71232 Operations Management|
Matt Hinkley 3319696|
Question 1: Operations management role2
Question 2: Types of production4
Question 3: Environmental factors5
Question 4: Strategic options [case provided]6
Case question 1 (customers)6
Case question 2 (competitors)6
Case question 3 (strategic decisions)6
Case question 4 (expansion issues)7
Question 5: Measures of quality8
Question 6: Types of quality management9
Figure 1: Company structure2
Table 1: Quality characteristic measurements8
Part A: Nature of operations management
Question 1: Operations management role
I would imagine that my role would be to ensure the profitable and reliable running of services. A bus service is a continuous service which runs to a schedule on a predetermined route. Our customers base their movements around our schedule and will expect us to adhere to those times. Figure 1 below is an indication of the simplified assumed structure of the company. I have not allowed for maintenance workshops and such like and have assumed that these functions are outsourced to suppliers.
Figure [ 1 ]: Company structure
The interactions between the departments are on a two way information route and feedback is gathered from the customer by the frontline staff. This could also include the drivers or ticket staff. The long term strategies of the company would be managed by the CEO and their senior team which would then be fed down to the operations manager for the day to day management to deliver these goals. Operations would see to the efficient running of the services and provide any early warning signs in their reports to the senior management. An interface with the customer would also be recommended by way of an occasional MBWA (management by walking about) style. This enables a personal interaction with both the staff and the customer. Close relations with suppliers should be kept with the finance side of the relationship being managed by the accounts department. Maintaining this degree of separation enables the ‘good cop bad cop’ kind of relations which can be of great benefit when bills come due.
Question 2: Types of production
The bus company is a transportation operation, as it transports people. It works as a mass services production process type. This is demonstrated in the fact that it has many customer transactions, involving limited contact time and little customisation (Nigel Slack, 2011). It does not store stock but you could argue that resources are stored in the form of bus spares and fuel should they have their own depot rather than outsourcing these items. The customers are queued in as much as the wait to be picked up on the route but they are not defined in a customer list or database.
Question 3: Environmental factors
As with any business there are more than one company vying for the limited number of consumers. Running busses you will have very little scope to be better than your competition so you need to be very careful how you do it. There will be a couple main reasons why your customer chooses you which will be price, route, condition of vehicle and convenience. Breaking the four task environments down and assuming that there is a counter to each of the factors, we can reduce the impact as follows: Competitors: You could be cheaper or more regular than the competition, perhaps have newer buses which don’t smoke so badly as the others. Try to offer services on the routes which the competitors would struggle to compete on. Customers: The customer is king (or Queen). The most effective way to encourage New Zealand customers is by price. Kiwis love a bargain (Edmunds, 2012). Be it the one day special or concessions for demographic or regular users. But your price will not matter if the route is in the wrong place so location is a major factor when looking for...