Operation management is one of the crucial aspects of any business which is characterised by planning, organising, supervising, and completing the task in order to get the goals achieved and improve the profitability of the company (Chiu& Choi, 2016). In addition to this, there are other aspects and principles of the operation management that are needed to support the functioning of the company. Operation management is needed for making day-to-day changes and adjustment in the ongoing processes of an organisation. The term originated from the manufacturing sector and was earlier called production management and played a significant role in the industrial revolution. As modern economies are rapidly growing and transforming (Giret, et.al, 2015). The service sector began to imply the principles of operation management in planning and organising processes. This helped them significantly in carrying out mundane chores in a better and effective way.
Due to the wide range of applicability, operation management has become a quintessential element of running a business. It has now become a multidisciplinary functional domain and can be applied in any field, such as marketing, finance, HR, etc. It ensures that labour and material or other resource is used efficiently and effectively. It comprises general management practices, equipment maintenance, and factory organisation. The operation manager is required to have knowledge of the strategic policies, basic material planning, production, and manufacturing. In addition to this, they are required to have knowledge of costing, budgeting, production, and resource planning. Most importantly, the operation manager is required to have an understanding of forming better relations with employees and other stakeholders. For a better understanding of the operation management, Bentley Motors Limited has been selected which is a British multinational car manufacturing company. The following essay talks about the understanding of operation management, framing plan and strategies with operation scheduling approaches.
Talking about luxury car manufacturers, Bentley is one of the prime brands. The company really works and spend a plenty amount of resources and time on research and development in order to get what is expected by the customers who are willing to spend thousands of pounds to buy a luxury car. The company is famous for its craftsmanship and eliteness (Chiu& Choi, 2016). The best part of the cars of Bentley is that each car is made customer-specific and as per the details were given by the customers and each car usually take 6-8 months to manufacture. The company takes each car as a project. Talking about the role of operation management in the automotive industry, it has a vital role in organising and conducting activities. Operation management assists in decision-making related to operations in order to make sure that things are to be done as per the specifications are given by the clients. The main problem that Bentley Motors was facing prior to implementing the principles of operation management was to get the work done well on time within a speculated budget. Operation management is a standout amongst the most vital pieces of part of the management which is commonly engaged with managing the structuring just as controlling of the generation (Giret, et.al, 2015). It additionally incorporates fabricating procedures and overhauling of business capacities for the ultimate result as the products just as administrations. The tasks the board is worried about the obtaining, development just as the use of the crude material which is required by the association so as to deliver the products just as administrations and satisfy the requests of the clients.
However, after the implementation of operation management, the company is successfully managing its input and getting the desirable outputs. The inputs comprise a material, workforce, technology, and other resources. The company was able to set the operational objectives that are based on operation management principles. The main objective is to deliver a quality product by ensuring that the cars are fault-free and can run in extreme cases.
Prior to discussing more operation management in the context of Bentley Motors, it is important to understand ten principles of operation management. Operation management is characterised by designing, planning, and organising processes taking place in an organisation. The motive of operation management is to focus on delivering the best quality products by optimising the use of input resources and technology. According to Randall Schaeffer, there are 10 principles of operation management. Violating any of these principles can cost the organisation a great fortune. The first and foremost is that operation management should emphasise on the problems rather than techniques as there is no universal solution to a problem. The next is all about the organisation of the processes in the company. All elements have to be consistent and predictable. This would help in ensuring that profits can be earned. The next principle outline the fundamentals. Majority of the operations can be checked by applying Pareto rule that emphasises that 80% of the success of the processes comes from adherence to standards and policies and the rest 20% of the success comes by making use of new techniques (Trentesauxand Prabhu, 2014). The next is accountability that is all about setting the rules and regulation and defining the roles of the subordinates. In addition to this, the variance is another principle that can be a major source of creativity. The next one is causality that is needed to deal with the problems that might affect or hinder the operations. Hence, they need to be tackled accordingly. The next is managing the passion of the employees. This helps in growing the business of the company. The other principle is the change that is important to deal with the transformation that is affecting the processes and operations of the company.
One of the complex and challenging aspects of manufacturing cars for Bentley is to determine the production scale, production time, and supply chain management, and when to produce. Failure to deliver the quality products to the customers might affect the confidence of the buyers in the company. As an organisation, Bentley can consider a wide range of strategies to determine the best practices for planning and scheduling. These strategies comprise level production, chase strategy, assemble to order, and make-to-stock production (Matthias, et.al, 2016). Bentley follows the chase strategy that aims at matching the production to the demand. This is a part of the lean production strategy that aims at saving on the costs until the whole demand is placed. In addition to this, the inventory cost is very much low and selling price of goods for products sold is kept low for a shorter length of time. The chase strategy is followed by those organisation that does not focus on large demands or mass productions. The production schedule is prepared based on the immediate demands and orders.
Before moving on with the operation management scheduling techniques, let's understand the meaning of schedule. It is described as the process that prescribes when and where the necessary operation is going to be carried out. It is characterised by the establishment of a time frame at which each operation will be conducted and completed. The main aim of scheduling in the operation management is to plan the order of operations to be carried out so that the overall process can be orderly arranged towards the completion of the project or process well before the deadlines. Trentesaux and Prabhu(2014) describe the principles of scheduling. The first principles are the "principle of optimum task size” that aims at achieving the highest maximum efficiency when the size of the tasks are small and all the tasks are identical in magnitude. The second principle is the “principle of optimum production plan" that focuses on imposing an equal burden on all the plants. The third and the last is "principle of optimum sequence” that aims at achieving maximum efficiency while the work is carried out sequentially within the normal working hour.
