We are surrounded by operations in every direction. In our daily lives, we manage operations when we prepare breakfast or do our shopping. In all organisations, operations are be managed in many ways.
Operations Management is about using resources to do things. To “do things” means to produce goods and services. The resources include capital, materials, people, or machines. All the products and services we consume daily are the result of a corresponding example of operations management.
If one is in finance, the person can be classified as being in a support process. But in the context of the organisation, you are also in an operations process. The concept is not only applicable to a company but also to a department, a store, non-governmental organizations (NGO) or also to our homes. In many cases, the operations management that “goes into things” is not that simple.
A clear classic case of operations is what happens in our kitchen, particularly If you are going to cook dinner for your family or going to eat dinner prepared by your chef. The activities that have happened in the kitchen is clearly a classic case of operations.
Another classic example of operations management is when you leave your office to back to your home. As you leave your office, you will probably switch of all appliances assuming you are the last person to leave the office. Then you lock up and get to the car park and the driver will take you home. As you get into your vehicle you are going through an operational process. As you get to different junctions where you have to slow down and crawl, you are meeting a process that has slowed you down. When you go through that process, you continue your journey until you get home. In this example, there are different context depending on your location.
Making a Dress T Shirt.
In the Operations Management class, we looked at the example of making a dress T shirt and the operations that are involved up until it when we get rid of the cloth.
The First occurrence of Operations Management took place in the fields – cotton. The operations that took place include bringing the cotton seeds to the farm, planting the cotton seeds, nurturing the plant, harvesting the cotton, and finally transporting the cotton the factory.
Cotton treatment, fabric and dyeing, were operations that had to be managed. Aside ensuring quality and standards, another important aspect that need to be managed is what is called POSTPONEMENT in operations management. Here when the cotton gets to the fabric stage, you wait and keep them in stock. Whenever the customer say they want a different colour from an already finished product, you estimate the right quantity of the colour required and that quantity is dyed. These are the processes that go into the management.
Meanwhile, the material had to be transported from one place to another, and there were customs controls, more operations. Cutting the patterns, sewing the parts, and putting on the buttons were the next operations. A lot of people get involved at this point. At some point it becomes highly manualized and at other points most of the activities are geared towards making the process much quicker and faster and limited quality issues.
In parallel, there were people who designed the shirt and others who placed orders for the required materials. The management of the store where people purchase the shirt involves managing more operations, store control, organizing the shelves and planning the employees shift.
At home, the same operations continue, fold, or hang it, wash it every so often. When we get rid of it, Operations Management continues with its collection and recycling.