Abort, Retry, Fail?

The economic nosedive is affecting Acme. Open orders on the books are dwindling. It was just announced that the plant will be closed for two days because of business conditions.

About 10% of the orders are past due. Past our promise, mind you, which is almost always later than what the customer wants in any case. To some extent, we as a factory cannot help that; a machine that makes parts for a Really Large Tool usually cannot make parts for a Really Small Tool. Capacity is not interchangable for any and all models. When several machines break down several times for product that is fairly unique, we have limited outsourcing options and must slog through our backlog when we finally get the machines up. And replacing machines requires capital from Corporate–hardly forthcoming in this climate.

But if we can’t find a way to adapt our idle capacity to deliver our backlogged product, well, then we are wrong two ways at once, offering product nobody wants and tardy delivering product our customers need to keep their customers in an increasing strained market.