Running an organization requires proper channeling of resources and available input with a focus to achieve the speculated goals and objectives. Missions and vision of an organization cannot be realized unless the forces the available inputs are harmoniously correlated. The management of these inputs has to target the whole organization and not just a portion of the organization. In this connection, there must be sound plan enable simultaneous operations within the organization. Strategic operation management involves activities focused in the enabling an organization to concentrate available input in to a conclusive output that serve the purpose of the organization in the best way possible. This involves management at all subsections of the organization, and not just portion of the organization. The success of an organization is highly benched on the degree of sound strategic management.
Model in strategic operation management
According to Brown et al., 2005, the operations in an organization can be likened to an iceberg. The picture that the public get from the organization is just a very small percentage of the activities happening in the organization. A lot of operation management processes have to run and coalesce at a point before the public can make a conclusion of the organization. The flow of activities in the strategic management in an organization is initiated by the inputs in the production line. These inputs may encompass the capital, human resources, technology, energy, raw materials, and appropriate infrastructure. These inputs undergo transformational processes that incorporate them together to deliver a product which has a higher value and better quality. For an effective, strategic operation management, the organization has to consider the external environment. This will ensure that the organization will remain competitive in the market and conform to the existing rules, regulations and policies related to the business.
Element of strategic operation management
Broadly strategic operation management incorporates sub management in an organization. Management of value is the first branch of strategic operation management. This involves bridging the gap between the cost and quality of the products. A company needs to ensure that the positioning of the product is future guaranteed through maintaining a cost that is favorable to client, yet profitable to the organization. Product value is the measure of the extent to what customers are willing to pay for products of a given company. The company has managed capacity of inputs to determine the appropriate measures needed to arrive at the targeted output; thus, reducing wastage of resources. In addition, it is vital that the operation manger familiarizes with the process of production. Another area that forms a core base for the operations of the strategic operation management is the human resource management this is involved with input derived from individual’s employees. This determines the operation that ensures right people fill the positions and are motivated to effectively deliver their best as per responsibilities. Moreover, strategic operation cannot be complete without sound management of technology. Advancement in technology has emerged crucial factor determining the competitive ability of an organization. All these avenues contribute to the effectives of strategic operation management.
The report will analyze strategic operation management in the Apple Company. The aspect focused in the report include the operations strategies, operations management and product design, capacity planning; work study, diplomacy and sensitivity; the management of the inventory; facility layout and flow; and business process re-engineering and quality management. This will be followed by a list of recommendations aimed at improving the future operations of the company.
Overview of the Apple Company
Apple Company in an American based company that deals with designing, production and marketing of electronic products. The company was started in 1976, and has since grown to a dream come true of the founders, the late Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The company is propelled by the mission “Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers globally through innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings”). According to Nelson, 2010, the Apple Inc. Mission forms a crucial force of motivation to employees who always strive to deliver the best of their abilities. The company products are marketed internationally. By the year 2009, the company had a total of 36800 employees. It has maintained a prospective financial history. The ability to develop creative designs and innovative ideas in the products manufacturing gives the company an advantage in the developing customer loyalty compared to competitors. The history of achievement, downfalls and growth of its market forms a concrete motivating to analyze the company’s strategic operation management.
Apple Company Operations Strategies
A strategy can be basically defined as a set of guidelines outlining the procedure of action. It comprises of the procedures and the goals target by the end of the operation. Effective operation strategies facilitate increased yield and performance in a company or organization. This is achieved from improvement in flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness in managing the input in along the production line. However, determining the feasibility of operation strategies devised with an aim of achieving a set of goals or objectives, there are aspects that should be considered. The mission and the vision of the operation, an organization or a company must be well delineated and be understood by the stakeholders. In respect to the Apple Company, their mission and vision have described by a number of researchers as crucial forces in driving employees towards higher achievement. The next step is the formulation of feasible objectives and goals. These goals have to be specific to the target, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time framed. Involving the stakeholders in goals setting enables smooth management of the operations, motivate the involved individuals and culminate to quality products. The third step is the formulation of strategy outlining the way forward towards achieving the goals. The strategy in then implemented and all the stakeholders involved in achieving these goals motivated accordingly. Finally, the operations have to be monitored and evaluated with the aim of determining and correcting hiccups before complicating. This will also detect areas that need improvement.
Apple Company has developed effective operation strategies. Innovation and creativity is axed firmly in the culture of the Apple Company. This factors form the foundation achievement realized by the company. Every employee in the company is involved in developing new ideas, and design that will help the company remain at the top list of most innovative and creative companies in the world. This strategy has enabled the company to release new products into the market consistently. Therefore, consumers find the improved products better than the former brands due to the improved features and quality. The company manages to retain customers through improving their products other than releasing brands will completely different products. For instance, the Mac products have evolved from Mac power to the Mac Pro product that has improved features, speed and casing properties.
