Operations management, management opérationnel, quality management, tendancies, changes, inventory, delays, security, mobility, customer empowerment, costs
Operations Management is basically the "planning, organising and control of all the resources and activities to provide goods and services" . It takes place in each organisation (factories, offices, etc) and includes numerous disciplines such as Human Resources Management, Quality Management or Labour Organisation.
Operations managers must organize several elements in different domains when they do their job. These fields are often said to be seven, explained thanks to the "7 Ss model" : structure, systems, style, staff, skills and strategy.
This model describes the internal elements with which Operations Management is connected, but this discipline is also linked with numerous external factors. Competition, regulations & laws, new technologies or customer demands are examples of external elements that have a strong influence on decisions made by Operations managers planning the labour chain.
That is why all the changes that happened in the world during the past few years (globalization, new technologies...) have led to changes inside companies and in the way they are managed.
New imperatives have appeared, they can be economic, legal, ethic or based on quality but they all need to be taken into account by Operations managers to be fulfilled.
[...] Governments issue laws and regulations to help keeping the employees safe. They concern the work place, the equipments, the organisation of the work (compulsory breaks for example) and the education of the staff. All this norms to be respected engender costs for the firms that have to buy new equipments, to update other ones but it also enables them to reduce their costs by avoiding accidents which cost lots of money and time and can sully the firm's reputation in a world where people are more and more informed and aware of ethical issues. [...]
[...] New imperatives have appeared, they can be economic, legal, ethic or based on quality but they all need to be taken into account by Operations managers to be fulfilled. The customer empowerment All the developed countries in the world have become demand-driven markets for a majority of products a long time ago. That is why companies always have to be more competitive (on prices, features This phenomenon is not very recent but it continues to grow with the arrival of more and more competitors on many markets and the development of new technologies which enables companies to offer products with more and more options or different features. [...]
[...] That is another role of Operations managers to deal with “just-in-time” methods. Stocks must be as small as possible but the company must be able to respond to an increase of the demand (if raw materials are missing they wont be able to prepare the client's order and he will switch to another provider). With the new trends of our actual society products life cycles are shorter, products are more customized and everything is faster[ix] so the firms have to be more and more reactive to be able to face the markets' changes. [...]
[...] The problem of quality is likely to be harder and harder to deal with for Operations managers who work in firms that want to become multinational. They have to produce at a larger scale and as a consequence must increase their capacity of production (speed, quantities ) without scarifying the quality of their products. The reduction of inventory & delays In the past factories used to produce as much as they could, the only limit was their capacity of production. [...]
[...] And customer's satisfaction is something really important for the company. In the past the main firms' goal was to sell something to somebody, even if he did not really need it, to make a profit. Nowadays the sale is differently considered, it is about advising and satisfying the customer in order to keep it loyal to the company because finding a new customer costs a lot more than keeping one[vi]. That is why the quality management is a very important part of an Operations manager's work. [...]
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