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Business Operations and Challenges and Strategic Analysis

1. Business challenges

All organisations must be able to meet the challenges facing them. As a manager you should contribute to steering the organisation through change to achieve improved operational efficiency.

1.1 Carry out a strategic analysis of the organisation or strategic business unit for which you work.

You should show clearly how you have identified and analysed the current strategic position of the organisation/business unit, and support your analysis with reference to any relevant data or information you have used. The analysis should consider all aspects of the businesses strategic focus in relation to its vision, mission, and values, its relationship with customers, stakeholders, and staff; the way it promotes its services, the internal and external environment within which it operates, and the budgetary and financial climate within which it operates. Your analysis should also show how the current strategic plans have been used.

1.2 Using your analysis, identify the business challenges facing your organisation/strategic business unit, consider the implications and impact of different ways of tackling these challenges, and recommend the actions which the organisation/strategic business unit needs to take to meet these challenges

You should show how you have considered the data to arrive at and justify your identification of the business challenges. You should show that you have identified what internal and external factors have been taken into account, and how the organisation's own response to change might affect the prioritisation of business challenges. You must be able to justify your analysis and findings, and to argue effectively as to why the actions you have taken are the best ways for the organisation to rise to these challenges.

1.3 Produce an outline implementation plan, showing how you would implement the changes you have recommended, and how you would monitor and control the implementation of the plan.

You should show how activities, tasks, responsibilities, budgets and time frames need to be linked to achieve the identified objectives. You should identify what monitoring and control criteria are to be set, what contingency planning needs to be undertaken, and how progress will be evaluated.

2.Managing operations

1. Explain the types and nature of operations (product, service
product-service mix) within your organisation and:

a) explain how your operations inter-link with and support strategic objectives
b) describe the constituent parts of your organisation's supply
c) identify the roles and responsibilities for managing the operations
d) make recommendations for change that could improve the organisational supply chain.

(It is suggested that you break this into four headings as per the bullet points and cover each topic in turn.)

2. Identify, analyse and evaluate the range of tools and techniques
used for managing operations.

We recommend you show this as a table as shown on the following page.

3. Promote the importance and benefits of quality as a contribution
organisation's strategic objectives through:

a) communicating quality requirements
b) identifying the difference between the desired, actual and perceived quality of the organisation's activities and outputs
c) suggesting improvements to improve quality performance.

Again, we suggest you look at each heading individually.

4.Describe the range of legislation that impacts upon both your responsibility and that of your organisation, and how to use help and support to rectify non-compliance or deviations from such legislation. You must make sure that you acknowledge sources and include appropriate references and appendices in support of your investigation and argument.


Solution Preview

1. Business challenges

All organisations must be able to meet the challenges facing them. As a manager you should contribute to steering the organisation through change to achieve improved operational efficiency.
The organization that I am considering is the cast iron foundry that is a strategic unit in a large machine tools making company.

1.1 Carry out a strategic analysis of the organisation or strategic business unit for which you work.
The current strategic position of the iron foundry is that it is an indispensable part of the company's operations. The moulds used for casting parts for machine tools are indispensable and the special design of the machine tools make it impossible for the company to get its casting done outside.

he company's mission is to produce low cost, light weight and high performing machine tools. It has the vision of becoming a global machine tools company and one of its main differentiating points is the sleek design of its tools. In this context the iron foundry plays an important role. The casting produced by the iron foundry help support the operations with timely deliveries and help gain the confidence of the customers because of their strength.

The iron foundry has many strengths: it is always on time, the castings are accurately moulded even though the patterns are exceptionally challenging and the casting are stronger than those available from other iron foundries. The weakness of iron foundry is that the cost of iron casting per unit weight is higher than those available from outside iron foundries. In addition, the process that is carried out in the iron foundry takes 30% more time than it take in outside iron foundries. Opportunities: As the company is seeking to go global, I expect the capacity of the iron foundry will need to be expanded. In addition, foreign markets means there will be opportunities to try out new types of virgin material, alloying elements and refining the process. The threats to the iron foundry are: The Company may decide to source its castings from sources abroad.

If we scan the external environment, the prices of steel are determined to an extent by political forces, this not only effects the cost of virgin material but also external scrap and alloying elements required to charge the furnace. In addition, as the economy goes into a recession, the demand for machine tools may fall. Moreover, now customers do not hesitate in going for low cost imported machine tools even though ...

Solution Summary

The solution gives a paragraph response to each question which include specific examples from the author's workplace.