Operations Management

Topics: Management, Six Sigma, Total quality management Pages: 10 (3306 words) Published: April 26, 2008
Operations are the key factor in any organization and hence organizations are born and emerged around out the world to provide these operational aspects to customers as their motto or vision states. The day-to-day creations and delivery of goods and services of a company are defined as Operations Management. Slack (2004) defines Operations Management as “the business function that organises, harmonizes and controls the resources needed to produce a company products and services”. Researching further on this definition, operations Management can be seen as a business function which enables organizations to effectively co-ordinate their delivery of products and services to the customers as an output. Hence Operations Management is the management of systems or processes that create goods and or provides services. As Hill (2000) clarifies that “The operations task concerns the transformation process that involves taking inputs and transforming them into outputs together with the various support roles closely associated with this basic task”. However Muhlemann (1992) critiques that “of all the managerial tasks the production/operations management function is the hardest to define since it incorporates so many diverse tasks that are interdependent. To divide it up, therefore, is to destroy it”. Arguably Schroeder (1985) clarifies Operation Management as a part of the organization that makes the goods and or delivers the services to the customers.

So where can Operations Management be found? It’s on every process that the day-to-day operations of goods and or services provide through organizations. It is in the things consumers buy. It is in the products that are produced. It is in the services we provide through organizations or social services. There are three sectors in which the products and or service are delivered is broken down in which the Primary Sector evolves around the land an sea and the Secondary Sector on Manufacturing or Production/Construction whilst the third being Tertiary Sector comprising of services.

The modern and rapidly changing business world needs emerging technologies and innovations, in which to compete with the global competition. For this purpose organizations that produce or “operations needs to be strategic and operations managers need to manage their resources strategically. So what are Strategic operations Management? Strategies are ideas to develop and achieve organizational goals. These strategies have a deep impact on what the organization does and how it does it. These strategies provide scope for decision making within the organization. Teece (1997); Eisenhardt & Martin (2000) defines strategies “concerned with developing capabilities within the firm’s operations that are superior to other competitors and that other competitors either cannot copy or will find it difficult to copy”. The strategy of an organization can either be long term, intermediate term or short term. Strategies are designed to reflect the mission, vision, goal and core competences of a particular organization. Arguably Das, (1991); Itami & Numagami, (1992) also backs this point. Operations managers need to formulate new strategies to cope with competition and in order to do this they must regulate strategies into and from the organization as clear strategies play an important role as argued by Hayes & Pisano (1994) says: “In today’s turbulent competitive environment, a company more than ever needs a strategy that specifies the kind of competitive advantage that it is seeking in the market-place and articulates how that advantage is to be achieved”. With management becoming more and more strategic Thompson (1987) criticized that scientific management that exercised to maximize efficiency and welcomed open-systems strategy which amplifies that organizations are natural, complex systems with more and large components that we need to grasp. Although for many centuries we have...
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