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Operational Management

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Operational Management

Some authors feel that operations management (OM) is turning the "whats" of the company's objectives into the "hows" of execution and achievement (Elliott, 2002). From what I have read I think that Operations management is the implementation of the policies and procedures necessary to satisfy the stakeholders (investors, workers, customers, ext) of an organization. The goal of OM is to improve product and/or services provided by the organization and to develop happy and loyal customers. The operating core of any organization is a system that encompasses design, engineering, production, networks of information flow, material flows, research and the integration of these units as well as the delivery of goods and/or services. Larger corporations often have a Chief Operations Officer (COO) who is responsible for finding inefficiencies in the flow of work, "production processes, quality, supply chain, inventory, manufacturing, and everything else that effects the bottom line and ultimately the success of [the] company" (Obringer, 2002). The COO will then work to re-engineer the processes that have problems to be more efficient (Obringer, 2002).

I look at operation management is a theory of management, but the operations manager's is a executive level position who's goal is to satisfy the customer (Obringer, 2002). In other words, customer service is the target goal for this manager. Within this role, the operations manager will be involved in all procedures and aspects of the business, such as the safety and health, environmental issues, supply chain, quality of the product and service, manufacturing, sales, and marketing (Obringer, 2002).

There are any number of tools and techniques the operations manager can use in his or her job (Obringer, 2002). Performance measurement, best practices research, benchmarking, flowcharts and other procedures are common (Obringer, 2002).

One of the many strategies that can be used is JIT. The Just-in-Time (JIT) philosophy that emerged in the 1970s has been shown to be an effective strategy to minimize inventories and lead times, in other words, to reduce costs (Green and Inman, 2000). The JIT approach reduces waste (Green and Inman, 2000). Just-in-Time is defined as the "philosophy of eliminating waste in the total manufacturing process" (Green and Inman, 2000). ). This approach changes operations management from producing and storing inventory to producing only what is needed at any given time. The Just-in-Time production strategy results in a higher degree of motivation and of productivity (California State University Dominguez Hills, n.d.).

Another effective approach in operations management is Total Quality Management (TQM), developed by W. Edwards Deming (1986). TQM is a long-term continuous process; it is not a quick fix for any company. TQM is a change process (Deming, 1986; Walton, 1986). It is an organizational strategy (Deming, 1986; Walton, 1986). It is a set of management principles that are most effective when adopted throughout the entire corporation although it is possible for a department or division, such as human resources or the production line, to implement successfully (Deming, 1986; Walton, 1986).

Advanced technology has changed operations management. Chong asserted that "Information Technology is the most effective tool, strategy, and technique of Operation Management functions and support decision-making process of Operation Management. Information Technology is increasing in every business functions, especially in Operation Management function" (1999). Chong goes on to say that technology affects and impacts every aspect of operations management, including decision-making and communication processes (Chong, 1999).

The importance of organizational management in the health care setting is simple; if the principles are utilized effectively then the facility will run smoothly and the stakeholders will be satisfied. Operations management can be used to



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