A supplier provides parts to a manufacturing company that demands frequent deliveries. At the present time it takes six hours to make a round trip between the supplier's warehouse and the customer, including loading, travel, and unloading time. The lot size is 12 pallet loads on a truck, and the manufacturer uses 2 pallets per hour.
a. How many trucks are needed to ship the pallets to the manufacturer?
b. What is likely to happen if the truck breaks down?
c. How can the supplier ensure that the customer does not run out of parts even in the face of delivery problems or other uncertainties?
d. What will happen to the supplier if the manufacturer runs into trouble and shuts down for a period of six hours?