Before we can understand the operating pattern of any organization, we need to understand the importance of operations management. Operations Management- In simple terms, “Operations Management” deals with the production of either the products/goods or service from any organization. Operation management also deals with the distribution part of the organization. As the word clearly indicates, it is the management of any kind of resources in an organization, this resource can include staff members, machineries and equipments involved, raw or crude material necessary for the manufacture or production of the goods etc.
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Service concept of Howard and Bell Ltd – Before we can understand the key elements of the service concept of Howard and Bell Ltd, we need to have a clear view about the service concept. Service concept can be defined as the perception will involves not only selling products or service to customers but also their qualified significance. Service concept involves an organization to understand from the customer’s point of view about the product or the service. We need to understand as to how the customer will relate to our service. When we look into the service concept of any organization we need to consider both significant element as well as secondary element.
The service concept of Howard and Bell Ltd is as follows:
Excellent quality of office and home computers
Deals with high technology equipments and service
Unit of HB CORPORATION, an American based company
Consistent performance to achieve and be a market leader in the business
Focus area of Operations Management in Howard and Bell Ltd
In this section we will be covering the main focus areas of the Operations Management in Howard and Bell Ltd. As we know Howard & Bell Ltd is unit of HB CORPORATION (based in America) and deals with the high technology equipment and services, hence the operations have to focus on certain areas to ensure that there mission is achieved. The main focus area of Howard & Bell Ltd is to ensure that their business is operating in co-ordination and keeping their mission in mind.
Mission- “To be a market leader in office and home computers”
In order to ensure the achievement of this mission, the Operations management will have to focus on both the input and output factors of the business.
The input will be combination of quality of raw material used, production process, transportation process, finance etc and the output will involve only their customers.
The Second focus point will ensuring that everyone is working as a team and understand the importance of their business as well as their mission.
The next focus for operations management will be the targets of the different departments in HB Ltd and to verify that each department is contributing towards the achievement of the mission.
The last focus for operations management will be the validation and checking of the individual targets and their alignment with the mission of HB Ltd.
Environmental factors affecting Howard and Bell Ltd
Any business or company can get affected by the environmental factors. Before we can understand the possible environmental factors that can have an effect on HB Ltd, we will have a overview on the important environmental factors that can have an impact on any business. Environmental factors are broadly divided into two categories:
Internal Environmental factors- As the word describes itself, these factors are the one which start within an organization. These factors have a huge impact on the Operations Management of the organization. There are three internal factors namely the Value system of the organization, Mission and objectives of the organization and Financial reason and Internal relationship between departments and employees.
External Environmental factors- External factors are the factors which are existing outside the organization and often uncontrollable when compared to internal factors which are almost under control. Based on the different factors in external part, it has further been divided into two types namely Micro environmental factors and Macro Environmental factors. The Micro environmental factors comprises of the dealers, suppliers, business rivals, competitors and market mediators. The Macro environmental factors includes Economic factors, public factors, Political factors and technological factors.
HB Ltd can be expected to get affected by both Internal and External environmental factors.
The Internal factors affecting HB Ltd are
Value system of HB Ltd- In this the framework or the work culture under which all the employees are departments are expected to work.
Mission and objectives of HB Ltd- The mission of HB Ltd is to be market leader hence any action which deviates from the mission can have a huge impact on the company.
Internal relationship between departments and employees- This is very important responsibility of the operations management. Departments and employees needs to be aware about there task and goals related to the success and mission of the HB Ltd.
The External Factors affecting HB Ltd are
Suppliers- HB Ltd is highly dependent on the suppliers and they also can have a huge impact on the production and service offered by the company.
Business rivals- New rivals and competitors can emerge in the market.
Economic Factors-These are one of the major factors that can affect HB Ltd.
Public factors- This is entirely dependent on the customers, their knowledge about the computers and the service they need from the company.
Political factors- Due to the political conditions in United Kingdom, there can be issues within the organization.
