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Slack et al (2010) defines Operations Management is a activity where the organization produces the products and services by managing and transforming the input resources into output products and services and deliver to the customers . Operations Management is a vital part of an organization success. In order to define and understand clearly the function of operations management, it is necessarily to emphasize the operations terms which are production operations and service operations.
KODA Ltd founded in 1972 is a well-known manufacturer as well as trader in furniture market. They are very strong in designing and producing furniture of Dining sets, chairs, living room sets and Bedroom sets in various kinds of woods such as rubber wood, acacia, MDF etc. They are now exporting their products to 50 countries with more than 150 established buyers. Founded in 1972 in Singapore, they have been enlarged the company scale during last 30 years and now establish a strong network of business in the market share with main production base in China, Malaysia and Vietnam. For the company expansion strategy, Koda Ltd has invested to build Koda Vietnam Ltd in Vietnam since 2000 and enhance the competition of cost with other competitors. As a staff of Production Department, I was in charge in receiving information from Sales Department and coordinating with production Plant to make sure the customers' requirements about the orders and products clearly interpreted and explained. Together with my own duties, Production Department needed to accomplish missions which fulfill the customers' requirements and satisfactions about the orders and products.
The operations may vary from an organization to organizations, the process will involve a sequence of input material; transformation of inputs; the production or delivery of output.
The inputs of an organization vary from transformed resources to transforming resources in which Transformed resources including the raw material, information which is used in production and services and transforming resources including employees and facilities which aid the production and service delivery. Transformation process consists of all alteration, conversion and renovation of all the input resources to meet the target or desired outputs which are the final products or services delivered to customers ((National Open University, 2010??). However, the operational process of an organization is shaped with some certain characteristics which are identified as volume of output, variety of output, Variation in demand and visibility and referred as 4Vs'.(Slack at el, 2007). Firstly, the volume of output in operations management refers to the rate, size or magnitude of the productivity of the products in an organization. Slack at el (2008) argues that the volume of the outputs would shape the process management. The concept of the volume of output tends to the recommendation that the size of the organization's output products would be determined with high volume of output, the organization tends to have a standardized operational processes with systematic and repetitious manner to increase the speed of the process and in turn to decrease the unit cost of the goods production or service. Also, the most importance of the output volume is that the volume will determine how the cost is divided in total numbers of final products ( ???). Secondly, the variety is a measurement of diversity of final products or services that the organization offers to its customers (Macduffie et al, 1996). Slack at el (2007) also claims that the variety of the output will determine how flexible abd complex the production process is arranged in order to meet or satisfy the customers' requirements and also mentions that the higher the variety of products is, the higher cost involves in the production process and vice versa. Thirdly, variation in demand is defined as the level of different requirements for products required by customers including types, values, standards, etc. Rowbotham at el (2007) mentioned that the higher variation in demand, on the one hand, causes the under-utilization of key production facilities such as machines, staffs, etc and leads to the higher unit cost, on the other hand, where the lower the variation in demand is , the higher the utilization of the facilities is used and leads to reducing the unit cost of the product. Last characteristic of the operations management is the visibility which is a dimension of how much customers see or experience the activities of the organization (Slack at el, 2010). Slack at el (2010) also declared that the high-visibility in operations would require staff with good customer relation skills. During the process, customers would have more requirements on the products. The more customers involved in the process, the more challenge and higher cost the organization have to deal with. However, the degree of visibility varies from an organization to another organization or customers to customers. Generally, the four sectors mentioned above have certain influences on the production process effectively and efficiently. In case of final products of dining sets selected in the assignments, the four Vs models are applied by Koda ltd with the mass production approach, which is normally applied within furniture industry and which means the orders are placed with high volume, in which thousands of dining sets are produced each time (high volume), in one finishing color required (low variety), it was based on the final design and/or it was in the market (low variation in demand) and the products were produced in the factories with or without the customers' visibility (low/high visibility). In conclusion, the four Vs applied by Koda ltd are flexible to meet the customers' requirements.
FIVE PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES
The big concern of an organization is how to bring the best quality products or services to customers with reasonable prices and maximize the profit to the shareholders at the same time as well as support its own suppliers in improving the quality of the goods they make . Following are five key performance objectives applied to all types of operation. They are quality, Speed, Dependability, Flexibility, Cost (Slack. et al, 2010). The first performance objective that an organization has to perform is Quality. This means the organization has to do the things right at the first time and produce the products with accurate specifications and without errors in order to give the high quality products to customers and thereby the organization is able to reduce cost regarding to mistakes. Secondly, the organization has to achieve another objective of speed which means the organization need to proceed the things fast in order to minimize the lead time between order placed on products or services and the delivery of goods or services to customers on time. (Slack. et al, 2010). The next operations objective is dependability which means that the products or services will be delivered to customers in lead time they request or are promised. Furthermore, Flexibility is another basic performance objective that the organization has to perform. Flexibility means the organization has the ability to quickly change on what the organization is doing as well as the ability to offer customers a wide variety range of goods or services. (Greasley, 2008). Peter (1998) also argues that the organization must be able to change and develop to a responsive and flexible one in order to deal with the globally active business environment. Last but not least, Cost is a very important performance objective which every organization or company struggles to keep the price as low as it can in order to offer customers appropriate prices products as well as bring the best profit to the organization. (Slack et al, 2010). To examine these five performance objectives by looking at the case of Koda Ltd, they offer their customers goods with consistent quality
Slack, N., Chambers, S., Johnston, R. (2010) Operations Management (6th edition). Harlow, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Greasley, A. (2008) Operations management. 1st ed. London: Sage Publications.
Peters, T. (1998). Thriving on Chaos