DEFINE OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT AND DISCUSS ITS ESSENTIAL FEATURES AND THE IMPORTANCE/BENEFITS OF OPERATION PRIORITIES
Every organization is in business because it has products, services and in some cases a combination of the two (i.e. product and service), that it offers customers as a solution to a particular need or want they have. This implies that, the very core business of every organization is to get these products and services readily available to customers, through its operations.
We can therefore conclude that, every single activity that is directly associated with the manufacturing of products or services, from the Input stage of raw materials like (cocoa beans, coffee beans etc) through the Transformational processing stage of decision making and planning using available client information, human resource activity, equipment, facilities and available technology to the finished stage of Output (ie the product/services) is classified as its Operations.
Definition of Operations Management;
Operations Management is defined by (Davis, Aguilano and Chase, 1999, p5 as “Management of the conversion process which transforms inputs such as raw materials and labour into outputs in the forms of finished goods and services” However, this definition focuses on the Operations function which is concerned with the conversion of input into output (e.g. Scanner or Photocopier operations).
In my perspective however, I consider Operations Management as the oversight responsibility towards all the activities that differently affect a manufacturing or transformation process. It involves ensuring that everything is done right every step of the way, from the input or raw material stage; through the transformation or processing stage to the output or finished product/service stage and that the final output is a match and not a mismatch of customer needs and product expectations as well as organizational goals.
ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
Operation management in organizational running is overseen, managed and all the various facets coordinated by the operations manager. However, as a title, Operations Manager is not restrictive to manufacturing. It involves; PLANNING:
Setting standards, targets and goals for a business organization and its operational activities is the path of operations management. So that as an organization ,we know from scratch which customer needs or market segments we would want to satisfy or have the capability of satisfying. Once that is identified or established; the necessary decisions on how to make it happen, what designs to make, decisions on assortment (colours, sizes, shapes etc) planning as to which technology to use, capacity of manufacturing plant to set up, human resource available and even more importantly, the time scale within which all these plans should span constitutes the planning feature of operations. It forms a very important part of the operations management process because it is an established fact that "Failing to plan is planning to fail."
Organizing or making things follow in an orderly manner is also part of operations management. This is also happens to be a vital part of the continuous process because though every plan is important in its own context, there are priorities in every given situation. Thus organizing operations involves sequencing all operational activities from; location for citing of manufacturing plant, distance from sources of raw materials, technology required and technology to be introduced at a later time. Capacity of machines, lay out of machinery and the entire factory edifice influences efficiency in production and faster production output. Your distribution network and strategy to adopt (ie retail/wholesale/selective/mass), layout and design of outlets should be well planned in order to bring the customer and organization, convenience and total...