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PROFESSIONAL ENGLISH INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING FINAL ENGLISH EXAM

NAME: DATE:

STUDENTS ID:

READ THE TEXTS, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS THOROUGHLY. THEN, ANSWER THE
QUESTIONS. ITS VITAL THAT YOU BEAR IN MIND THAT THE ANSWERS, MEANINGS,
SYNOMYMS AND ANTONYMS ARE TO BE CHOSEN ACCORDING TO THEIR MEANING IN
CONTEXT. YOU CAN FIND ANSWERS THAT COULD FIT BUT IF THEY DO NOT MATCH THE
TEXT, THEY ARE WRONG. GOOD LUCK!

MOVING DECISION MAKING DOWN THE LINE


A BRITISH STEEL CASE STUDY
READ THE ARTICLE THOROUGHLY AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

SECTION I

This case study is about the method British Steel implemented to improve its
manufacturing processes. The first part is the introduction. The introduction is not in
order; put the paragraphs in the correct order. Write the letter of each paragraph in the
correct order next to the following numbers:

1._________ 2. ______ 3.___________ 4. ____________

A. This case study focuses on methods used by a leading UK company to move decision
making down the line. It examines how British Steel Strip Products, Integrated Works
at Llanwern, engaged in a training program based on empowerment, resulting in the
company winning the National Training Award in 1995.

B. Today, we have moved well beyond the time when decisions were made at the top of
an organization and then passed down the line to ground floor operatives. In
modern organizations, important decisions need to be made by individual employees
who are directly involved in production processes and interact face-to-face with
customers. The term associated with this change is empowerment.
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C. However, to ensure that employees are able to take on the new responsibilities
associated with empowerment, it is essential that they are given the necessary
training for their enhanced duties.

D. Many modern employees are empowered to think things through for themselves
and take the appropriate actions. This involves a higher level of trust in employees -
that they will make the right decisions.

SECTION II

Read the following passage carefully.

The Llanwern Works

Llanwern Works is a fully integrated steelmaking plant and a principal unit within British
Steels Strip Products business. 14.It was constructed on a green field site near Newport,
Gwent. The plant has a liquid steel capacity of three million tons per year, 15.which is
processed into hot and cold rolled strip steel (including zinc alloy coated strip) to precise
tolerances in both coil and sheet form.

Business environment
Llanwerns traditional products are supplied to blue chip customers in the automotive,
consumer durables and construction industries. All operational activities within the plant are
driven by the demanding standards of product quality and service required by these
customers. 16. This is achieved within an established Total Quality Performance (TQP)
culture. The best way to improve manufacturing performance and increase output per head
is by having a highly skilled, fully flexible and committed workforce.

Staying ahead of the field


Due to intense international competition, British Steel Strip Products recognized the urgent
need for a rigorous training program, geared towards improving manufacturing performance,
productivity and creating a skilled, flexible and committed staff. The Works adopted an all-
embracing approach and training was extended across the breadth of the Cold Mill
workforce from admiral to cabin boy.

Improved performance
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In 1993, studies revealed standards had fallen below those of some of British Steels main
competitors. Many employees believed that the only way to improve quality was to lower
the volume of production. They did not realize that both quality and output could be raised
simultaneously.
Managers chose to overcome these deficiencies by drastically improving the product quality
performance of the mill through the increased personal competence, attitude and
involvement of the workforce. Management focused on three overriding objectives:
1. to ensure product, process strategy and performance were totally focused on
meeting the customers definition of quality
2. to achieve a transformation in the cold mill workforces (including management)
perception of quality effort on volume
3. to unleash the full potential of production operatives by providing the necessary
culture and skills for a more participative style of decision making within the
operation.

Key objectives
In creating the training program, two objectives had to be met:
1. To increase operators product/process knowledge, problem-solving and decision
making skills. Operative competency was traditionally based on technical skills.
2. To improve management style and expertise, thus making the program effective.
Step 1: Developing a Cold Mill operator profile:
Analysis of job demands. This consisted of a questioning approach - studying operator
jobs and interviewing shift managers, supervisors and senior operators. It enabled
unit trainers to gauge key demands, competencies and behaviors which, although not
directly trained for in the past, nevertheless differentiated very good operators from
those working to a demonstrably lower standard.
Identification of competencies using psychometric assessment. After job analysis, a
further study was carried out on two distinct groups of current operators - one of
perceived high level performers and one of lower performers. This provided an
overview of the typical skills, abilities, behavior attitudes and personality
characteristics which separated the high performers from the under performers. The
analysis generated an ideal operator profile, allowing management to focus on the
characteristics of an ideal employee.

