Introduction: Operations management is the core of any business. It is the management function that coordinates all the activities in relation to product/service reliability, quality, efficiencies, delivery, and meeting customers’ expectations.
*Today’s global economy has forced companies to focus on how they deliver their product or service to their customers. Companies must now continuously evaluate better ways to reduce cost, improve quality, and give the customer more than was expected.
*Operations management is an integral part of this process because it focuses on the transformation of needed inputs to desired outputs. This transformation includes office, production, manufacturing, and vendors or suppliers, as well as other things that affect the company’s ability to deliver superior quality products.
*Operations management includes the use of the facilities, equipment, materials, technology, and, most importantly, the employees. These operational activities are designed relative to sustainability concerns. Understanding operations management will allow you to see the flow of the product or service.
*A product or a service starts with design. A key component of the design process is to determine whether a product or service can be offered at a price point that will produce a profit for a company. A key consideration in design is any cost or environmental impact affecting sustainability concerns.
*Another aspect of operations management is that companies must strive to improve the work environment for their employees and enhance sustainability concerns. People are a company’s most important resource, and managers must take care of their employees in order to grow and maintain industry leadership.
*Our fast-paced economy has shortened the product life cycle, by forcing companies to update more often in order to serve their customers and stay ahead of the competition. One tool used by many companies to help maintain an advantage is the flow chart. This tool allows companies to diagram out all the processes needed to deliver their products. The flow chart diagram gives the visual flow of the work down to the simplest step in the process. It allows management to constantly review processes to see where bottlenecks occur and to help determine how they can improve the process.
Some of the best practices used by companies that lead in their industries include: Breakeven analysis. Benchmarking. Reverse engineering. Concurrent engineering.
Consider the operations management aspects of the organization in the following scenario:
Madero Bank is a regional U.S. bank. Madero Bank’s managers decided on a business strategy emphasizing customer service, rather than on some other dimension such as customer financials (providing higher interest rates on savings accounts, lower interest rates on loan, and so forth). To help the bank implement that customer service strategy, they conducted a survey of their customers, and found that the customers would like the bank to be open for more hours. As a result, Madero Bank decided to remain open until 7:00 P.M. on Fridays, and to be open from 9:00 A. M. to 4:00 P. M. on Saturdays.
The expanded hours have presented challenges for Madero Bank’s operations management team, in staffing an adequate number of tellers to cover those additional hours without customers having to wait in long lines. Madero Bank’s managers are also considering additional approaches to support their customer service strategy, including the following:
*Providing additional hours of telephone customer support (which would involve securing additional telephone lines, customer support representatives, and telephone and computer equipment).
*Advancing the bank’s online banking functionality (including a redesigned Web site and the development of an app on each of the leading mobile platforms).
*Redesigning the physical layout of the bank to better utilize high-contact areas (areas with significant customer traffic) and low-contact areas (areas with little or no customer traffic).
*Offering service bundles for the bank’s largest personal and business banking customers, such as a predefined set of accounts, services, and reduced fees for platinum-level customers.
Using the scenario above, create a proposal in which you provide answers to the following questions:
*How should operations management and associated improvements support Madero Bank’s strategy?
*How might service bundles be utilized in support of this strategy? *How do they relate to the initial purpose of the bank?
*What are some of the key operations management decisions to be made at Madero Bank?
*What operations management changes would you recommend, and why? (These changes could be related to hours, facilities, equipment, and personnel.)
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- How should operations management and associated improvements support Madero Bank’s strategy?
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