Case Study 2: Southwestern University a (Pp. 94-95).

Topics: Case study Pages: 5 (1037 words) Published: November 11, 2012
Operations Analysis Week 7

Case Study 2:  Southwestern University A (pp. 94-95). See the Case Studies Assignment Rubric in Doc Sharing for assignment details. * Complete the three questions at the end of the case on page 95. 

Case Studies Southwestern University: (A)*

Southwestern University (SWU), a large state college in Stephenville, Texas, 30 miles southwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, enrolls close to 20,000 students. In a typical town-gown relationship, the school is a dominant force in the small city, with more students during fall and spring than permanent residents.

A longtime football powerhouse, SWU is a member of the Big Eleven conference and is usually in the top 20 in college football rankings. To bolster its chances of reaching the elusive and long-desired number-one ranking, in 2003, SWU hired the legendary Bo Pitterno as its head coach.

One of Pitterno’s demands on joining SWU had been a new stadium. With attendance increasing, SWU administrators began to face the issue head-on. After 6 months of study, much political arm wrestling, and some serious financial analysis, Dr. Joel Wisner, president of Southwestern University, had reached a decision to expand the capacity at its on-campus stadium.

* This integrated study runs throughout the text. Other issues facing Southwestern’s football expansion include (B) forecasting game attendance (Chapter 4); (C) quality of facilities (Chapter 6); (D) break-even analysis for food services (Supplement 7 Web site); (E) location of the new stadium (Chapter 8 Web site); (F) inventory planning of football programs (Chapter 12 Web site); and (G) scheduling of campus security officers/staff for game days (Chapter 13).

Adding thousands of seats, including dozens of luxury skyboxes, would not please everyone. The influential Pitterno had argued the need for a first-class stadium, one with built-in dormitory rooms for his players and a palatial office appropriate for the coach of a future NCAA champion team. But the decision was made, and everyone, including the coach, would learn to live with it.

TABLE 3.6 Southwestern University Project

Time Estimates (days)

ActivityDescription Predecessor(s) OptimisticMost LikelyPessimisticCrash Cost/Day

ABonding, insurance, tax structuring203040$1,500

BFoundation, concrete footings for boxesA2065803,500

CUpgrading skybox stadium seatingA50601004,000

DUpgrading walkways, stairwells, elevatorsC30501001,900

EInterior wiring, lathesB2530359,500

FInspection approvalsE0.10.10.10

GPlumbingD, F2530352,500


IHardware/AC/metal workingsH2025602,000



LFinal detail work/cleanup, K2025604,500

The job now was to get construction going immediately after the 2009 season ended. This would allow exactly 270 days until the 2010 season opening game. The contractor, Hill Construction (Bob Hill being an alumnus, of course), signed his contract. Bob Hill looked at the tasks his engineers had outlined and looked President Wisner in the eye. “I guarantee the team will be able to take the field on schedule next year,” he said with a sense of confidence. “I sure hope so,” replied Wisner. “The contract penalty of $10,000 per day for running late is nothing compared to what Coach Pitterno will do to you if our opening game with Penn State is delayed or canceled.” Hill, sweating slightly, did not need to respond. In football-crazy Texas, Hill Construction would be mud if the 270-day target was missed.

Back in his office, Hill again reviewed the data (see Table 3.6) and noted that optimistic time estimates can be used as crash times. He then gathered his foremen. “Folks, if we’re not 75% sure we’ll finish this stadium in less than 270 days, I want this project crashed! Give me the cost figures for a target date of 250 days—also for...
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