Operations management is defined as “the activity of managing the resources which produce and deliver products and services” (Slack et al. 2010 p4). This encompasses the entire activity carried out within the organization. With increasing pressure on organizations to deliver optimally at reduced cost, the role of operations has been transformed from that of strategy implementer to one of strategy driver. Operations strategy looks at the patterns of strategic decisions and actions in a bid to set the roles, objectives and activities of the operations (Slack et al. 2010). An understanding of these strategies is important in ensuring that organizations are well aware of the requirements needed to meet the corporate objectives set about by management. The report looks at a case study of Concept design services (CDS); a product based manufacturing company looking to break into service operations. It seeks to identify current strategy types evidenced in the organization and the role operations play in the implementation of this strategies. Also considered is the relationship between the core functions highlighting possible conflicts, current practices and perceived strengths and weaknesses. Issues such as servitization and growth strategies are considered in relation to the companies push for development in line with its desire to become a service provider. An analysis of the impact it will have on the company’s manufacturing and service departments is also considered. Finally, recommendations that will ensure operations develop with the new growth plan is presented to management.
2.0 STRATEGIES IN CONCEPT DESIGN
Within CDS, there is evidence of an amalgamation of strategies. With a diversification of the company’s portfolio, the corporate strategy of the organization had to be reflecting the changing scenario of the business environment. To identify the different strategy types within CDS, there is first a need to understand what strategy is.
Strategy can be defined has “the total pattern of decisions and actions that position the organization in its environment and that are intended to achieve its long-term goals” (Slack et al. 2010 P79). Strategy has also been described as the long term direction an organization intends to go (Johnson et al. 2011). In achieving an over arching strategy, three levels of strategies have to be considered; corporate level, business level and operational level. The formulation of these strategies will determine how the different organizational strategies will interact with one another (Zanon et al. 2013) While corporate level strategy deals with the overall purpose and scope of an organization such as where to locate the business, what type of business to engage in; business level strategy is more concerned with the various ways the business can compete successfully against other competitors in its segment. Functional strategy looks at ways in which individual functions can contribute to the overall objective of the organization.
Operations strategy is concerned with the strategic decision and actions that set roles, objectives and activities of the operations (Slack et al. 2010). It focuses more on how the different parts of the organization can deliver on set strategies through the management of resources, processes and people. Operations strategy’s primary role is to implement strategy, but with continuous business growth, operations is expected to support and drive the organizations strategy. This will see it contributing to the competitive advantage of the firm (Slack et al. 2010). This is aptly captured in Hayes and wheelwrights four stage model of operations contribution.
Figure 1. Hayes and Wheelwrights four-stage model of operations contribution. Adapted from Slack et al. 2010
Slack et al. (2010), identified four different perspective to operations strategy; Top-down, bottom up, market requirement perspective and resource based...
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