Unit 15: Operations Management Assignment Sample

Mastering Operations Management: Assignment Insights

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Introduction Of Operations Management

Task: 1, section 1

(a) Inter-relationships between Core Support Functions and Operations in Three Different Organisations

Organisations have increased their attention on integrating their business processes to achieve higher efficiency and effectiveness in the competitive business environment of today. By managing the resources and procedures required to create goods and services efficiently, operations management plays a crucial role in ensuring that organisations accomplish their strategic objectives (Thomé et.al 2016). To obtain the best results, operations management must collaborate with other essential support activities including human resource management (HRM) and information systems (IS). At this section, the report will analyse the operations and these two supporting roles interact at three different companies: Volkswagen, Accenture, and HSBC.

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Volkswagen is a German multinational automaker that manufactures and markets a variety of automobiles around the world. The operations management of the business concentrates on streamlining its manufacturing procedures to guarantee premium products at reasonable costs. Volkswagen has also created a strong HRM system that places an emphasis on training, development, and employee involvement. The business makes investments in employees' skill and talent development because it understands that they are its most important asset.

To make sure that the company's workforce is in line with its production goals, Volkswagen's HRM function collaborates closely with the operations management team. For instance, the HRM team trains staff members on how to use modern tools and technology, enabling them to operate more productively and effectively (Choi et.al 2018). Volkswagen also boasts a cutting-edge IS system that unifies its manufacturing procedures, supply chain operations, and sales and marketing initiatives. In order to ensure that information is shared easily between departments and that the company's production processes are optimised, the IS function collaborates closely with the operations management team.


A multinational professional services company, Accenture offers consulting, technology, and outsourcing services to customers all over the world. The operations management of the business is concentrated on providing clients with high-quality services while reducing expenses. Each business unit at Accenture is able to create its own HRM rules and procedures thanks to the company's highly decentralised HRM system (Hitt et.al 2016). But the business has a centrally located information system (IS) that unifies its international operations and offers real-time data on its business activities.

Accenture's HRM department is essential to ensure that the business attracts and keeps the top personnel in the sector. The HRM policies and procedures of the organisation are created to support employee development, learning, and engagement. The HRM department works closely with the operations management group to make sure that all workers have the knowledge and abilities needed to provide customers with high-quality services. The operations management team at Accenture benefits greatly from the data analytics and insights provided by the IS department, which enables them to make wise decisions regarding resource allocation and service delivery.


Globally, a comprehensive range of banking and financial services are offered by the British multinational investment bank and financial services provider HSBC. Operations management at the business is concentrated on streamlining procedures to provide clients with high-quality services while cutting expenses (Reid and Sanders, 2019). The global operations of HSBC have access to a centralised HRM system that offers standardised HR rules and practises. To increase its operational effectiveness and customer service, the corporation has also made significant investments in IS.

To make sure that the company's workforce is in line with its strategic goals, the HRM function at HSBC collaborates closely with the operations management team. To help employees improve their skills and competences, the HRM team offers training and development programmes. Additionally, HSBC has a cutting-edge IS system that unifies its banking operations and offers real-time data on its business operations (Babich and Hilary, 2020). When deciding how to allocate resources and provide services, the operations management team relies heavily on the support of the IS function.

(b) Impact of operations and processes on other functions

To investigate the effects of operations and processes on the functions of sales, marketing, and product/service development while focusing on Volkswagen.

Volkswagen has a global sales and marketing plan that has been tailored to the needs of various markets. Through targeted promotions and advertising campaigns, the company's sales and marketing department is in charge of increasing demand for its products. Operations have a number of effects on Volkswagen's Sales and Marketing department.

First off, the Sales and Marketing function is significantly impacted by the effectiveness and efficiency of production processes. When Volkswagen's manufacturing procedures are streamlined and improved, the company is able to create high-quality vehicles that satisfy its target market (Guha and Kumar, 2018). This makes it easier for the Sales & Marketing department to market and sell vehicles more successfully.