Task 2. Strategic Operations Management
2.1 Operations Strategies for Howard and Bell Ltd
In order to provide service or deliver the required product to the customers, every company or organization needs to follow certain procedures. These procedures can be termed as Operations. Through these operations either the company can incur huge loss or extremely huge benefits and profits. Irrespective of the loss or gain, every organization needs to develop certain strategies for the proper functioning of the Operations.
According to Nigel Slack, “Operations Strategy can be defined as the complete collection of blueprints of conclusions that help in formulating the capabilities of the operations in any organization on long term basis. Operations strategy contributes to the overall mission of the company and help in achieving the organization’s requirement by combing the necessities of the business market along with the available resources of the operations.” (Nigel Slack et al, 2002)
We need to remember that the Operations strategies have a huge impact on the performance objectives of the organization. Listed below are some of the Operations strategies that can be adopted by Howard and Bell Ltd:
New product and service enlargement strategy- These are the strategies which have a direct impact on the quality and the cost of the service or the product that is offered by company. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004). Through this strategy, HB Ltd can launch a new product or service related to office or home computers. They can try and increase the service facilities that are given to customers.
Vertical amalgamation strategy- These are the strategies which have a direct impact on the speed, accountability and also the cost of the service or the product that is offered by company. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004). In terms of HB Ltd this strategy can help not only to gain more customers but also increases the accountability on the company.
Amenities strategy- These are the strategies which help the organization to concentrate on the facilities provided by them, through this strategy HB Ltd can increase there effectiveness and performance in terms of speed, accountability, adaptability and at last the cost again. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Equipment strategy- These are the strategies which help the organization to concentrate on the technology part of the business, HB Ltd needs to ensure that they continue to work on high technology based equipment to increase there quality and the cost of the product and the service. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Employees and business strategy- HB Ltd can adopt this strategy to increase there performance in terms of the quality, cost and the flexibility of the employees as well as within organization. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Capacity regulation strategy- This strategy can be adopted by HB Ltd to increase there performance especially in the Speed and the cost of the product or the service provided. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Dealer expansion strategy- This strategy will help HB Ltd to increase there performance in terms of depending on there dealer and also the quality and cost of the material bought from the suppliers. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Inventory or supply strategy- Through this strategy, HB Ltd can focus on there speed and cost of the product and service offered. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Preparation and control systems strategy- Through this strategy HB Ltd can increase there effectiveness and performance in terms of speed, accountability and also the cost. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Enhancement strategy- This is one of the most important strategy that HB Ltd can adopt. This is the one strategy which focuses on Quality of the product offered, speed as well as the cost, Accountability and adaptability of the employees and the company. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Failure preclusion and revival strategy- HB Ltd can mostly get affected in terms of the quality, cost and dependability hence adopting this strategies can help them to resolve potential threats in future and recover from any crisis situation. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
2.2 Operations strategy in context with Sales target improvement
In this part we will cover the Operations strategy that is best suitable for Howard and Bell Ltd to improve the sales targets. In the earlier section we have discussed the possible strategies that can be adopted by Howard and Bell Ltd and the performance areas were these strategies will be most effective. Among these strategies, the one strategy that can aid in the improvement of the Sales targets in Howard and Bell Ltd will be the “New product and service enlargement strategy”. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
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This strategy is a combination of both development of new product from the company and also developing the current services provided by the company. This strategy can involves changes or modifications in the offers given by HB Ltd, the products that are offered by the company, enhancing the customer service currently available at HB Ltd and also the cost and quality of the product or the service offered.
Lets assume that currently the Sales team at HB Ltd is unable to reach the targets, then the company can try and implement first the service development strategy, which will focus on the service provided by the company to increase the experience of the customers with the attained service from company. Through this the company will not only retain there current customers but also attract new customer towards there product or the service. Once this strategy is increasing the sales performance, HB Ltd can implement the New product development strategy. This strategy necessarily doesn’t have to focus on development of a entire new product but it should mainly focus on increasing the quality and the cost of the current product. These factors can anytime change an old product into something that every customer is looking out in the market. Through this strategy, HB Ltd can focus on involving new parameters while the product is being developed, they can change the packaging and branding of the product in the market and adopt a marketing plan for the product. This will definitely have a huge impact of the sales targets.
