A small appliance manufacturer must meet (on time) the following demands: quarter 1, 3000 units; quarter 2, 2000 units; quarter 3, 4000 units. Each quarter, up to 2700 units can be produced with regular-time labor, at a cost of $40 per unit. During each quarter, an unlimited number of units can be produced with overtime labor, at a cost of $60 per unit. Of all units produced, 20% are unsuitable and cannot be used to meet demand. Also, at the end of each quarter, 10% of all units on hand spoil and cannot be used to meet any future demands. After each quarter’s demand is satisfied and spoilage is accounted for, a cost of $15 per unit in ending inventory is incurred.
a. Determine how to minimize the total cost of meeting the demands of the next three quarters. Assume that 1000 usable units are available at the beginning of quarter 1.
b. The company wants to know how much money it would be worth to decrease the percentage of unsuitable items and/or the percentage of items that spoil. Write a short report that provides relevant information. Base your report on three uses of Solver Table: (1) where the percentage of unsuitable items decreases and the percentage of items that spoil stays at 10%, (2) where the percentage of unsuitable items stays at 20% and the percentage of items that spoil decreases, and (3) where both percentages decrease. Does the sum of the separate effects on total cost from the first two tables equal the combined effect from the third table? Include an answer to this question in your report.