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Aspects of Operations Management

It is important to note that operations management is a vast and encompassing term used to collectively describe all business activities, which drive its internal processes. Therefore, work in the given area is multifaceted and complex work, which requires one to be able to see a bigger picture as well as notice minor details and flaws. To match supply with demand, the first potential operational decision revolves around pricing since price directly impacts the overall demand and supply curves. If a company is experiencing a high degree of demand for its services or products from a customer, it is sensible to raise the price by a certain amount to make each transaction more profitable and not need to expand production. Alternatively, if a company is experiencing low demand than it needs, which is more common, then it is possible to lower prices by improving production efficiency or eliminating unnecessarily costly raw materials without reducing the overall quality significantly. One such measure might involve downsizing human resources by improving the work efficiency of employees or designing a more effective workflow to increase the reach of an organization.

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In certain cases, operational bottlenecks can become a major barrier preventing a more effective flow of processes. Offloading bottlenecks means that a specific step in the operational workflow process is limiting the maximum output of the operations, which can be removed by putting more resources into it, such as hiring new employees or upgrading the site with more efficient technology. In addition, some stages of the operations can be oversaturated with both workers and other resources, which is why a manager might consider relocating some of these resources from the oversaturated step towards the bottleneck, which would create a more evenly distributed load on the procedures.

The lean concept is an idea of efficient manufacturing or operations, where a minimal amount of waste is produced. The latter refers to the effort and resources used to run the operations, and thus, some companies might be more interested in ensuring that no resource, including humans, is half-utilized. It is highly important to study the subject since it is about efficiency and productivity, where the overall quality needs to be preserved. Unlike large organizations, which specialize in mass production, the majority of companies need a lean concept to successfully compete under the pressures of the market since their bigger competitors can benefit from the economies of scale.

In practice, implementing the lean concept is a highly challenging endeavor since a sheer number of factors impacting efficiency can stunt the process of improving the operational flow. However, one of the most important elements for integrating the lean concept is leadership, which is why some organizations might not be able to incorporate the lean concept to a full extent due to the lack of appropriate leadership (Alefari et al., 2017). It should be noted that the lean concept can be applied to both service processes and manufacturing. In the case of the latter, it is important to know the demand for a product with the highest precision and adjust the operational processes following these demand rates. Some steps in the manufacturing process may generate a higher degree of waste than others, which is why the proper analysis needs to be made to identify the source of waste. In the case of a service sector, it is important to determine the most valuable aspects of a delivered service to customers to focus precisely on them.

Reference

Alefari, M., Salonitis, K., & Xu, Y. (2017). The role of leadership in implementing lean manufacturing. Procedia CIRP, 63, 756–761. Web.

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