You are on page 1of 8

Operations Management

Chapter 19

What is Operations Management?

Operations Management is fundamentally the process in which products, that is, goods and services are produced. The system takes in inputs; people, technology, capital, equipment, materials, and information and transforms them through various processes, procedures, work activities, and so forth into finished goods and services (Robbins & Coulter, 2012). As mentioned before the three main reasons why operations manager plays an important role it because they;
Encompasses both services and manufacturing; 2. Its important in effectively and efficiently managing productivity; and 3. It plays a strategic role in an organisations competitive success (Robbins & Coulter, 2012).

Operations take place not only in manufacturing but also in sales, services, administrative processes and much more.

Operations Management Process

The table below illustrates the operations management process. As you can see the there are three main stages the inputs, transformation and the outputs. Operations managers need to have a wide knowledge in all these areas, to facilitate a productive and efficient working form to gain the most out of the transformation stage.

The transformation process includes stages such as product design, process planning, production control and maintenance.

Current issues within Operations Management

The current main issues within operations management are;
1. 2. 3. 4.

The role technology plays within the operations, Quality initiatives Goal initiatives and Mass Customisation and Lean Organisation

As operations management plays such an integral part in planning and creating goods and/or services, these four issues are significant in the overall productions of a product. This presentation will focus on the first issue; technology within operations. It will look at the benefits and limitations that technology has within a companys production and transformation process. Throughout the centurys technology has open avenues and made possible many new inventions to allow organisations to create mass production for their clients. Although technology plays an important part, it also is one of the main factors for companys loss in profit. This presentation will briefly highlight the main issues.

Technology the Positives

As indicated earlier technology within operations management enhances the productivity and creates a more efficient working form. The following points are the main advantages on using technology within a corporation: 1. Higher rate of production with reduced cycle time. 2. Higher capacity utilisation due to line balancing. 3. Less skilled operators are required. 4. Low process inventory. 5. Manufacturing post per unit is low (Kumar & Suresh, 2009) It is clear that although technology is a high cost risk, companies achieve a better turnover when using machine/technology to produce their goods and services. Technology is not only used to produces items but can assist managers from the beginning stages of planning, designing and product control. Brown (2010) argues that with the right model of technology in place in your company it will improve operations and managers will be able to control processes, improve operations, and increase profitability of the organisation (p. 10)

Technology the Negatives

All though we are able to clearly see the enhancements technology has within Operations management there are negative aspects that companies have expressed such as; 1. Breakdown of one machine will stop an entire production line. 2. Line layout needs major change with the changed in the product design. 3. High investment in production facilities. 4. The cycle time is determined by the slowest operation (Kumar & Suresh, 2009) These limitations within technology have such a major impact on a production line, that companies need to establish and evaluate if the risk of having technology within their operations is of higher value then not having it. Loader and Biggs (2002) argue that because of the efficiency of technology, companies are able to produce a larger amount of products faster than human-labour. Due to this they are convinced it is more cost efficient to run your company through technology processes then not running it in this manner at all.

All research lead to the fact that in todays society we are living in the 21st century and to be able to run a successful business we need to use technology to achieve this. Information technology and operations is an integral part in a business and achieving excellence within ones company. The issue with technology is cost, not only is acquiring the resources costly but also the ongoing cost to maintain and repair. Many companies argue that with the money they save through less handson labour it all balances out; many even argue that in the long run technology is more cost efficient. By using technology within the industry we promote operations that create new markets, develop new products and achieve operational excellence. Technology allows industries to succeed in higher goals as it allows you to achieve and create more than human possible.


2. 3. 4.

Brown, S. W. (2010). Operations Management How Technology Can Help Relieve The Stress of Managing Your Business. BSW Consulting Group. Retrieved from Kumar, S. A., & Suresh, N. (2009). Operations Management. New Delhi: New Age International Pvt. Ltd. Loader, D., & Biggs, G. (2002). Managing Technology in the Operations Function . Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. Robbins, S. P., & Coulter, M. (2012). Management (11 ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.