The positioning of the product is another operational strategy is well evidenced in the Apple Company. The company majors on two main areas of production that are characterized by increased technological advancements. These products consistently phase out and need for buying new products grows every day. Technology of computers and that of the phones are growing at a very high rate. Consumers will go for what is new in the market and has added advantage over the other products. In this manner, the company ensures that the clients have something new to celebrate before the previous release is outdate of phased by products from other companies. The company advertises it occasion in a number of popular medias that capturing a large number of customers.
This is more or less to strategic management. Operations management targets at increasing the value of the goods and services produced by a given company. This is done through management of the both the technical and physical functions of a firm or organization especially those that are inclined top the manufacturing, productions and development of the organization. Apple Company has a specific operational manager who is involved in running the operations of the company. The functions of the operations management manager encompass a group of responsibilities which are vital in the production process. He is responsible in dispatching instructions regarding general management of the company. On top of this, operation management department is responsible for the drafting and formulation of policies related to manufacturing, maintenance of the company and material planning.
Product design is an avenue where the company has to differentiate it products from those of the competitors. The designing the production a unique way gives the consumers an easy time in the determining the product. Effective product design has enabled the Apple Company to create a strong consumer loyalty. Their products are early and distinct from the other products of their type. For example, the iPhone stands out as a unique form in the market of phone. The evolution of the company’s logo illustrates the importance of the product design in the company. According to an interview conducted by London Evening standard in the month of May 2012, Apple chief designer describes the culture that the company has adapted in ensuring that the product design helps the company to market the product.
According to Jonathan Ive, Apple Company chief designer, the company stresses the importance of building a working force that encourages the spirit of doing the best in whatever they do. He lament that though a design is meant to uniquely place the company in a plat form different from that of the competitors, satisfying the consumers needs. The designs are developed from a sound understanding of the consumers’ needs, preferences and values. This ensures that operation management in reference to product design is client oriented and yields positively. In this manner, the company has maintained a design that places the company on the apex of designing customer preference product. The apple company is also targeting designs that reduce environmental impact. The iMac and MacBook are some of the products that are designed to offer a sound designed that are targeted on improving the environmental performance. These products are manufactured from the aluminum and glass materials which are easily recycled; thus, reducing environmental hazards. In addition, the packaging design used, in iMac and Macbook, enhances efficient transportation by reducing the space occupied by the products.
According to the official website of the Apple Company, (www.appleinc.com), the products are designed in a way that reduces the level of energy consumption. This is designed to reduce the expenditure of electricity; thus, effective even to the poor customers.
Work study, Diplomacy and Sensitivity
Work study is a generic term representing the techniques used in the examination and evaluation of human work in all contexts. This leads to the investigation of all factors that affect the efficiency as well as the economy of the situation under review. The purpose of work study is to effect improvement. The main objective of work study is to obtain the optimum use of material and human resources. The benefits of work study stem from cost reduction, quality improvement, increase in production and cost control.
Work study can significantly increase productivity. The employees benefit from better working conditions, less tiring work and better employment prospects. It raises efficiency by work reorganization thereby involving little capital expenditure. The procedures of work study are designed to ensure all factors affecting the situation are considered. As a tool, work study is universal. As such, it is not confined to the workshops. It is equally useful in distribution, warehouse and in the office. The two principal parts of work study include method study (finding the best operational method, making use of the available resources) and work measurement (finding the required time to carry out the operation).
Significant diplomacy and sensitivity come in handy when carrying out work study investigations. This is because the work study engineer must effectively communicate the purpose as well as the method of study to the staff. Besides, the engineer must be objective, discrete and fair and diplomatic when presenting the project outcomes. Finally, the engineer should not criticize the worker but have a neutral focus on the method.
Sensitivity in an organization can be legal or moral. Apart from offending the feelings and morale of the workers, insensitivity can be a cause of undue litigations against the employer. To ensure that there is no sensitivity from the employer, diplomacy should be employed when dealing with conflicts within the organization.
Work study, diplomacy and sensitivity are issues that have not been ignored in the Apple Company. In this organization, it is the operations manager who is charged with the responsibility of carrying out the work study. With assistance from the human resource manager, the operations manager ensures that systematic recording and examination of ways of doing work is done. This is done with the aim of ensuring that more effective and easier ways are adopted to reduce the cost of operation.
However, this is not done without a challenge. First, there seems to be a misrepresentation of data after carrying out a work study. The report exists majorly in narrative form thereby making it hard for presenter. Another issue that need to be addressed in the Apple company is discrimination in the work place which me reduce the morale of the employees. Discrimination is majorly on the basis of gender (very few women attend boardroom meetings) and race.