The Strategic Role & Objectives Of Operations
- Chapter 1 in the book covers the activities in which operations
managers are involved as well as the many different types of operation which they are
managing. However, examining what operations managers do does not answer a far more
fundamental question: 'What should any company expect from its operation?'. Or, putting it
another way: 'How does the operations function contribute to the organization's
competitiveness or strategic direction?'.
- If any operation wants to understand its contribution to the
organisation of which it is a part, it must answer two questions. First, what is the role
of the operations function - that is, what part is it expected to play within the
business? Second, what are the specific performance objectives against which the
business can assess the contribution of the operation to its strategic aspirations?
Both these issues are vitally important to any operation. Without an
appreciation of its role within the business, the people who manage the operation can
never be sure that they really are contributing in the long term success of the business.
At a more practical level, it is impossible to know whether an operation is succeeding or
not if the specific performance objectives against which its success is measured are not
clearly spelt out.
The chapter in the book deals with both these issues. This section of the web page has
selected a few examples of this in practice, using the book as a base.
In the general picture of operations management, this section is represented by the
shaded areas in Figure 2.1.
- The Chapter Examples In The Book
TNT - THE WORLD-WIDE TRANSPORTATION GROUP (The Organisations Role)
- TNT - Relevance Rating
***** - Site Rating ***** - Recommended
- TNT are the UK leader for express delivery and logistics services.
They have also won the European Quality Prize on several occasions, and are
therefore well familiar with the role operations plays within an organisation.
The services are all detailed on their site, including the TNT Express services
and TNT Tracker mentioned in the book. Excellent information on their mission
and vision is also given, and a search facility included to search for published
information. A 'must visit' site.
THE BEST OF BRITISH CLOTHING FOR THE WORST OF BRITISH WEATHER -
WHEN SPEED MEANS LIFE OR DEATH - Unavailable
THE NINE O'CLOCK NEWS CANNOT BE LATE (The Dependability
- The BBC - Relevance
Rating ** - Site Rating ****
- All the favourite BBC services are included in this homepage. It is basically
an accessory to the BBC activities on Television, Radio and Magazine media.
Not many operations issues are specifically covered on this BBC page.
- The news site at the BBC is specifically covered on their BBC
- The key issue in the text regarding the 9 O'Clock News is the dependability
of the programme. This is not mentioned as the site is dedicated to facilitating
the news programmes.
- However, a flavour for how the BBC present and organise their operation
can be gained here.
FLEXIBILITY AT GODIVA CHOCOLATIER (The Flexibility Factor)
- The Godiva Chocolatier
- Relevance Rating ** - Site Rating ***
- This is the homepage of the Godiva Chocolatier. It mainly concentrates on
its products rather than its processes but does give an insight into the importance
of flexibility simply by the range of both products and accompanying services
to provide that flexibility advantage.
ALDI EINKAUF - EUROPE'S LARGEST RETAILER (The Cost
(Another company mentioned in the same excerpt) - Relevance Rating ** - Site
- The site is not dedicated to LIDL, but rather the implementation of SAP
retail in the company. The site describes the benefits to customers and company
alike, and could be used as an example of creating competitive advantage although
not solely in cost.
THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE (Personal Profile)
- The London
Stock Exchange - Relevance Rating ** - Site Rating ***
- The site gives the user information on how the exchange and its markets
work. Available are descriptions of the exchange and the markets, news, and
information on using the stock market. There is also a search facility if
any particular information is needed.
OPERATIONS OBJECTIVES AT THE PENANG MUTIARA - Unavailable
- NatWest Bank
- Relevance Rating ** - Site Rating ***
- This homepage is geared to describing the services that NatWest offer both
its corporate and personal customers. It is moderately useful with a NatWest
News Centre section and a search facility, however there are no specific statements
concerning operations examples. It is a useful source of background information
though and provides a good flavour of NatWest.
VAN DER LANDE SMOOTHS THE FLOW - Unavailable
- HEWLETT PACKARD CUSTOMIZES ITS PRODUCTS - Unavailable
Other Organisations Relevant To This
Company Facts Rating ***** - Recommended
This is a section of the Biz/Ed site well worth visiting. Leading organisations
have provided answers to typical student questions, basic data and case studies
especially prepared for Biz/ed. This is valuable if studying any of the particular
companies mentions. Some of those available are BMW, The Body Shop, BP, Virgin
Atlantic Airways and Unilever amongst others. A good general site for operations
Visits - Rating ****
This site has bee developed jointly by Edinburgh University and Heriot-Watt
University. It provides virtual case studies on six companies in different
business sectors. Of the six companies available there are currently only
three which can be accessed ;United Distillers, Blue Circle and Scottish National
Blood Transfusion Service. Information about the company in terms of background,
structure, production process is available for the three mentioned operations
to providing a useful educational tool.
Management Centre Rating ****
The operations management centre provides on line resources for operations
management material. Of particular interest to this introductory chapter is
the company tour section. In this over 50 company tours are detailed to assist
the application of theory to real organisations. Use the site as an assist
to the study of the subject and apply some of the key learning points to the
Articles Relevant To This Chapter
& Logistics - Virtual Conference Centre – Rating *****
enter the Marketing & Logistics Section follow the relevant link in the
main page. The Quality Management conferences list, details the Virtual Conference
Centre's available selection for conferences in this subject area. The facility
allows you to enter current conferences or browse the selection of proceedings
from past conferences. This is an excellent resource for obtaining articles
related to Marketing & Logistics.
Topics - Rating ****
The Warwick Business School - Hot Topics briefing papers are available
as general background to key organisational issues. They summarise research
on a variety of topics. They aim the papers at directors, policy-makers and
opinion formers in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, however, the
information is also relevant background to researching a variety of areas.
The content is not however wholly directed towards operations management.
Business Review - Rating *****
The Harvard Business Review is an excellent site for obtaining general
information on the subject of Operations Management. The site contains abstracts
from the current issue which provide a good insight into miscellaneous areas.
There is also an archive section from which previous articles can be obtained.
- The Sections
- Main Page - Operations
- Section 1 - Introduction
- Section 2 - Design
- Section 3 - Planning
- Section 4 - Improvement
- Section 5 - The