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A CASE STUDY: OPERATIONS STRATEGY ANALYSIS

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Question;Prepare an "Operations;Strategy" analysis for a small or medium sized business organization;(preferably a company with a limited or single product/service line produced at;a single or limited number of sites).;The overall purpose of the analysis is to determine, with some specificity, how;the company competes in the marketplace through its operations. It is not;particularly important for this project whether the company is doing a good job;or poor job in operations.;The outline below should be followed in developing and writing the report.;Other formats may be used but check with the instructor before deviating;significantly from the outline. For the grading criteria, emphasis will be;placed on the supporting logic and evidence presented in the report. An;innovative, professional presentation style will also be considered positively;in grading. As a general guideline, the report should not be significantly;longer than 15 pages (double-spaced) or shorter than 10 pages (double-spaced).;Appendices may be used to support your analysis.;The outline below tends to "cover the waterfront". For a particular;firm, several of the topics may be irrelevant or of very minor importance. It;is also normal to expect that information may be unattainable in a few of the;areas. Simply make a statement to this effect. In the outline below, the use of;the term "product" does not imply that a manufacturing company should;be selected. Substitute "service" for "product" if a;service organization is selected.;I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION (2 or 3 pages).;A. Name of the firm, location, major product(s), market segment served.;B. Apparent product strategy of the company (60 or less words).;C. General financial posture (financial report not necessary).;D. Major competitors. Position of company in the industry (estimated market;share, etc.).;E. Substitutes for company's products.;F. Nature of entry/exit constraints (barriers!) to the industry.;G. Importance of industry suppliers/power of customers.;H. Intensity of rivalry in the industry.II. OPERATIONS (6 to 10 pages).;A. Product(s): Where is the firm' product(s) on the product life cycle? What is;the breath of product line relative to competitors? Is product;change/development a factor in the industry?;B. Process: General classification. Identify significant inputs/outputs. Level;of automation? Estimate of position on the product/process matrix. Industry;leader or follower in process technology? Is process technology important in;the industry?;C. Level of Vertical Integration: Does the company practice vertical;integration to the industry? What is the apparent motivation - cost? control?;quality? risk?;D. Demand Management: Does demand for the firm's products vary significantly?;Does this present significant problems? How is the varying demand met - varying;employee work hours, subcontracting, inventory, backorders, hiring/firing? Does;the firm attempt to control/alter demand patterns? If so, how?;E. Capacity: Does the company have a small/large range of volume output;capability? Do unit costs vary significantly with volume? If so, how? Has the;firm periodically in the past increased capacity? If so, do capacity increases;lead/lag demand?;F. Facility Location: What motivated the company to locate where it did? Is;location of firms in the industry dictated more by customer location, raw;material/labor? politics? other factors? Does the firm' location provide any;advantages/disadvantages over competitors in the marketplace? Are firms in this;industry sensitive to location?;G. Use of Inventories: Does this company produce "to-stock" or;to-order"? What relative advantages are offered by this choice? What;general level of inventories are maintained in finished goods, raw materials;work-in-process?;H. Organization/Work Force/Management: Is job specialization prevalent? Job;enlargement? Job enrichment? Is worker motivation a problem with this type of;production process?;I. Quality: Define briefly the important "dimensions of product;quality". Is there significant staff involvement in quality management? Is;there a quality differential among the products sold by industry members?;J. Productivity/Efficiency: Are any formal measures of productivity used in the;firm? Are they computed for each organization unit? For the firm as a whole?;For each product? Is a formal productivity improvement program in place?;K. Cost Measurement: What cost/profit measures are routinely available and used;by operations management? Is a formal cost accounting system used?;L. Overall Operations Posture in the Firm: Choose one of the following;stages" as the most representative of the operations function and;justify/explain. (1 page maximum).;1. Internally Neutral: Operations is primarily reactive to internal pressures;placed upon it - does not have its own planning mechanism.;2. Externally Neutral: Operations works hard to keep up with the industry;practice and maintain "neutrality" or parity with competitors.;3. Internally Supportive: Operations does work consciously to be compatible;with and supportive of the firm's business unit strategy.;4. Externally Supportive: Operations actively seeks ways to develop competitive;advantages for the firm - operation is a leading factor in the firm's attempt;to develop a competitive advantage.;M. Other Factors: Are there other specialized factors that are not covered;elsewhere in this outline that significantly impact the operations posture of;this firm, e.g., government regulations, worker safety, international issues;social responsibility, etc.;III. CONCLUSIONS (Two pages maximum);Do the firm's operations activities appear to be compatible with the firm's;product strategy for competing in the marketplace? Are significant;incompatibilities noted (i.e., incompatibilities between the operations;strategy and the business strategy, between the operations strategy and the;other functional strategies, or between the decision categories within;operations)? Does operations make a significant contribution to this firm's;competitive advantage or success in the marketplace - or is the firm more driven;by marketing, etc.? Are there significant environmental changes that could;arise in the future that will impact operations?;Recommendations?;Suggestions?

 

Paper#53063 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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