What do you feel should be some of the objectives of Operations Management and how would you measure the progress of achieving these objectives?
Some of the objectives of Operations Management (to ensure efficient and profitable business operations) should be the following:
1. Production Scheduling
To make sure that the right amount of product is produced at the right times, an Operations Manager must design a suitable production schedule. This would include having the proper number of employees scheduled to ensure the required amount of product is produced to satisfy customer orders. This production schedule would have to include the right number of shifts (days/afternoons/night shifts) and hours of work to meet the production demands.
Successful Operations Management demands that an entity’s equipment and machinery is performing optimally to ensure there is no production “down time”. Therefore, a good manager will have a preventative maintenance schedule in place to ensure everything is always working properly to satisfy the production demands of the department.
3. Inventory Control
Inventory control is vital to a successful business. An Operations Manager must get a handle on inventory so that enough is produced to satisfy customer demand, without the company’s warehouse being overstocked with goods that may sit there for months or years. Too much stock tied up in a warehouse is actually money tied up. That money, sitting as inventory that may not move out for quite a while, could have been better spent in some other area of the business, such as advertising and promotion, or product innovation initiatives.
4. Process Evaluation
To be successful, a company must regularly check their processes. This is vitally important to a manufacturing entity. This is to make sure that they are not wasting time and resources in unproductive activities. A firm that has a complex assembly line to produce its goods should check that process on a regular basis to see if they can eliminate wasteful steps and unnecessary man-hours to save costs.
5. Quality Control
Quality control can make or break a company’s reputation. Therefore, it’s important that a good quality control system is in place to ensure top-notch products get to market. Faulty products that do not perform as promised will sour customers on a company, especially if the company is lax in addressing the problem. A company’s objective should be to continually lessen their “defect rate” of the goods it produces.
I would measure the progress of achieving these objectives by:
1. Production Scheduling – having a meeting with all involved with production to see if the production schedule goals achieved the results desired. Did the production schedule result in enough quality product produced? Or, does the production schedule have to be tweaked to ensure enough hours and employees are scheduled to meet production demands. Therefore, it is the measurement of actual results against the original production schedule that will help an Operations Manager make better production schedules.
2. Maintenance – having a maintenance report written up and scrutinized. As a result, a manager will be able to read what was repaired, why, when, and how, and what the costs were for maintenance. He or she can then decide, based on the report, the appropriate course of action to ensure maintenance expenses do not get out of hand.
3. Inventory Control – having a look at stock levels in the company’s warehouse and recording these stock levels and recording sales activity. Then it would be measuring the stock turnover ratio (inventory turns) for the company to see if it is suitable when compared to the stock turnover ratio (inventory turns) for its specific industry. If it is not turning its stock quickly enough, then adjustments will have to be made.
4. Process Evaluation – through running tests on an assembly line for example, to look for bottlenecks that mean inefficiency. Inefficiency means wasting labor hours and other resources, which can cut into a firm’s profits. Therefore, testing a process helps a company make the process more streamlined, which can result in greater production at less cost.
5. Quality Control – having product tested at all steps in the manufacturing process. This would mean setting up an inspection schedule. This schedule would ensure product is being checked along the entire production chain, not just at the end. This can help a company quickly spot defective products and get them out of the system before too much handling of it takes place, which is a waste of human resources and money. A company can then implement better production protocols to ensure higher quality product is produced.