Bentley Motors consider various inputs while developing the operation schedule. These are performance standards, units in which the scheduling time is expressed, overlapping of operations, demand pattern, the effective capacity of the plants, flexibility in the schedules, etc. It is important to note that information associated with the performance standard is needed to assist the operation manager to understand the capacity and capabilities of the machines and workforce so as to assign the required machine hours. Another important point here is that the scheduling strategy varies with the need and type of work carried out. There are some projects that need no scheduling while some projects need a very sophisticated approach. Bentley follows different scheduling techniques. These scheduling strategies can be classed into four categories. The first is detailed scheduling that is task-specific and can vary based on customer demand and manufacturing conditions. These schedules are greatly affected by the changes in the equipment and technology and sometimes due to some unforeseen conditions that might deviate the plans. The next is cumulative scheduling that is very much useful for long term projects and where there is a strong need for planning the capacity needs. It has some means to control the operations undertaken by the company. The third strategy is called cumulative detailed combination that is feasible for flexible and fixed operation. The last strategy is priority decision rules used in conjunction or independently with any of the aforementioned strategies. It is pretty much effective in reducing the work in progress.
The forward scheduling is followed by Bentley Motors. Such practice is widely used in companies where manufacturing starts once the customer places their orders. Forward scheduling identifies the start and ends time of the next priority process by providing it the earliest available time slot along with the finished time. Since the process elements initiate as soon as possible. The best thing about this scheduling strategy is that it is very simple to use and Bentley Motors can get the work completed well on time and in short time span in compared to other backward scheduling strategies.
There are many scheduling tools that are used by the operation manager. These tools and techniques can be used individually or in combination with another tool in order to get the best schedule (Wang, et.al, 2016). The first and foremost is schedule network analysis which is one of the graphic-oriented tools that represents the activities associated with the project, the time consume by each task, and their order as per the significance and sequence. These can be prepared by making use of special software, such as Microsoft Project and other time scheduling software. These can be shown in two formats, Gantt and PERT charts. The next tool is critical path analysis in which the shortest and latest possible start and finish time for completion of the project is determined and all the dependencies in the project can be figured out to develop a schedule of critical dates and activities (Bean, et.al, 2014). The most common technique that is used by Bentley Motors is fast-tracking. It is characterised by rearranging activities to ensure that parallel work can be carried out. This means that things that one would normally be carried out one after the other can now be carried out simultaneously, thereby saving a great amount of time.
Talking about the inventory management policy, the effective management of inventory and stock is called the process of "inventory management". The different aspects & factors are being included or considered by the inventory management such as ordering or controlling the inventory, maintain its storage & enhancing the effective control on the amount of that product which has been sold. The inventory management is being considered as the main element of "supply chain management". Maintaining or managing the standard limit or volume of inventory in each & every business organization is called the process of "inventory control". Various different policies, procedures & effective measures are being implemented or applied in order to control the level of inventory in an effective & efficient manner. The foremost purpose for maintaining the standard level of inventory is to check whether the materials or resources will be available during urgent intervals or not. The integral part of the inventory management as the inventory policies. The flow of stock is being enhanced in the proper manner (Disney, et.al. 2016). The effective implemented policies & procedures help in ensuring the effective inventory measure in an accurate manner of all the available current assets of the company, inventories kept in reserves & hence developing or generating the better, unique or innovative idea related to the increasing financial conditions within the different business organizations. The inventory policies also help in maintaining the standard balance among various types of inventory in the department of storage. The large &big issues get eliminated from the business organizations with the help of effective policies of inventory controlling because of which the customers may possess the bad or negative impact on the leading car manufacturing companies. The sound or favorable policies of inventory indicates that the business organization has the sufficient raw materials & resources available with it for the smooth running of their overall business & for the effective supply of the luxury cars (Chiu & Choi, 2016).
The crucial role is being played by the inventory control policies in order to avoid or eliminate the "over-accumulation". The methodologies for replacing those products which are stocked in excess are also being applied. The business managers may face the situation of closing down their well-established businesses because of the lack of implementation of effective policies & procedures of inventory control. In order to keep running of the businesses in a smooth manner, those policies & strategies are applied by the business managers which integrates the different suppliers of raw materials, various departments of manufacturing & the unique structure for preventing or eliminating the waste of finished products. The business becomes more organized & effective when the inventory is controlled properly & wastage is eliminated (Wang, et.al. 2016). The company also provides better & efficient services to all its effective & potential customers. The increasing risk of losses gets also reduced & the fluctuation in the amount of organizational cost is also prevented. The amount of working capital is effectively used when the over-stock is bring avoided. The cost accounting activities get also facilitated & duplication is been avoided.
Before ending on a high note, it is concluded that operation management is the backbone of every organisation, especially manufacturing. It helps in planning, designing, and managing the processes that are carried in any organisation. In addition to this, scheduling is also an important aspect of operation management and various tools that are used in doing so were discussed. A small discussion on inventory management policy was also done.
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