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Sub: BusinessManagement

Topic:Operation Management

Operations Management and Process Technology
Advances in process technology have radically changed many operations over the last two or three decades. And all indications are that the pace of technological development is not slowing down. Few operations have been unaffected by this because all operations use some kind of process technology, whether it is a simple Internet link or the most complex and sophisticated of automated factories. But whatever the technology, all operations managers need to understand what emerging technologies can do, in broad terms how they do it, what advantages the technology can give and what constraints it might impose on the operation. Operations managers are continually involved in the management of process technology. They do not need to be experts in engineering, computing, biology, electronics or whatever constitutes the core science of the technology, but they should be able to do three things. First, they need to understand the technology to the extent that they are able to articulate what the technology should be able to do. Second, they should be able to evaluate alternative technologies and share in the decisions of which technology to choose. Third, they must implement the technology so that it can reach its full potential in contributing to the performance of the operation as a whole. Understanding process technology does not mean knowing the details of the science and engineering embedded in the technology.

Materials-processing technology: Technological advances have meant that the ways in which metals, plastics, fabric and other materials are processed have improved over time. Generally it is the initial forming and shaping of materials at the start, and the handling and movement through the manufacturing process that has been most affected by technology advances. Assembling parts to make products, although far more automated that once it was, presents more challenges. Here are just some of the technologies that have helped to transform material processing industries.

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Sub: BusinessManagement

Topic:Operation Management

Information-processing technology: Information-processing technology, or just information technology (IT), is the most common single type of technology within operations, and includes any device which collects, manipulates, stores or distributes information. Often organizational and operational issues are the main constraints in applying information technology because managers are unsure how best to use the potential in the technology.

Customer-processing technology: Although, customer-processing operations were once seen as ‘low-technology’, now process technology is very much in evidence in many services. In any airline flight, for example, e-ticket reservation technology, check-in technology, the aircraft and its in-flight entertainment, all play vital parts in service delivery. Increasingly, the human element of service is being reduced with customer-processing technology being used to give an acceptable level of service while significantly reducing costs. Two types of customerprocessing technologies are used to do this: those that you interact with yourself and those that are operated by an intermediary.

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*The Homework solutions from Classof1 are intended to help students understand the approach to solving the problem and not for
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Sub: BusinessManagement

Topic:Operation Management

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