Operations Management Defined and in Context

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Business Operations (BIO0230) Assignment 2012/13

Student: Vanessa Sears
Student ID: U1176604

Assignment Title:
Operations Management Defined and in Context

Operations Management has evolved over many years and is now considered a critical function in any business, as supported by J.R Meredith, “operations is critical to success in today’s economy” ( P35, Meredith 1992). Businesses need to have faster production, cheaper prices, better quality products and fast delivery to be competitive. How an operations manager manages the production of goods or services effects how competitive the offering and how successful the business will then go on to be. In this assignment I am going to use Nestle and Heathrow airport as examples of a service or manufacturing industry and aim to compare and contrast in their strategies and processes. Operations Management is all about producing goods or services whilst meeting the set objectives of the business and external responsibilities. Whether it is a service or good that is being produced a model similar to this one can be applied (Slack 2012 p1) It shows the flow of the operational process.

Design
Improvement
Planning &
control

Customers
The operation’s
competitive role
& position
The operation’s
Strategic objectives
Operations
strategy

Output:
Products &
services

Input
resources
Input
transformed
Resources

Materials
Customers
Information

Facilities
Staff
Input

Transforming
Resources

Today’s market place for both business to business and Business to consumers is more demanding than ever before, people and businesses want more for their money and requires operations to have clear competitive strategy within critical key performance indicators across all departments, these are broadly associated with efficiency and effectiveness, according to Meredith (p41 , Meredith 1992), he also goes on to narrow these down to be more precise into 6 areas of critical importance, these are: Efficiency

Effectiveness
Capacity
Quality
Response Time
Flexibility.
Although Meredith refers to these as critical in the International market place, I do think that they should be also be used as a basis for any business wanting to compete and be successful even in a very small local market place. I also think that ‘Pricing’ should be included as part of the critical areas as this is a crucial strategic outcome from being efficient and effective and can be the difference between winning an order or not. A business that is less efficient and effective than a competitor cannot compete on price and quality. Similarly (Slack et al, 2010 p40) Nigel Slack simplifies it even more and considers 5 basic performance objectives: Quality

Speed
Dependability
Flexibility
Cost
Also illustrated in this model here:

Originally Slack et al, adapted by Emerald Insight.com (http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=850830&show=html)

These critical areas of importance would be applied to all departments within a business, not just production. It is very difficult to define all the tasks of an Operations/Production manager as they are all so diverse and interdependent (Alan Muhlemann et al 1992) but we can try to break the framework down into five areas (Alan Muhlemann et al 1992): “The Five P’s”

The Product
The Plant
The Processes
The Programmes
The People.
All these areas are interdependent and require an operations manager to apply an operations strategy that reflects the goals of the business, meets KPI’s for stakeholders and meets the demands of today’s buyers. My definition of Operations Management takes into account all the things I have broadly read and of course featured here and I feel is appropriate to the tasks of today’s operations managers; Operations management is the strategically and tactically managed transformation of material or skills into a profitable offering that satisfies the buyer’s needs and wants at...
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