Athletic Knit Case Journal

Athletic Knit Potential Analysis

The following is a list of questions that may be used as guidelines for analysis. The list is not necessarily exhaustive; therefore feel free to include other aspects that you feel are important.

1. What business is Athletic Knit (AK) in? What are the key competitive factors?

2. Why is inventory control so important to AK? Why is Daniel so concerned about his inventory position? Why does he need inventory at all? If inventory is important, why might AK have too much? As part of this discussion, consider inventory management in general. What functions does inventory serve? What are the costs and benefits of too much or too little inventory? How does inventory management for a retail store differ from that of a production operation? What are several methods that a firm might use to control its inventory? Why should different methods be used for different types of inventory?

3. Discuss just-in-time (JIT), rationalizing, and outsourcing as methods for reducing inventories. Include both the benefits and potential problems. What factors would need to be considered before you could recommend that a firm adopt or not adopt a JIT system? 4. What is stopping Daniel from building everything as it is ordered by the customer? How much slack capacity does AK have? For each season, a) Determine available capacity without consideration of downtime due to setup or maintenance. b) Compute the percentage of the capacity needed to satisfy demand in each season. c) How much time is left for setup and maintenance? How many setups could AK accomplish in this time? 5. How much inventory does AK have in a normal year? What other reasons could increase inventory levels for AK? 6. If we must build inventory, how do we determine the ideal batch size? Would the answer differ for peak and off-season? 7. What is the alternative to building inventory and how much would this option cost Athletic Knit? 8. As Daniel and his brother are new to AK, what kind of resistance would you expect from the management and production staff? How can they manage resistance to this change? In addition to the above, the presenting and oral support groups should consider the following: 9. How does total inventory cost and EOQ vary with changes in key variables? To changes in which variables is the model most sensitive?


Journals in this class are a record of your analysis of the problems we consider throughout the semester. The analysis (generally answering the suggested questions) is to be done prior to the day on which the case is presented. A one-page summary (typed, single-spaced), a list of discussion topics and the supporting analysis are due at the beginning of the class in which the case is presented. In the supporting detail, please include any work you do toward developing a solution to the problems presented, including printouts of spreadsheet results. Material in the journals will be evaluated using the following general guidelines: Basics 1 Documents are submitted in the correct order => summary, discussion topics, analysis 1 Format is correct Summary is typed, single-spaced, with a space between paragraphs Margins are one inch (+/- 0.1”); font size = 10 to 12 point Detailed case analysis: (You may take notes in this section during presentations & discussions.) 10 All suggested questions attempted, with exceptional completeness and accuracy 8 All suggested questions attempted, with reasonably complete and accurate answers 6 Most questions attempted, with reasonably complete and accurate answers 4 Some questions attempted; completeness and accuracy are adequate 2 Few questions addressed, with low completeness or accuracy Potential discussion topics: (You may take notes in this section during presentations & discussions.) 5 More than three topics submitted, with evidence of some thought 3 At least two topics submitted, with evidence of thought 2 At least two topics identified, but all are obvious (e.g. simple restatement of the case questions, or more focus on “how” than on “why”) One-page summary: (a summary of your analysis & recommendations, not a summary of the case) 10 Exceptionally thorough, well-written, well-organized summary (no grammar and/or spelling errors). Clearly defines the problem or decision. Discusses both quantitative results and conceptual topics. Conclusion or recommendation is consistent with the analysis. 8 Thorough analysis; summary is well written and captures the essential points 6 Captures essential points, but has problems with organization, grammar, etc. Or the summary is generally well-written, but is missing key points or lacks breadth/depth 3 Vague, incomplete, problems with organization, grammar, spelling Note: Working with others to discuss the cases is allowed and even encouraged. However, each individual must separately identify potential discussion topics and write a one-page summary of the analysis. (Include all names on the analysis portion of the document.) After completing the case analysis, assemble them in the following order: 1. One-page summary 2. Discussion topics 3. Supporting analysis, including spreadsheets The best three scores earned will count towards the seventy-five points for journals in the grading scheme. If you complete all four cases for which you are not a member of the presenting or oral support groups, you may earn a five-point bonus. p(4s).

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