The aim was to encourage existing employees to recognize the right characteristics, as
well as using the profile for recruiting new employees. The profiles concentrated on job
specifications (objectives, duties and responsibilities, job skills requirements) and personal
specifications (physical characteristics, social factors, abilities and personal qualities). In
general terms, more successful operators had developed an understanding and familiarity
with customer specification, the product/process and end-use and were more sociable,
stable and intellectually effective.

Step 2 - Competence matrix development


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The nine Lead trainers were introduced to the program during a three day workshop, which
enabled them to write comprehensive training manuals. Unit trainers then produced
competency for each production unit within the department, based on the traditional
method of assessing newly identified skills to pre-defined standards. The required level of job
skill and knowledge was indicated for each competence. Manuals were rigorously checked,
amended and finally approved by management, to ensure that training design was
appropriate to the changes that were being introduced.
Step 3 Supportive management development skills program
The next important stage involved training the managers to support the new initiatives.
Managers needed to develop:
the managerial skills to support the benefits of shopfloor training; team building,
delegation and co-ordination, setting objectives and evaluating performance
an understanding of the complementary relationship between training for personal
empowerment and TQP/team building
a culture in which the central importance of customer/commercial considerations
was of overriding importance
state-of-the-art knowledge of current cold mill technology.

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS. CIRCLE THE LETTER OF THE CORRECT OPTION. (6
points per each correct answer, 90 points in total)

1. What is the purpose of the case study?

a. Study the performance of the employees


b. Improve the performance of the employees
c. Educate the managers
d. Improve the manufacturing quality and quantity

2. Choose the important steps of this process in correct order:


a. Developing a profile, designing manuals, training the employees.
b. Analyzing the job requirements, analyzing the employees skills, analyzing the
employees personality traits.
c. Designing a competence matrix, reading the standards of top quality products,
training the managers
d. Analyzing the steel market, creating a profile, training employees.

3. Who had to be trained?

a. Consumers
b. car dealers
c. employees
d. managers
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4. After reading the passage infer the results of the study:


a. The production decreased
b. The production increased
c. The employees were happy
d. The managers were happy

5. According to the passage, what does the word empowerment mean?

a. Endow
b. Behold
c. Request
d. Justify

6. According to the passage, what does the phrase supplied to blue chip customers in
the automotive, consumer durables and construction industries mean?

a. Sold to car manufacturers


b. Supplied to stock markets
c. Supplied to revenue consumers
d. Supplied to big consumers

7. According to the passage, what does the phrase from admiral to cabin boy mean?

a. All the employees


b. All the managers
c. All the customers
d. None of the above

8. According to the passage, an antonym of Overriding could be:

a. Underturn
b. Undervalue
c. Prevail
d. Prefix

9. According to the passage, an antonym of enabled could be:


a. Overriding
b. Fix
c. Change
d. Alter

10. According to the passage, a synonym of thus could be:

a. As a result
b. Then
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c. In addition
d. For instance

11. According to the passage, a synonym of state-of-the-art could be:

a. Cutting-edge
b. Top notch
c. Artistic state
d. None of the above

12. The word It in number 14 stands for:

a. British Steels Strip Products business


b. Llanwern Works
c. steelmaking plant
d. a principal unit

13. The word which in number 15 stands for:


a. plant
b. capacity
c. tons
d. liquid

14. The word this in number 16 stands for:

a. activities
b. plant
c. standards
d. quality and service

15. The sentence that means the same as the following Due to intense international
competition, British Steel Strip Products recognized the urgent need for a rigorous
training program, geared towards improving manufacturing performance,
productivity and creating a skilled, flexible and committed staff is:

a. The competitive market pushed the company to acknowledge the need to


improve its manufacturing performance and productivity.
b. Due to international competition the British Steel Strip Product had to create
productivity; as well as, flexible and committed staff
c. Due to intense international competition, British Steel Strip Products rejected the
urgent need for a rigorous training program, geared towards improving
manufacturing performance, productivity and creating a skilled, flexible and
committed staff.
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d. Due to intense international competition, British Steel Strip Products had to be a


better enterprise.

16. Fill in the Competence Matrix with the characteristics stated in this study. (10 POINTS,
ONE PER EACH ANSWER)
EMPLOYEE:_______________________________________

COMPETENCIES % Achieved

1. 25% Maximun

a._______________ 2. 25% Maximun

3. 25% Maximun

4. 25% Maximun

1. 25% Maximun

b._______________ 2. 25% Maximun

3. 25% Maximun

4. 25% Maximun

TOTAL

CLASSIFICATION: MARK WITH AN X THE HIGH


CLASSIFICATION OF THE EMPLOYEE ACCORDING TO PERFORMANCE
HIS/HER TOTAL SCORE
80%-100%

LOW
PERFORMANCE

0%-50%

Read more: http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/british-steel/moving-decision-making-down-


the-line/conclusion.html#ixzz2K407LCK7