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In our modern market economy, given the dynamic nature of the environment, where competition reaches outstanding levels and variables such as consumer demand are increasingly more difficult to analyze and predict, it all comes to the abilities of managers to keep their companies successful. CEO’s, marketing and operations managers, they all play a vital role in the profitability of their companies, no matter if they are small regional companies or large multinational corporations. Since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, all national economies face difficulties, both in the goods and the financial markets. This is also the case of Romania, which started as one of the most promising emerging economies in the Eastern European area. Now the country is struggling to meet budget deficit targets and pay back IMF loans. Even in these rough conditions, S.C. Marinaden S.R.L. (Limited Liability - the equivalent of the British Ltd.) remains one of the largest furniture manufacturers and retailers in the country’s Northern region. Ever since this company was started 50 years ago, it succeeded in being one of the top players in the field. The company has two manufactory facilities located at the outskirts of Iasi and Suceava (two of the largest cities in the region), which work around the clock to make sure all demand is met. As points of sale, the company uses more than 10 rented spaces in major cities at the moment, each of them being located in central areas, such as malls or commercial areas. The company uses only two warehouses to store the stock. Even though the stock is very large, the stock turnover is well below the industry’s average; therefore the company has little need for storage space and reduces costs. The company focuses on offering its customers a unique combination of great value-for-money products with high dependability of services. It all starts with the production process. The company has several contractors in China which supply it with high quality materials at factory prices. This is one of the most important aspects on a competitive market such as the furniture market, being able to produce at the lowest possible costs, and this is exactly what the company does by minimizing its production costs. As soon as the materials are ordered, they arrive in the port of Constanta by ship and then proceed on to the production points by truck. Once the materials are brought in, an elaborate production process begins. The company has more than 100 workers in its production department, skilled handcrafters, engineers and managers, all of which make sure the products that come out are top quality. Even so, production time is kept to a minimum due to the continuous demand. The company manages to do so by strictly dividing tasks between employees and keeping a tight time management. One could easily associate this practice with Fordism, in which time is strictly monitored and there is a clear division of labor, if it wasn’t for the high amount of collaboration and team work that goes on inside. In terms of variety, the company offers a wide range of products, starting from bedroom and living room furniture (beds, wardrobes, desks, couches, armchairs etc) and ending with bathrooms, kitchens and terraces (cupboards, tables, chairs etc). This proves to be one of its key advantages over the competitors in the area which only produce certain types of furniture. In general, people go to furniture stores when they need to redecorate a certain room or flat, or when they bought/build a new place and they need to furnish it. Having all the products in one place makes it more attractive and also easier for them to enter the store and buy everything they need. Following the production process, part of the goods are delivered to the selling points using the company’s own transportation fleet (trucks and vans), where they are assembled and exposed. The store space is carefully organized and distributed so as...
References: Slack, N., Chambers, S. & Johnston, R. (2010), Operations Management, 6th Edition, Financial Times – Prentice Hall.
Hill, A. and Hill, T. (2011), Essential Operations Management, Palgrave Macmillan.
Bettley, A., Mayle, D. and Tantoush, T. (2005) Operations Management: A Strategic Approach, Open University/Sage.
Slack, N., Chambers, S., Johnston, R. & Betts, A. (2009), Operations and Process Management: Principles and Practice for Strategic Impact, 2nd edition, Financial Times – Prentice Hall.
Schroeder, R. G., Goldstein, S. N., Rungtusanatham, M. J. (2011) Operations Management: Contemporary Concepts and Cases (fifth edition). McGraw-Hill International Edition, pp. 492-503.
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