Data structures at Goronwy
The data needed by people working within Goronwy originally consisted of three paper documents (see Figure 1.6) – a delivery advice, a job sheet and a dispatch advice. Each of these documents consist of a data structure – a structure for data.
The delivery advice details what batches have been delivered on a given truck to Goronwy. A trailer arriving from a customer might be loaded with several different types of steel product. These were divided into batches, and each batch was labelled with a unique order number. Each trailer was given a delivery advice note detailing all the associated batches on it.
A job sheet was produced for each unloaded batch to detail the conforming (for galvanising) and non-conforming (for return to the customer) material. On arrival at the galvanising plant the black material was unpacked by an inbound logistics operative and checked for discrepancies with the information on the delivery advice note. There are two major types of discrepancy: a count discrepancy, between the number of items delivered and the number indicated on the delivery advice note; a non-conforming black discrepancy arises when some of the material is unsuitable for galvanising. For instance, a steel lintel might be bent or the material might be of the wrong type. The operative would note both kinds, by making a comment in the appropriate box on the delivery advice note. When all the material had been checked, the delivery advice note was passed on to the production controller who, with the office clerk, copied by hand all the details on the delivery advice note, including any discrepancies, to a job sheet. A separate job sheet was filled in for each order line on the delivery advice note. The job sheet was passed down to the shop floor of the factory, where the shift foreman used it to record details of processing. Most jobs passed through the galvanising process smoothly. The steel items were placed on racks, dipped in the zinc bath and left to cool. The site foreman then checked each job. If all items had been galvanised properly, he put a Y for yes in the box on the job sheet and passed it back to the production controller. Occasionally, some of the items were not galvanised properly. They were classed as non-conforming white, and also noted on the job sheet (and typically scheduled for regalvanising).
A dispatch advice details the galvanised batches to be returned to customers. When the shop floor had treated a series of jobs, the production controller issued a dispatch advice note and sent it to the outbound logistics section. Workers in this section used it to stack the white material on trailers – one trailer to a dispatch advice note – ready to be returned to the manufacturer.
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