As one of the main facets of operations management is to ensure goods and services are delivered to customers on time, operations managers should be dedicated to controlling the production process and business operations as efficiently as possible. Operations professionals should also be aware of relevant local and global trends, customer demand and any available resources for production. In addition, operations managers are responsible for connecting with vendors that are able to fulfill and supply the appropriate goods or services at a reasonable cost.
Once a product or service has been delivered, an operations professional should also follow up with customers to ensure that their quality and functionality needs have been met — and collect any feedback or relevant information with regards to supply chain process improvement (and relay that to each applicable department). With each and every interaction with end customers and workers alike, an operations manager’s main goal should be to maximize net operating profits by balancing operating costs with revenue.
Modern-day operations management systems encompass four main concepts: six sigma, business process redesign, reconfigurable manufacturing systems and lean manufacturing.
Six sigma is an approach to operations management that’s focused on quality. It implements control limits, which are placed at six standard deviations and use specific tools such as potential defect calculations, trending charts and other ratios to optimize quality control.
Business process redesign focuses on analyzing, designing and redesigning business processes from the ground up with the goal of achieving an increase in performance measures such as quality of service, cost reduction and return on investment.
Reconfigurable manufacturing systems are designed to integrate accelerated change in supply chain processes in order to increase capacity, productivity and efficiency in response to both market and system changes.
Lean manufacturing is the systematic elimination of waste from within the manufacturing process. This system seeks to eliminate any wasteful resource expenditures, such as anything other than value creation for the customer, to streamline the supply chain.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann La-Roche Ltd. collaborated with ASCM to improve its operations management strategy and increase efficiency and reliability, as well as define clear roles and responsibilities for employees and teams.
By leveraging and implementing ASCM Transformation Learning Programs, F. Hoffmann La-Roche Ltd. was able to reduce the lead time of its make-to-order finished goods kits by 50% and cut five days off of its make-to-order product process.