QUALITY AND COMPETITIVENESS
There is a growing body of literature that examines the impact that operations management has on the expectations and perceptions of customers as preliminary stages for creating customer loyalty (Armstrong et al, 1997, Johnston, 1999, Becker and Murrmann, 1999, Brady et al, 2001, Hope and Potter, 2006, and Hill, 2005). Therefore, the main purpose of this research project is to introduce the concept of operations management in the service sector, discuss the meaning and driving forces of competitiveness in this sector, and report the findings of the operations management practices of ROTANA hotel situated in Al Ain , UAE. The project will be organized in a way that enables us to answer the following questions: 1. How can operations management be represented as a system? 2. What functional roles does operations management play in an organization and in particular on the service sector? 3. What are some major historical events that influenced the development of operations management in the service sector? 4. What are some trends and issues in the business environment that currently influence operations management? Operations Management and Its Functional Roles
Operations management can be defined as a type of system or as a function. Operations management as a system System can be depicted as shown in Figure 1. Inputs, such as material, machines, labor, management, and capital, are transformed into outputs, like products, goods, and services. Requirements and feedback from customers are used to adjust factors in the transformation process, which may also alter the inputs. [pic]
Fig. 1. Overview of the operation management process
Transformation processes can include manufacturing and service activities. In fact, most organizations do include both. If organizations are ranked on a continuum with pure services on one end and pure goods on the other end, we would find that most falls somewhere in between (Stevenson, 2010). On the other hand operations management can be considered as a separate function in an organization. In most large service organizations, it is considered the basic core where other functions exist to support the operations function. For example, the central purpose of RUTANA hotel is to produce services which ensure consistency of standards in hotels operating within a chain globally .Marketing supports this central purpose by advertising and selling the service produced. Fig. 2 summarizes the interaction relationships among operations management and other organization's functions. [pic]
Accordingly, the critical decisions of operations management that have great impact on the firm's strategy and productivity are service and product design, quality management, process and capacity design, location, layout design, human resources and job design, supply-chain management, inventory planning, intermediate and short-term scheduling, and maintenance.
Brief History of Operations Management
• Production of goods and services has been in existence since the evolution of civilized society, but here we limit our discussion to developments that led to the widespread production of consumer goods. • Prior to the development of markets for massive amounts of consumer goods, most production took place in the home or in small communities of artisans and craftsmen. Products were often handcrafted, unique, and made entirely by one person. • Some people trace the development of the first factories to the textile industry in England. In pre-industrial societies, people often prepared only enough goods for their families, along with a small excess to obtain items unavailable within the family (cottage industries). As land became scarce and people moved off farms and into cities, mercantilism and trade developed. This created a market for massive amounts of goods, like...