1. Which of the five operations performance objectives (quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost) are the most important to build into the design of VBA’s process and why?
To some extent, this is a matter of opinion. However, the company itself would place quality very much at the top of the list and flexibility towards the bottom, as follows:
VBA’s service is based on the trust which it has established both with growers and buyers. This involves an implicit guarantee of the quality and freshness of the flowers. For example, VBA invest time and money into the laboratory services which give them the ability to assess flower quality levels. Without this quality guarantee buyers would not be willing to use the service.
Cost is an important objective primarily to the company itself. The whole company’s operations are based on high volume. It is, after all, the largest operation of its type in the world. Also, the company have invested in the information technology and materials handling technology which standardises the service, thus reducing costs further. However, cost is also important to the buyers. If the operation were not efficient, then the buyers may find it cheaper to buy directly from the growers. The transaction costs of VBA must be sufficiently low to prevent this happening.
In this case dependability means that a range and quantity of flowers are available for buyers to purchase if they wish and also that the company are able to guarantee to the growers that flowers will be available for sale at the time promised. Lack of dependability in terms of interruption to the supply of flowers would destroy the trust of both buyers and growers.
Speed is only important up to a point. Obviously the flowers cannot be kept within the total supply chain for too long, otherwise it would reduce their ‘shelf life’ when they... [continues]
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