Essay: Integrated Management Framework

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[. . .] Different functions strive to meet their internal goals on the assumption that the results will be synchronized in the end. For example, sales team will aim to increase sales and shorten the time between production and delivery whereas the focus of production team will be on increasing efficiency of supplier qualification processes. An alternative was to use collaborative forecasts and work together towards the same goal which was not considered due to lack of integration. This lack of cross functional amalgamation confines the benefits of OM initiatives as they are restricted to specific operations only.

When we move down to the second level of integration, organizations break the walls surrounding these functions. Operational Interaction between functions is increased which results in enhanced understanding of each other's potential and synchronization of goals. Collaboration between marketing and operations department might result in company agreeing to lower product prices and reduced margin if customer is willing to enter into a long-term arrangement. In the same way, company can purchase a substitute lower grade material if the original product ordered exceeds the budget following the integration of engineering and production. At this level, the aim of all functions is the same and they move towards this goal in unison.

The third level is a reflection of one of the capability domains, i.e. design of product. It extends the boundaries of OM beyond the walls of an organization to that of its immediate customer or supplier. Customer and supplier surpass the traditional approach of dealing, which involves handing over the product as required without any step taken to improvise it and work in harmony to produce high quality product. For instance, manufacturer and supplier can work together to design a new inventory container intended to modernize material flow. Combined efforts of both will result in increased efficiency and effectiveness.

The fourth level is the extreme level, where all entities involved in the formation of a product, starting from the purchase of raw materials to the deliverance of product to customer are connected. For example, a retail store might approach the organization manufacturing the product to negotiate better prices, reducing the need for wholesaler in between.

Combining Integration Levels and Domains to form an integrated operational management framework for Johnson and Johnson Company

The innumerable procedures and activities under Operations Management can be summarized in a premeditated agenda. For this purpose, the operational manager at Johnson and Johnson can merge the four OM capability domains (such as planning, forecasting and designing, inventory management etc.) with the levels of integration outlined in the paper. This will help develop the ground work for Operations Management integrated framework.

Functional Efficiency Level

Johnson and Johnson Company is likely to excel in its core business activities; therefore, functional excellence is placed at the core of integrated operational management framework. As for sand cone, this is the foundation providing support to all other tiers and layers of organization. Functional excellence has been perceived to be of utmost importance to organizations as it is essential to an entity's survival. The size of an organization in terms of market share and the prolonged existence of an organization in the industry further validate this point (Andersen et al., 2006).

Cross-Functional Efficiency Level

In this level, all the domains are combined with second level of integration; understanding, forecasting and design, improvement and constraints, planning and coordination etc. The focus is process oriented as compared to being functional oriented. This is because all departments work together towards improving the way in which product is delivered to customers, information is shared, weakness of one department is surmounted by the strength of another. Integration with respect to forecasting and design can be termed as "design for manufacturability" program, as the objective is to deliver high quality product that meets customer requirements at a reasonable cost. Integration with respect to improvement and constraints entails the use of problem solving techniques to overcome the weakness of one department and to change it into strength. Integration with respect to planning and coordination highlights the fact that any decision taken impacts the whole organization. Traditional approach focuses on a decision's impact on that particular department only. OM techniques show the way in which the decision will affect other departments. For example, any decision taken by the production department will affect the marketing and sales strategy; inventory planning and control, and also the projected cash flows and financial reporting concerns. At this point, it is worth mentioning that mostly steps taken for improvement involve the use of IT and therefore integration between departments can act as an arbitrator to the effect of new strategy on all domains (Andersen et al., 2006).

As mentioned earlier, functional excellence is perceived to be the originator of cross functional effectiveness. Integration involves overlooking the weakness of a department to achieve desired objectives. For this purpose, OM improvement initiatives should be sequenced in a manner that the limitations of any department do not affect the organization as a whole. Organization will face hurdles when it strives to achieve functional integration, but these hurdles should be dealt with at the first level of integration. Therefore, an organization should constantly monitor its functional capabilities, improvements in this area is essential at all stages as this is the foundation for all other OM initiatives (Andersen et al., 2006).

Supplier-Employee-Customer Efficiency Level

This tier is an imitation of the third level of integration. It is concerned with company's relationship with that of its immediate suppliers and customers. Activities of both these parties are essential to an organization's survival. This tier emphasizes on this point highlighting the firm's potential to integrate its decisions with that of its immediate suppliers and customers. This includes having a thorough understanding of their procedures, technologies, limitations and capabilities. During the process of inventory and capacity management, an entity can also ensure whether they comply with quality control standards, such as ISO 9000, QS 9000, ISO1 4000, etc. If supplier complies with any of the quality control standards, it will reduce the need of company to go through the procedure of inspection of material purchased. Along with this, senior management can think of ways to improve the processes and procedures and company can enter into a win-win situation with its suppliers and customers. To make this work, CPFR, EDI along with RFID technology and other tools of collaborative decision-making initiatives can be introduced throughout the management of operations. Cross functional effectiveness is a foundation for company-customer-supplier relationship and any loophole in the foundation can ruin the whole building. Company-customer-supplier relationships can also be viewed as horizontal and vertical process oriented perspectives. The horizontal perspective moves from supplier to company to customer and the vertical perspective goes vice versa. For example, supplier's marketing department should be aware of the customer's requirements and priorities of company, therefore interaction of its marketing department with that of operations and procurement department will be of great help. It will bridge the gap between actual and deemed expectations; deemed expectation being what supplier perceives customer requirements to be. Summing up, a firm striving to achieve cross functional effectiveness should focus on building company-supplier-customer relations effectively along with concentrating on functional excellence (Stallkamp, 2005).

Multi-Level Efficiency

At times, the management of operations extends beyond the immediate supplier and customers to their supplier and customer and so on. The fourth tier emphasizes on integrating all the organizations in supply chain, including the second and third suppliers too. The extensive supply chain demonstrates the degeneration of power-based hierarchical relationships and the supply chain is viewed as various organizations working towards the same goal. With the addition of companies in supply chain, the concept of integration and domains will also change slightly. Integration with respect to planning and coordination reveals that company-based certification programs can now be swapped with industry-based quality control standards, such as QS 9000 or SCOR model. With respect to forecasting and design, we can use a wide variety of approaches that will consider both upstream and downstream problems. These approaches include Lifecycle analysis, Economic value added (EVA) and Design for environment (DFE). In the same manner, ideas related to improvement and constraints now consider the whole industry and not just a single organization. The ways of improvement are bound to change and the initiative has to be taken by industrial and trade organizations. Promotion of technology improvement councils and supplier conferences for example will prove to be a success. Also, joint enterprises can cooperate with each other to form an electronic market place. Every industry has certain rules and regulations and is regulated by a specific framework. Therefore, coordination at this level is influenced by the shared technology platforms (for example, RFID, XML) and these platforms reduce ambiguity over planning and decision making (Chen and Paulraj. 2004).


As with any other integrated framework, there has to be a base over which other levels effectiveness stands. For Johnson and Johnson,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Integrated Management Framework.  (2012, March 28).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

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"Integrated Management Framework."  28 March 2012.  Web.  23 May 2019. <>.

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"Integrated Management Framework."  March 28, 2012.  Accessed May 23, 2019.