2.3 Importance of operations management in Decision making
Task 3. Organization of Operations Process
3.1 Key factors in Howard and Bell Ltd designing of products or services
Howard and Bell Ltd designing of products and service is completely together with their mission of being market leaders in office and home computer service. When it comes to designing of HB products or services, there are some key factors that needs to be considered by the company to ensure that the result is excellent as per the standards. At the end of the day, every company wants to ensure that not only their business should bloom but also their customers should be satisfied with the product or the service that was offered to them.
In this section we will be highlighting the key factors that HB Ltd needs to consider while designing HB products or service. The key factors are as follows:
Cost or the price- This factor consist of the cost of the raw materials that will be utilizes and the workforce that will be involved. This will also determine the price the customers will have to pay for the product later on. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Target segment and their requirements- As HB Ltd work on office and home computers they need to ensure that their products have every specification that is required by the particular segment. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Raw materials- HB Ltd needs to ensure that the raw materials utilized add to the final quality of the designing of the product or service. They need to ensure that they have enough stock of the raw material while designing HB products. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Designing technique- The kind of product designing technique that will be utilized for the product development will help HB Ltd to ensure that their final product is excellent. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Reputation of the company- As HB Ltd is a unit of HB CORPORATION, they need to ensure that every product that is design adds to the reputation of the company. They are known for high technology based equipments and services. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Different cultures- HB Ltd needs to consider the fact that people or the customers will be from different cultural backgrounds and countries, Hence they need to design product which will be accepted throughout different cultures. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Visuals- HB Ltd needs to ensure that they not only make there product stylish but also keep the technological hidden in the panel of the product or service. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Model and functions of the product- In the recent times, the customers have become very fashion influenced in terms of the model and functions that are offered in any product or service. HB Ltd will need to ensure that there products are update to date as per the current market. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
Environmental factor- Today customers and world are very cautious about the product or service they use to ensure that they are not causing any harm to the environment. Hence HB should design their products making it more environment friendly. Try and utilize as much as materials which can be recycled or develop product from the recycled materials. (V.Ryan, 2000-2005)
3.2 Howard and Bell Ltd layout for production
Layouts can be defined as the grouping or arrangement of the equipments or the materials based on there functions (which are part of production of goods). There are five types of layouts like process layout, product layout, fixed layout, hybrid layout and Combination layouts. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
This section will cover the layouts that can be adopted by HB Ltd for production. After understanding the mission of HB Ltd, there are two kinds of layouts that can be adopted for production and they are
Process Layout- Through this layout, HB Ltd can assign task for different departments to focus on various parts of the final product. Through this the supervisors will be able to monitor the function and development of the particular part of the product. Through this the company will be effectively utilizing all the resources for an excellent end product. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
Product Layout- Through this layout process the company will be able to verify the production of all the parts is equal (through arrangement), if there are any errors that will be detected in the early stage and can be modified. Through this layout, HB Ltd will know all parts that will be used in the development of the product in sequence. (Nigel Slack et al, 2004)
3.3 Two approaches for work measurement for Howard and Bell operations
Work measurement can be defined as the appliance of various techniques that helps to ascertain the time that is taken by a skillful staff member to complete a task with a given performance standard. There are three different approaches for work measurement like Timing, sampling and preset timing standards.
In perspective of Operations of Howard and Bell Ltd, the twp approaches for work measurement will be
Time reading- This approach is very precise for any task that needs repetition. Through this detailed information’s can be obtained for future analysis and all the resources are applied promptly. The standard is very firm here. Employees negative reactions can be expected through this approach. For a short term analysis this approach is very good.
Preset timing standards- This approach is also very specific for any task that needs repetition. Through this detailed information’s can be obtained for future analysis and all the resources are applied promptly. This has preset high standard for work measurement. In this case operations will have to undergo some training programs. For a short term analysis this approach is very good for data collection.
Both these approaches are effective in context to management as it helps in planning the employees requirement, finance planning, Incentives that needs to be given to employees, performance data, equal division of workload among the staff members.
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