Focus on Fit in the Small

The notion of focus naturally, almost inevitably from the concept of fit. Just as a company must choose, train, and manage a sales force differently if its primary task is to sell expensive capital equipment to engineers, as opposed to selling inexpensive disposables to unsophisticated consumers a single operations organization is unlikely to be equally effective for businesses that compete in markedly different   ways. Different operations structures and infrastructures are required for different missions. Therefore, a single facility even if equipped with the most modern equipment and systems, will tend to experience both irreconcilable conflicts and low overall effectiveness if

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Role of Internet in an Organization

In the Internet age, the term information tends to convey an image of the kind of data that can be stored, processed and communicated electronically. Information comes in different shapes and forms, however, with important implications for supply chain strategy. An important distinction must be made between information that can be codified and interpreted in a standard way, and information that is tacit and requires specific experience or capabilities to interpret. Many types of coordination problems in operational settings require information that can, in fact, be fairly well codified and interpreted in a relatively unambiguous way. Examples would be information

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Social Security of Employees

Social security is a very important component of an employee perk. When they join an organization, it is expected to have a status in their social circle. If they are employed in a reputed organization, it gives them a feeling of well-being and reasonably good status. Besides social status, the job and responsibilities give them great amount of learning. They learn on various subjects, which may be directly linked to their job profile and also other area of interest. However organizations offer and give several other benefits that give them short term and long term social security. Few such benefits

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Competitive Differentiation

The most critical element of an (Strategic Business Unit) SBU’s competitive strategy, in terms of the implications for its operations strategy, concerns how it chooses to differentiate  its products  and services from those of its major competitors. Given the myriad choices that customers face when making a purchase how do they decide which product or service to select? Different customers are attracted by different attributes. In order to appeal to those interested primarily in the cost of the product/service. Some companies attempt to achieve a competitive advantage by offering the lowest price. Price, however, is not the only basis upon

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Data Mining

The term data mining is just one of the several terms, including knowledge extraction, data archaeology, information harvesting software and even   data dredging, that actually describe the concept of knowledge discovery in databases. Let us begin with a few basic facts to explain what data mining really means: Many organizations, both private and government, have devoted a tremendous amount of resources to the construction and maintenance of large information databases over the recent decades, including the development of large scale data warehouses. Frequently, the data cannot be analysed by standard statistical methods, either because there are numerous missing records or

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“Big Five” Personality Traits

Although personality traits, long term predispositions for behaviour, have been generally downplayed and even totally discounted, in recent years there is gaining support for a five factor trait-based theory of personality. Many years ago no less than 18,000 words were found to describe personality. Even after combining words with similar meanings, there still remained 171 personality traits. Obviously, such a huge number of personality traits is practically unusable, so further reduction analysis found five core personality traits. Called the Five factor Model (FFM), or in the field of organizational behaviour and human resource management, the “Big Five” these traits have

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Situational Factors affecting Staffing

Specifically, external factors include the level of education, the prevailing attitudes in society, the many laws and regulations that directly affect staffing, the economic conditions, and the supply of and demand for managers outside the enterprise. There are also many internal factors that affect staffing. They include for example organizational goals, tasks, technology, organization structure, the kinds of people employed by the enterprise, the demand for and the supply of managers within the enterprise, the reward system, and various kinds of policies. Some organizations are highly structured; others are not. For some positions such as the position of a sales

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Trade Union and Employee Association

Industrialization was necessary to cater to the needs of increasing populations all over the world. There was an increase in demand of items for human consumption and use in homes & working areas. Initially Industries were limited to a few countries in the world. However their subsidiaries and new indigenous industries were set up slowly. Few industries also encouraged Research and development and introduced improved version of products to fulfill the needs of the customers. Market research started doing studies and market surveys to identify the need of most sections of the society. The research needed focused approach and developed

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Path Dependencies

Under the positioning concept of competitive strategy once a company has configured itself properly to meet the needs of its competitive strategy there is little that the operations can do to provide additional differentiation. It could of course strive for continual improvement but as soon as its competitors had similarly aligned their operations, structures and infrastructures with their competitive strategies and embarked on comparable improvement programs, they would regain parity. Similarly, adopting lean manufacturing leaves little room for differentiation: once all competitors have adopted TQM, JIT and other components how can operations further contribute to a competitive advantage? A concept

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Positioning Appealing to a Different Customer Need

Different customers are attracted by different attributes of a product or service. Companies such as DJC, Southwest Airlines and Wal-Mart for example, have attempted to differentiate themselves by offering the lowest price. Others, such as Crown Equipment, sought to attract customers who want higher performance, features or appearance. Still others such as ACC sought to differentiate themselves through superior flexibility or innovativeness. A company that decides to pursue a certain form of differentiation cannot, of course gain any long term advantage over its competitors to use the same operations structure and infrastructure as they do. Strategic fit requires that, having

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Timing of Capacity Increments

At its heart a capacity strategy suggests how the amount and timing of capacity changes should relate to long term changes in demand. Three options illustrate the range of possibilities available when demand is expected to grow steadily. Alternative Types of capacity Cushion One obvious way that companies can meet demand that is temporarily greater than their operating rate is by carrying inventories, either of finished goods or of parts and components that can be converted quickly into finished goods. As with the airline seat referred to earlier, most services cannot be inventoried unfortunately although some back room services (usually

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Diseconomies of Distribution

Generally, the bigger a processing facility, the larger the geographic area it has to service. Moreover, if the density of its customers decreases rapidly as their distance from the facility increases the distribution costs required to supply an expanding region will probably increase much faster than the sales volume. Even in cases where the company does not incur the transportation costs directly, it may have to pay freight equalization or customer transport charges to prevent competitors nearer the customer from gaining a cost advantage. The same type of distribution diseconomies may affect the demand for a firm’s products in situations

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