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Design operations

You are the operations managers of a company planning to open a chain of large computer stores in major
cities. You plan to offer small businesses a range of hardware, including servers, PCs, and cell phones, and
software applications that work on both the Windows and Linux platforms. Your business model is to offer
small businesses "one stop shopping." Your designers, salespeople, installers, and service and maintenance
employees will be expected to provide a solution that matches each customer's specific needs.

You are meeting to decide how to design your operations and materials management processes to
provide the best quality solutions at the lowest possible cost.

1. Analyze the problems, issues, and tasks employees will have to solve to best provide such a service
to customers.

2. Based on this analysis, what kind of work methods and procedures will be needed to achieve your
goals? In particular, what kind of operating system-small-batch, mass, or flexible production-will you
use?

3. How will you organize employees and coordinate their activities?

4. What kinds of materials management techniques will you need to develop to control OMM
costs and yet provide excellent customer service?

Solution Preview

1. Analyze the problems, issues, and tasks employees will have to solve to best provide such a service to customers.

As the company plans to offer customized services/products as per customer's specific needs and wants, one of the main problems or issue that company will have to face is to prepare itself for handling wide range of product and service requests. The company will not only need to maintain a wide range of products in the inventory to address varying needs of customers, but will also need to employ trained workforce that can handle different kinds of service requests from customers. In other words, the customization feature offered by the company will force them to be prepared for any form of product/service requests.

The employees should be well trained and prepared to resolve customer queries promptly. The organization will need to deploy expert professionals in different computing areas, be it hardware or software to offer prompt, high quality computer related products and services. This is necessary to justify the one stop shop tag of the company.

Further, company will need to be smart in terms of deciding on the inventory that it should keep to process customer orders. As the company is accepting custom product and service requests, it should not only hold running/fast moving items in inventory, but also be prepared to arrange for rare/less popular products and software applications for the customers.

A major issue in processing custom service requests is deadline for delivery. As it takes more time to deliver products and services to customers unlike off the shelf products and software, the company will need to provide realistic delivery times to customers to avoid issues with ...

Solution Summary

You are the operations managers of a company planning to open a chain of large computer stores in major
cities. You plan to offer small businesses a range of hardware, including servers, PCs, and cell phones, and
software applications that work on both the Windows and Linux platforms. Your business model is to offer
small businesses "one stop shopping." Your designers, salespeople, installers, and service and maintenance
employees will be expected to provide a solution that matches each customer's specific needs.

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