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New issues in Operations Management

1- Technology has greatly impacted the world of Operations Management. Discuss some of the potential risks and benefits associated with implementing new technology into an organization.

2- We are living in a rapidly changing global economy. As a result, organizations are being forced to make changes in order to stay competitive. Some businesses have chosen to convert from traditional manufacturing processes to a lean manufacturing environment. What does this mean? How do the two systems differ? What are some of the advantages of using lean manufacturing?

3- Layout decisions can greatly impact productivity, costs, safety, and quality. What are the 3 main types of layouts? Briefly describe each type and explain some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with each type. How can the layout help or hinder productivity?

4- Suppose you are the operations manager for a company. The company has just received a large order for a non-perishable product during its already busy season. As the company now stands, it does not have the capacity to fulfill this order. What options does the company have to try to complete the order? Which is the best alternative? What are the costs involved? Should the company accept the order or tell the customer it cannot meet its needs?

5- Material Requirements Planning (MRP) helps to ease the process of calculating inventory and scheduling needs. What is MRP? What are the three major inputs to MRP? What does MRP calculate? Suppose the Bill of Materials for a finished good is inaccurate. What problems does this pose? Provide an example.

6- A firm that manufactures tables has recently noticed a decline in productivity and is therefore, becoming less efficient. The product remains unchanged, yet the completed items per shift has declined. What are some potential causes to the decline in productivity? What can the firm do to bring productivity and efficiency back to its original rate?

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Operations Management Questions

1-Technology has greatly impacted the world of Operations Management. Discuss some of the potential risks and benefits associated with implementing new technology into an organization.
Answer:

Potential Risks
Potentials risk that the company will encounter could be employee resistance. Workers that were used to the old system of production will be threatened with the technology. They would probably think that the new technology will make them irrelevant in the new production process.

Operations management focuses on the tools and techniques a manufacturing firm uses to ensure a smooth, effective production process. If the company provides services, operations administration indicates to top leadership the factors that can prop up customer loyalty and sales. The discipline offers various benefits, including better profitability tracking, manufacturing expertise and regulatory compliance.

Benefits of Operations Management

Profitability Management
? Sound operations management causes corporate leadership to challenge conventional wisdom or employees' sense of what's operationally correct. Simply put, senior executives rely on this activity to question existing processes and ask personnel to come up with new ideas to do business and increase sales. In fact, companies with experienced, competent operations managers are generally adept at monitoring their revenues and expenses. They do so by delving into corporate statements of income, profitability trends and budget reports, to name a few.
Competitive Advantage
? Businesses adequately manage their operations to get a handle on key internal and external factors. Internal factors include operating policies, intellectual capital and the average attrition rate. This reflects the number of employees leaving as a result of resignations, retirements and deaths. Forced workforce reductions, such as terminations, do not count as attrition-rate components. Intellectual capital represents various abilities, expertise and knowledge that a firm has gathered over time. External factors that operations managers heed include the state of the economy and rivals' strategies. By helping a firm understand its internal and external conditions, operations management improves the company's competitive standing. This is because the business gets a better understanding of its operating environment and can adapt its tactics more effectively to changing conditions. Marketing specialists use the SWOT concept -- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats -- to describe this analytical process.

Manufacturing Edge
? Operations management allows a manufacturing firm to change or improve the way it produces goods, as well as how it stores items such as raw materials, work-in process merchandise and completely finished products. This important benefit helps the manufacturer prevent deterioration in debt affordability, which may happen if the firm incurs losses and cannot repay its existing liabilities. Manufacturing tools used in operations management include computer-aided production software, defect-tracking programs, warehouse management software and process re-engineering applications.
Regulatory Compliance
? By studiously analyzing operating activities, corporate management waves goodbye to the days of hefty government fines and adverse regulatory decisions. Department heads and segment chiefs set adequate internal controls to make sure rank-and-file personnel perform tasks in accordance with the law. For example, adequate operations management helps improve workplace safety, a key criterion that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration watches closely.

Source: E-How. "Benefits of Operation Management".
http://www.ehow.com/info_8038762_benefits-operation-management.html. Accessed March 28, 2011.

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2- We are living in a rapidly changing global economy. As a result, organizations are being forced to make changes in order to stay competitive. Some businesses have chosen to convert from traditional manufacturing processes to a lean manufacturing environment. What does this mean? How do the two systems differ? What are some of the advantages of using lean manufacturing?
Answer:
Traditional manufacturing process is characterized by a production method that is wasteful, unscientific and time consuming.
Lean manufacturing, on the other hand, is a multi-dimensional approach that encompasses a wide variety of management practices, including just-in-time, quality systems, work teams, cellular manufacturing, supplier management among others in an integrated ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a discussion of how technology has greatly impacted the world of Operations Management and the potential risks and benefits associated with it. It has also discussions on layout decisions, lean manufacturing, and Material Requirements Planning.

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