National air is a competitive air-express firm with offices around the country. Frank smith, the Chattanooga, Tennessee, station manager, is preparing his quarterly budget report, which will be presented at the southeast regional meeting next week. He is very concerned about adding capital expense to the operation when business has not increased appreciably. This has been the worst first quarter he can remember; snowstorms, earthquakes, and bitter cold. He has asked Martha Lew, field services supervisor, to help him review the available data and offer possible solutions.
Is the productivity measure of shipments per day per truck still useful? Are there alternatives that might be effective?
What, if anything, can be done to reduce the daily variability in pickup call-ins? Can the driver be expected to be at several locations at once at 5:00 P.M?
How should package pickup performance be measured? Are standards useful in an environment that is affected by the weather, traffic, and random variables? Are other companies having similar problems?