1.What is a project organization?
Solution:A project organization is an association formed for a common purpose to deliver project related programs systematically.A project organization specializes in human elements i.e they may have various verticals pertaining to a certain project.The diferent types of projects handled required expertise in the fields of functional, product line, geographical location, production process and type of customer.The project organization can be a part of an organization like new product development handled by an official.These organizations have a matrix structure.The projects are assigned to the functional department which has the resources to develop the project.
The major advantages of a project organization are :Maximum flexibility in the use of staff
Individual experts can be utilized by many different projects
Specialist in the division can be grouped to share knowledge and experience
Functional division serves as a base of technological continuity
Functional division contains normal of advancement
High level of commitment
Ability to take swift decisions
The major disadvantages of a project organization are:
Duplication of effort
Stockpile equipment and technical assistance “just in case”
Lack of expertise in high technology project
Foster inconsistency and cutting corners
Project takes on a life of its own
Worry about “life after project ends”
2. How must an operations strategy integrate with marketing and accounting?
Answer:Operations strategy must have a clear information flow from the verticals like marketing and accounting.Marketing will give an idea of the demand and can give valuable information on the tastes and prefernces of the customers.They can give data on the various usages of the products which will allow the company to devise a strategy in their operations.Also the use of data can be used to bring about new developments In the product in the product life cycle.This information flow can reduce costs as reworking or incorrect product specifications can be easily modified.It also helps in forecasting the demand of the products in the markets.The marketing vertical contributes to the improvement of the supply chain of the company and allows it to supply better goods and services thus recognizing the voice of the customer.
Accounting can play a vital role in the streamlining of the operations strategies and understand the painpoints.It can gives us a detailed view of the value chain and the amount of value added in every step.It will also provde us with the costs associated and this data will help us to evaluate a strategy.The costs incurred in various stages can be used to identify bottlenecks in the system and thus improve upon them.
3. Why should one study operations management?
Ans:Operations management deals with the entire functionalities of an enterprise.It is the association of all the functional groups in an enterprise to produce goods and services.We study operations management to align the objectives of the workforce to that of the vision and goals of an organization.Operations management holds its value as it provides us knowledge about the development of goods,the various resources attached to production and the end –to-end solutions of providing a value proposition to a customer.It also teaches us the functions of the various verticals in an industry and how they interact with operations.Operations management is not only about operations,it provides a strategic advantage to those enterprises who strictly adhere to the principles thus delivering quality and quantity to customers.It is a very integral part of an organization and shows the way to efficient management of processes.This enhances the competitive nature of the organization and allows the enterprise to follow the best practices prevalent in the domain.This increases the profitability of an organization and ensures that it invests in new business segments or improves the existing processes.Operations management also opens up the field of a lucrative job opportunity as operations managers which are very necessary for an enterprise.It throws light on the abilities and responsibilities required to become a manager.
4. How does an OM strategy change during a product’s life cycle?
Ans:The product lifecycle consists of the following stages:
Introduction:This is the stage where the first mover advantage can come into play if the firm has a better research and development advantage.It is the best time to increase the market share of the product.The OM strategy during this period will be based on the product development and design which can undergo frequent changes due to the customer demands.As product design changes and with that process changes are critical this might lead to shorter production runs and high production costs may be incurred.So we will have limited number of models but quality is of utmost importance in this stage.
Growth:This is the stage where the brand grows and price and quality changes occur.The OM strategies will be highly dependent on the capacity of the plant and this will be determined by the forecasting ability of the enterprise.The product and process reliability will determine the competitiveness of the product.The shift from research towards distribution of the product happens in this stage.
Maturity:This is the time when the product has already been in the market for much of its lifecycle so it is quite difficult to change its image,price and quality.More attention is given to hold market share and ward off competition by pricing strategies.The OM strategie will be to reduce rapid product changes and to operate at optimum capacity.Product improvement and cost cutting becomes an important part with long production runs and increased process stability.
Decline:In this stage the product is at the end of its lifecycle so cost control is effective.The OM strategies adopted will be cost minimization with overcapacity in the industry.The capacity will be reduced and cutting down on low margin items with little product differentiation.
5. Mass customization and rapid product development were identified in our readings as current trends in modern manufacturing operations. What is the relationship, if any, between these trends? Explain how delayed differentiation plays into this concept. Can you cite any examples?
Ans: The key objective in masscustomization is to design products that can be rapidly customized to satisfy a variety of different requirements. While the notion of mass-customization has increased the capabilities of organizations to satisfy diverse customer needs, the costs for masscustomization are considerably higher than those for mass production.During rapid product development the product development cycles as well as product life cycles will be extremely short relative to mass production.Large number of products will be developed but they will be customizable according to the customer needs.
To mass customize a product the differentiation is postponed until the latest possible point in the supply network,this is known as delayed differentiation. In order to increase efficiency and responsiveness, companies must integrate product designs, manufacturing and logistics processes and supply network. Therefore, delayed differentiation for mass customization requires appropriate product design, processes and supply network.
Examples are Dell and HP.These two companies followed standardization of assemblies and parts and deferred the differentiation late in the manufacturing process.
HP for example made different printers for various market needs,so they started producing standard printers and added power supply and documentation just before delivery(delayed differentiation).So instead of using two power sources it used an universal power source thus realizing cost savings of 5% annually.
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