Second, the supply chain procedures have an effect on the Sales and Marketing function. The availability and cost of raw materials, manufacturing machinery, and final goods are directly impacted by Volkswagen's supply chain operations. To make sure that the company has enough inventories to meet client demand, the sales and marketing department must collaborate closely with the operations group. The Sales and Marketing function must be alerted right away in the case of any supply chain disruptions so they can modify their sales and marketing strategy accordingly.

Product/Service Development: Volkswagen's Product/Service Development department is in charge of creating fresh goods and solutions to fulfil the changing demands of consumers. Operations have numerous effects on the function of product/service development.

First off, the effectiveness of production processes has a direct impact on the design and development of new products. Production methods that are effective and optimised can lower costs and raise the calibre of new items (Annarelli and Nonino, 2016). As a result, the Product/Service Development department is able to develop new goods at reasonable pricing that satisfy client expectations.

Second, the availability of resources, such as raw materials, production tools, and labour, has an effect on the Product/Service Development function.

Section 2:

2(a): Challenges in Meeting Customer Requirements

Operations management faces a big difficulty when it comes to satisfying consumer demands since it must balance many different elements like cost, quality, delivery time, and flexibility. A popular technique for examining the four aspects of operational processes—volume, variety, variation, and visibility—is the "Four Vs" model. The operations processes of Volkswagen, Accenture, and HSBC will be examined in this part using this model, and the difficulties operations management has in satisfying customer demands will be contrasted.

Volkswagen is a well-known automaker with a presence all over the world. To serve various customer sectors, the company manufactures a wide variety of vehicles, including cars, trucks, and buses. Volkswagen's operations process has a large volume dimension because it needs to build millions of automobiles every year to satisfy customer demand. Volkswagen offers a number of models, each with a particular set of features and specs, therefore the variety dimension is equally important (Gligoret.al 2015). However, because the company employs a mass production strategy that involves creating a significant number of standardised vehicles, the variation dimension is comparatively low. The visibility metric is also poor because customers only engage with the finished product and are therefore unaware of Volkswagen's activities.

A worldwide professional services firm, Accenture offers outsourcing, technology, and consulting services to customers from various industries. Accenture's operations process has a high volume dimension since it must complete thousands of projects annually to satisfy client demand. The variation dimension is important since Accenture offers clients personalised solutions based on their needs (Wiengartenet.al 2019). Because each project is distinct, there is a high level of variation, and operations management must control the variability in project scope, timeline, and resource allocation. The visibility factor is also quite high because clients may see Accenture's activities at all stages of a project.

Leading international bank HSBC provides a variety of financial goods and services to people, companies, and institutions. Due to the bank's daily handling of millions of transactions from clients all over the world, HSBC's operations process has a high volume dimension. The fact that HSBC provides a variety of goods and services, including retail banking, business banking and investment banking, which makes the diversity dimension important as well. Because each transaction is distinct, there is a high degree of variation, and operations management must control the variability in transaction volume, type, and complexity (Blackwelderet.al 2016). Customers only interact with the front-end of HSBC's operations, such as branches and digital platforms, and are unaware of the backend procedures, which results in a low visibility dimension.

When compared the difficulties operations management faces in fulfilling consumer demands, It is observed that every business faces a different set of issues. Accenture struggles with managing the variety and variation aspects, whereas Volkswagen struggles with managing the volume and variety dimensions. Managing the variance and visibility dimensions presents difficulties for HSBC. A thorough examination of the "Four Vs" model demonstrates that it offers a suitable framework for examining the operational procedures of various businesses. To fully capture all the intricacies of operations management in complex and changing business environments, nevertheless, may not be possible.

2(b): Measuring Sustainable Business Operations

In order to achieve long-term value creation, sustainable business operations relate to the incorporation of environmental, social, and economic issues into company activities. It is essential to assess the efficiency and performance of sustainable business operations in order to spot areas for improvement and guarantee alignment with organisational objectives. In this section, it contrast the ways in which Volkswagen and HSBC could assess the performance and efficacy of their operations on three different fronts: social, strategic, and operational.

