A Decision Matrix showing the possible outcomes of the decisions available for production in September

You are the production manager for Broadstairs Perfect Puddings (BPP). Each year in September you manufacture Christmas puddings for shops and supermarkets in Kent. The annual demand for these is dependent on a number of factors that cannot be predicted when you have to commence production. Over the past few years, demand has been either 8000, 1000 or 1200 puddings. Firm orders are placed with your company in October for delivery on 1st November. It is possible to manufacture additional puddings in October but at a lower profit margin.
Each sold pudding manufactured in September will generate 50p profit. Each sold pudding manufactured in October will generate 10p. Each unsold pudding must be disposed of at a loss of 25p.
It is also necessary for you to recommend a replacement mixing machine. You have drawn up a short list of three.
You have agreed with senior management that while ease of operation and the availability of spares are equally important, the other criteria are more important. The ease of servicing is considered twice as important as ease of operation, while ease of cleaning and cost are both considered to be three times as important as the availability of spares. The three machines have been evaluated against these criteria and have been ranked out of 10 as shown, with higher being better.

Bakery Friend Supermix Doughboy 3
Cost 7 7 6
Ease of cleaning 6 8 6
Ease of servicing 8 6 7
Availability of spares 7 8 6
Ease of operation 6 6 8

The new machine mixes the pudding ingredients in batches of 10kgs.
Your recipe involves ingredients in the following quantities which are available at the prices shown. There are other ingredients, such as eggs and brandy, but these are added in different units.

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Ingredient Minimum required (gms) Maximum required (gms) Cost/Kg
Brown sugar 1280 1350 €0.5
Suet 1280 1350 €5.0
Sultanas 1940 2200 €1.25
Raisins 1940 2200 €2.0
Currants 1280 1500 €1.25
Candied peel 625 640 €2.5
Plain flour 625 660 €0.2
Flaked almonds 310 330 €3.75
Spices 58 62 €20.0

You are required to prepare a report for senior management that includes the following:

  1. A Decision Matrix showing the possible outcomes of the decisions available for production in September. This must be accompanied by explanations of the decisions indicated if all three outcomes are considered equally likely, if the organisation is pessimistic or risk-averse, and if the organisation is optimistic.
  2. The use of a weighted factored scoring method to determine which of the three machines to select. This must be accompanied by an explanation of the implications of your findings.
  3. The quantities of each of the ingredients required to make one batch of pudding mix, together with the total cost of these ingredients. You should use the appropriate software to do this and attach a printout of the solution.

Please note that marks will be allocate for the correct presentation of this report.


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