Business Studies: Operations
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Operation refers to ...
the business processes that involve transformation or, more generally production.
What are some sources of differentiation in goods include?
- the actual product features
- product quality
- any augmented features
What are some sources of differentiation in services include?
- the amount of time spent on a service
- the level of expertise brought to a service
- the qualifications and experience of the service provider
- the quality of materials/ technology used in service delivery
Distinguish between standardised goods and customised goods.
Standardised goods are those that are mass produced, whereas customised goods are those that are varied according to the needs of customers.
Identify the four key functions of business.
- Human Resource Mananagement
What are the main influences on operations management?
- quality expectations
- cost-based competition
- government policies
- legal regulation
- environmental sustainability
Distinguish between 'on-shore' outsourcing and 'off-shore- outsourcing.
On-shore outsourcing involves the use of domestic businesses as the outsourcing provider, whereas off-shore outsourcing involves taking the activities to a provider in another country.
Identify 3 elements of an operations process.
- transformation processes
Outline 4 common direct inputs.
- raw materials
- machinery and technology
Distinguish between transformed resources and transforming resources.
Transformed resources are those inputs that are changed or converted in the operations process, whereas transforming resources are those inputs that carry out the transformation process.
Summarise the influences of transformation processes.
- Volume: how much of a product is made?
- Variety: the range of products made.
- Variation in demand: the amount of a product desired by consumers.
- Visibility: the nature and amount of customer contact.
Clarify 2 tools that assist with sequencing and scheduling.
- Gantt charts: a type of bar chart that shows both the scheduled and completed work over a period of time.
- Critical Path Analysis: a scheduling method that shows what tasks need to be done, how long they will take and what order is necessary to complete the tasks.
Identify 3 manufacturing technologies that businesses use.
- robotics: a programmable machine capable of doing several different tasks.
- computer-aided design (CAD): a computerised tool that creates products.
- computer-aided manufacturing (CAM): software that controls manufacturing processes.
What are the 3 different forms of layout for manufacturing plants?
- process layout: machines and equipment are grouped together by the function they perform.
- product layout: machines and equipment relates to the sequence of tasks performed in manufacturing a product.
- fixed position layout: employees and equipment come to the product.
An agreement/ promise made by the business to fix defects in products.
Recall 6 performance objectives used by operations managers.
Summarise the 4 factors that must be given consideration when undertaking new product design and development.
- supply chain management
- capacity management
Outline the 3 key aspects to supply chain
Benefits and challenges of global sourcing?
Benefits include cost and expertise advantages, and access to new technologies and resources. Challenges include possible relocation of operations, the increased cost of logistics, storage and distribution, managing different regulatory conditions between nations and increasing complexity of overall operations when sourcing from diverse locations.
Advantages associated with outsourcing.
- efficiency and cost savings
- increased process capability
- increased accountability
- access to skill/resources lacking within the business
Disadvantages associated with outsourcing.
- the cost and uncertainty associated with payback
- issues with communication and language
- loss of control of standards and information security
- loss of corporate memory and costs associated with IT
Advantages associated with holding stock.
- greater loyalty by customers when served on time
- discounted stock when bulk purchasing
- competitive advantage through efficient delivery and superior customer service
- revenue is boosted
Disadvantages associated with holding stock
- theft and/or pilfering of stock
- become obsolete
Identify the main inventory valuation techniques.
- LIFO (last-in-first-out)
- FIFO (first-in-first-out)
- WAC (weighted average cost)
Identify the common quality management approaches.
- quality controls: inspection, measurement and intervention
- quality assurance: application of international quality standards
- quality improvements: continuous improvement and total quality management
Outline the concept of continuous improvement.
An ongoing commitment to improving a business's goods or services.
Outline the financial costs of change.
- cost of purchasing new equipment and technology
- cost of redundancies
- cost of retraining employees
- costs associated with structural reorganisation.
Identify 2 sources of resistance to change.
- psychological/ emotional
Recall 4 global factors that affect operations strategy and that provide opportunities for operations managers.
- global sourcing
- economies of scale
- scanning and listening
- research & development
Define the term 'economies of scale'.
It refers to the cost advantages that can be gained by producing on a larger scale.
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