Assessing the effects of company operations on society and the environment is a necessary step in gauging operations performance and effectiveness at the social level. Volkswagen may track its environmental impact by measuring its carbon footprint, water use, and waste production. To gauge its social impact, HSBC might track the funding of renewable energy projects, assistance for community development programmes, and adherence to social responsibility guidelines.

Volkswagen could track its development towards its objective of being a carbon-neutral business by 2050, and HSBC could track its development towards its sustainability goals, which include lowering its carbon footprint and increasing its use of sustainable financing.

Assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes is a necessary step in measuring operations performance and effectiveness. Volkswagen may track its energy use, waste reduction, and material efficiency to determine how efficiently its products are produced. By tracking its use of digital technology, cutting back on paper use, and implementing energy-efficient measures in its facilities, HSBC could assess the effectiveness of its operating processes. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which offer recommendations for measuring and reporting on sustainability measures, are external frameworks that Volkswagen and HSBC might also use to evaluate their sustainability performance.

Section 3:

Optimising Performance with Total Quality Management and LEAN/KAIZEN

Volkswagen was selected as the company for this section.

3(a): Total Quality Management and LEAN/KAIZEN approaches could help optimise the performance of the company

Two strategies that have been widely applied in operations management to improve business performance are Total Quality Management (TQM) and LEAN/KAIZEN. These strategies can be used in the case of Volkswagen to raise the calibre of their goods and services, boost productivity, and lower waste.

TQM is a management strategy that strives to satisfy customer needs by consistently improving every part of the business. Volkswagen can create a culture that is customer-focused and constantly working to raise the calibre of its goods and services by implementing TQM. These TQM principles can help you accomplish this:

  • Continuous improvement is a principle that entails figuring out where performance may be improved upon and then making the necessary adjustments.
  • Understanding client needs and adjusting business processes to satisfy them are part of the customer focus philosophy.
  • Employee involvement: This idea calls for giving employees the power to take part in decision-making and to make improvements to the business's operations.
  • Process approach: This idea entails locating and controlling linked processes collectively.
  • Leadership: This principle calls for strong, effective leadership to steer the business in the direction of its goals.

Another strategy Volkswagen can employ to enhance performance is LEAN/KAIZEN. In all areas of the organisation, this strategy focuses on minimising waste and maximising value-added operations (Grabner, 2017). Volkswagen can increase the effectiveness of its operations, cut costs, and raise quality by implementing LEAN/KAIZEN. The following LEAN/KAIZEN principles can help with this:

  • Finding value: According to this idea, every organization-wide activity must be evaluated in terms of its value to customers.
  • The value stream must be mapped in order to identify waste and the flow of value-added activities within the organisation.
  • Creating flow: To ensure a seamless flow of activity, this idea calls for eliminating waste from the organisation.
  • Setting up pull: This idea entails setting up a system that responds to consumer demand and is pull-based.
  • In order to achieve perfection, this principle calls for constant improvement of an organization's operations.

Volkswagen may enhance its performance by raising the calibre of its goods and services, boosting efficiency, and cutting waste by putting TQM and LEAN/KAIZEN principles into practise.

3(b): Comparing the benefits and limitations of the above approaches for optimizing performance of the company.

While TQM and LEAN/KAIZEN methodologies both have advantages, there are also drawbacks that need to be taken into account.

Advantages of TQM:

  • Enhanced customer happiness: TQM places a strong emphasis on fulfilling client needs, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty (Ahmed, et.al 2016).
  • Quality has been improved: TQM emphasises continuous improvement, which can result in the creation of high-quality goods and services.
  • Involvement of employees: TQM gives employees the power to take part in decision-making and improve the organization's operations.
  • Lower costs: TQM can lower costs by increasing productivity and decreasing waste.

TQM's drawbacks include:

  • Time-consuming: Because TQM implementation calls for significant organisational resources and commitment, it can take some time (Lai and Chen, 2019).
  • Employee resistance to change: TQM implementation may be hampered by employee resistance to changes to the organization's operations.
  • Difficult to measure: Because TQM emphasises continuous development, it can be difficult to define a benchmark against which to compare results.

