Operations Managment

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Key operations questions
Chapter 1 Operations management
➤ What is operations management? ➤ Why is operations management important in all types of organization? ➤ What is the input–transformation– output process? ➤ What is the process hierarchy? ➤ How do operations processes have different characteristics? ➤ What are the activities of operations management?

Chapter 2 Operations performance
➤ Why is operations performance important in any organization? ➤ How does the operations function incorporate all stakeholders’ objectives? ➤ What does top management expect from the operations function? ➤ What are the performance objectives of operations and what are the internal and external benefits which derive from excelling in each of them? ➤ How do operations performance objectives trade off against each other?

Chapter 3 Operations strategy
➤ What is strategy and what is operations strategy? ➤ What is the difference between a ‘top-down’ and a ‘bottom-up’ view of operations strategy? ➤ What is the difference between a ‘market requirements’ and an ‘operations resources’ view of operations strategy? ➤ How can an operations strategy be put together?

Part One
INTRODUCTION
This part of the book introduces the idea of the operations function in different types of organization. It identifies the common set of objectives to which operations managers aspire in order to serve their customers, and it explains how operations can have an important strategic role.

Chapter

1
Operations management

Key questions
➤ What is operations management? ➤ Why is operations management important in all types of organization? ➤ What is the input–transformation– output process? ➤ What is the process hierarchy? ➤ How do operations processes have different characteristics? ➤ What are the activities of operations management?

Introduction
Operations management is about how organizations produce goods and services. Everything you wear, eat, sit on, use, read or knock about on the sports field comes to you courtesy of the operations managers who organized its production. Every book you borrow from the library, every treatment you receive at the hospital, every service you expect in the shops and every lecture you attend at university – all have been produced. While the people who supervised their ‘production’ may not always be called operations managers that is what they really are. And that is what this book is concerned with – the tasks, issues and decisions of those operations managers who have made the services and products on which we all depend. This is an introductory chapter, so we will examine what we mean by ‘operations management’, how operations processes can be found everywhere, how they are all similar yet different, and what it is that operations managers do.

Check and improve your understanding of this chapter using self assessment questions and a personalised study plan, audio and video downloads, and an eBook – all at www.myomlab.com.

Chapter 1 Operations management

3

Operations in practice IKEA1
(All chapters start with an ‘Operations in practice’ example that illustrates some of the issues that will be covered in the chapter.)

Love it or hate it, IKEA is the most successful furniture retailer ever. With 276 stores in 36 countries, it has managed to develop its own special way of selling furniture. The stores’ layout means customers often spend two hours in the store – far longer than in rival furniture retailers. IKEA’s philosophy goes back to the original business, started in the 1950s in Sweden by Ingvar Kamprad. He built a showroom on the outskirts of Stockholm where land was cheap and simply displayed suppliers’ furniture as it would be in a domestic setting. Increasing sales soon allowed IKEA to start ordering its own self-designed products from local manufacturers. But it was innovation in its operations that dramatically reduced its selling costs. These included the idea of selling furniture as...
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