Live Case – Project

Conduct a “Make or Buy” Cost Analysis

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

Rising labor costs has signaled an opportunity to review operation and sourcing strategies at Ultrasonic Power Corp. Our company is asking for your help gathering, organizing, and analyzing information to determine the most cost effective decision in a make-or-buy situation. This cost analysis can be performed by looking at the financial cost to buy the component versus the cost to produce the component, which allows us to make a decision based on an analysis of unavoidable costs. We need a comprehensive understanding the capital justification on these topics, and seeking your recommendation to either invest the capital/people development or continue to outsource. There are several make-or-buy decisions we are looking to review:

  1. Build vs. Buy Fabrication (equipment cost, space, etc. vs. current buy)
  2. Sheet metal supplier opportunities, should we purchase material directly and pay labor, sheet metal supplier company recommendations for cost saving.
  3. Build vs. Buy Heat Sinks & Vibra Bars (equipment cost, space, etc. vs. current buy)
  4. Solar panels (buy vs. other options)

Project Topics

Corporate Social Responsibility

Operations

Company Information

CompanyUltrasonic Power Corporation
HQFreeport, IL
RevenueN/A
EmployeesUnlisted
StageSmall Business
Hiring PotentialN/A
Websitehttp://www.upcorp.com

Company Overview

For more than 40 years UPC has served end users and OEMs requiring precision industrial ultrasonic cleaning equipment. As a manufacturer, UPC provides cost-effective, safe and “green” solutions for cleaning applications with our extensive product line featuring ultrasonic generators, transducers, and standard and custom cleaning systems.

Experiential Learning Program Details

SchoolNorthern Illinois University (NIU)
Engagement FormatLive Case - Think "Hackathon" or Case Competition with a whole class of students! This learning format allows educators to deliver experiential learning to students at scale. Students are often split into groups to work on a live case (or a series of cases) from a real host company that directly relates to key learning objectives.
CourseBusiness in Action, Spring 2022 (Redisi) – Ultrasonic Power Corp
Level
  • All Undergraduate
Students Enrolled40
Meeting Day & TimeRedisi: Online Synchronous MW 9:30-10:45 am CT
Student Time Commitment4-7 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment1 Hour
Duration10.57 Weeks

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type
Project Reveal

Project Reveal

Students are introduced the the project topics.
February 2nd, 2022 Event na
Students Submit Project Preferences

Students Submit Project Preferences

Use this process to  elect your preferences and be assigned to project teams. [INSERT LINK]
February 2nd, 2022 Event na
STUDENTS! Take the Project Kick-off Survey!

STUDENTS! Take the Project Kick-off Survey!

Take a few moments to complete this PROJECT KICKOFF SURVEY before the project begins!
February 9th, 2022 Evaluation evaluation
Project Launch

Project Launch

[NEED TO COORDINATE with Greg to schedule videoconferencing meeting with class}
February 21st, 2022 Event na
Milestone 1 Deliverable Due Milestone 1 Deliverable Due
Please upload your deliverable using the link above.
March 7th, 2022 Submission Required submission-required
STUDENTS! Let us know how you are doing!

STUDENTS! Let us know how you are doing!

Please take a few minutes to let us know how the project is going for you using this TEMPERATURE CHECK SURVEY
March 9th, 2022 Evaluation evaluation
Milestone 2 Deliverable Due Milestone 2 Deliverable Due
Please upload your deliverable using the link above.
March 28th, 2022 Submission Required submission-required
STUDENTS! Let us know how the project is going!

STUDENTS! Let us know how the project is going!

Take this short survey to let us know how the project is going for you! [INSERT TEMP CHECK LINK]
April 11th, 2022 Evaluation evaluation
Milestone 3 Deliverable Due Milestone 3 Deliverable Due
Please upload your deliverable using the link above.
April 11th, 2022 Submission Required submission-required
Milestone 4 Deliverable Due Milestone 4 Deliverable Due
Please upload your deliverable using the link above.
April 25th, 2022 Submission Required submission-required
STUDENTS! Take a short survey on YOUR learning experience!

STUDENTS! Take a short survey on YOUR learning experience!

Please take a few minutes to complete this SELF ASSESSMENT SURVEY on your learning experience with this project!
May 4th, 2022 Evaluation evaluation
STUDENTS! Let us know about your observations and experiences working with YOUR PEERS on this project!

STUDENTS! Let us know about your observations and experiences working with YOUR PEERS on this project!

Please take a few minutes to complete this PEER EVALUATION SURVEY!
May 4th, 2022 Evaluation evaluation
Official Project End!

Official Project End!

Note: Schedule a time for student final virtual presentations to industry partners.
May 4th, 2022 Event na

Key Project Milestones

  • March 7, 2022 - Deep-dive into the Company

    • What is the company’s brand and business model?
    • What are their core competencies and overall strategy?
    • How is the target market defined?
    • What are the company’s products, and how are they organized? What unique value do they offer customers?
    • What exactly is the type of “make or buy” decision being made? What is the subject of your analysis? What is the ideal outcome for this project?
    • Who will be using the information and recommendations you produce, and how will they use it?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    1-2 page brief overview of the company and current challenge; questions for the Industry Partner

  • March 28, 2022 - Evaluate In-house Build Options & Impacts

     

    • What is the strategic importance of the product or service that is being considered for outsourcing? Is it critical to the company’s performance or a key function of their core competencies?
    • How is the decision expected to impact their core competencies and strategy in the short run? In the long run?
    • What process, technologies, or skills are required to produce the desired outcomes? What structures are involved? Production? Quality? Engineering? Does the company have the capability of building in-house?
    • Does the company possess the human and other resources needed to build?
    • Could an in-house build provide the company with a strategic advantage? If yes, how so? If not, what are the downsides?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Infographic illustrating the options and impacts of in-house build for the company

  • April 11, 2022 - Identify & Evaluate Risks & Opportunities for Outsourcing Solution

    • How does the current and anticipated competitive environment impact the decision to make or buy?
    • What opportunities are there for outsourcing to contract manufacturers?
    • What is the total cost of outsourcing?
    • What are the known risks of outsourcing? For instance, is there an intellectual property risk for outsourcing?
    • What strategies could be used to mitigate the risks? For instance, are there opportunities to select the right supplier and structure an effective ongoing relationship, or split aspects of the project across multiple suppliers?
    • What is the impact of outsourcing on capital expenditures?
    • What is the anticipated return on invested capital and assets?
    • What savings could reasonably be achieved through outsourcing?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Cost/Benefit Analysis Matrix & Summary Report

  • April 25, 2022 - Make Recommendations Based the Analysis

    • What are your recommendations based on your  analysis? Is there a business case for making the product in-house or outsourcing? What are the drivers of the decision?
    • Can you benchmark the supplier’s costs and capabilities against the company’s internal costs and capabilities?
    • If outsourcing is recommended, what strategies do you suggest for evaluating contractors’ proposals?
    • What suggestions do you have for budgeting and forecasting given your recommendations?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Decision-matrix & Recommendations; Presentation

Project Resources

There are no resources currently available

Industry Mentors

Company Admin

Gregory Nelson 

[email protected]

Academic Mentors

Instructor

 

[email protected]

Instructor

Jason Gorham

[email protected]

Instructor

Scott Rosenfelder

[email protected]

Instructor

Neil Doughty

[email protected]

Instructor

Elois Joseph 

[email protected]

Instructor

Jenny Redisi 

[email protected]

Assigned Students

There are currently no students assigned.