you know you’ll be stopping and starting the music to tell us when to change machines.

We all seem to arrive at the popular machines at once. Can you space us out?

I’d like for my kids to get some exercise too while I’m working out. But I don’t want them wandering all over the place trying to find me.

This place is too crowded and disorganized. It’s not fun anymore.

You have classes only at busy times. During the day the gym is empty, but you don’t provide many services. I think you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with the not-so-fit at off-peak times.

How can Workout update its facility to attract new customers? What additional equipment or services would you suggest? How could something as simple as revising the layout help?

It is your job to design a new layout for Workout Plus. Visit a nearby gym to get ideas. Watch the customer flow, unused space, and bottlenecks. What aspects of a process layout do you see? a product layout? cells? Draw a simple diagram of your proposed layout. (You’ll want to be more detailed than the original layout.) How does your layout respond to the comments collected by Shannon?


The United Mutual and Accident Insurance Company has a large pool of clerical employees who process insurance application forms on networked computers. When the company hires a new clerical employee, it takes that person about 48 minutes to process a form. The learning curve for this job is 88%, but no additional learning will take place after about the 100th form is processed. United Mutual has recently acquired a smaller competitor that will add 800 new forms per week to its clerical pool. If an employee works six hours per day (excluding breaks, meals, and so on) per five-day week, how many employees would be hired to absorb the extra workload?

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