Advantages of LEAN/KAIZEN

  • Efficiency gain: LEAN/KAIZEN emphasises waste elimination and process improvement, which can boost productivity and cut costs.
  • Enhanced quality: LEAN/KAIZEN places a strong emphasis on ongoing process improvement, which can aid in lowering faults and flaws in goods and services (Gregory, 2015).
  • Increasing employee involvement and empowerment can result in increased employee empowerment and job satisfaction. LEAN/KAIZEN promotes employee involvement in identifying and resolving issues.
  • Faster delivery and more customer satisfaction can result from LEAN/KAIZEN's emphasis on the identification and elimination of waste in the production process.

LEAN/KAIZEN has some limitations.

  • Focusing just on improving individual processes, LEAN/KAIZEN may not be able to address more general organisational problems.
  • Employee resistance to changes to their work procedures, like with TQM, might impede the application of LEAN/KAIZEN.
  • Limited applicability: LEAN/KAIZEN may not be as effective in service sectors as it is in industrial environments (Caoet.al 2017).

Section 4

4(a): Volkswagen and Accenture will implement a sales and operations planning procedure.

A thorough business plan is developed through the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, which integrates these two planning processes. It gives businesses a framework to match production and inventory planning with consumer demand, enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting profitability.


Volkswagen is a well-known global automaker, and its success is based on its capacity to provide clients with high-quality goods. Volkswagen might better meet customer demand by adjusting its production and inventory plans through the use of an S&OP strategy. Through the S&OP procedure, Volkswagen could:

  • Incorporating customer demand information into production planning would enable Volkswagen to foresee demand and modify its production plans accordingly.
  • Enhance delivery times: Volkswagen may shorten lead times, resulting in quicker deliveries and higher customer satisfaction, by coordinating its production schedules with consumer demand.
  • Improve quality control: By enabling Volkswagen to recognise and respond to manufacturing concerns in real-time, the S&OP process could enhance quality control by lowering the risk that defective items would reach the consumer.


Global professional services company Accenture offers several different services, such as strategy, consulting, technology, and operations. Accenture may be able to manage its resource planning more effectively and increase customer satisfaction by implementing an S&OP methodology. Through the S&OP procedure, Accenture could:

  • Enhance resource allocation: Accenture might better manage its resources to fulfil customer needs by coordinating resource planning with customer demand, which would lead to increased customer satisfaction (Jefferyet.al 2017).
  • Improved collaboration and customer service could arise from increased communication across Accenture's many departments thanks to the S&OP methodology.
  • Efficiency gain: Accenture may be able to discover operational areas for streamlining using the S&OP approach, which would boost productivity and improve client satisfaction.

4(b): Critical Analysing how Volkswagen and Accenture's supply chains would change as a result of implementing an S & OP approach

Relationships in the supply chain may be significantly impacted by the implementation of an S&OP methodology. This will assess the potential effects of introducing an S&OP methodology on how Volkswagen and Accenture handle their supply chain connections in this section.


By enabling it to better match production schedules with demand, Volkswagen may be able to strengthen its connections with distributors and suppliers by using an S&OP approach. It might also result in increasing pressure on suppliers to match the demands of the business's production (Zhanget.al 2020). Supplier relationships with Volkswagen may suffer as a result of increasing expenses brought on by shifting manufacturing schedules.

On the other side, by offering a framework for joint planning and increased communication, the S&OP process may result in better cooperation between Volkswagen and its suppliers. Volkswagen may be able to decrease the possibility of having too much inventory by coordinating its production schedules with consumer demand, which would increase productivity and save costs.


Accenture's connections with suppliers might be enhanced by the implementation of an S&OP process by giving a clearer view of customer demand, which would lead to improved collaboration and better resource allocation. By enhancing its capacity to provide services on schedule and within budget, Accenture may be able to better manage its relationships with clients with the use of the S&OP process (Hossain and Khan, 2016). Implementing an S&OP process, however, might also put more pressure on suppliers to comply with Accenture's demands. Supplier relationships with Accenture may suffer as a result of additional expenses connected with adjusting production schedules.


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