Operations Management Deals With Planning, Organizing Term Paper

Pages: 9 (2399 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Operations management deals with planning, organizing and controlling the processes that include all operations within the organization to produce and distribute products and services (McNamara, 2007). Major overall activities connected to Operations management refer to product creation, development, production, and distribution. Other activities related to operations management include managing purchases, inventory control, quality control, storage, logistics and evaluations. One might consider that the center of this entire process relies on efficiency and effectiveness of the processes involved. Operations management has several planning criteria: controlling, leading, organizing, planning, maintaining, and performance measurement (Wikipedia, 2007). The following pages will focus on the product design operation, analyzing its performance objectives and operation design, and evaluating this operation.

Product design operation

Generally, product design refers to the idea generation, concept development, testing and manufacturing a certain product (Wikipedia, 2007). In order to best demonstrate how this operation is being performed, it will be applied to a specific product. The following pages will present the product design process for a new cosmetic product manufactured by an international cosmetics company.

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The process of creating new products requires the existence of a renewal process plan. This plan should start with the analysis of the strategic situation the company intents to benefit from, relying on the company's general objectives system, developing specific marketing objectives, through the process of generating new product ideas. The entire plan is represented graphically in Appendix no.1, emphasizing the sequential and continuous character of the renewal process.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Operations Management Deals With Planning, Organizing and Assignment

This operation is based entirely on generating new product ideas which relies on the research and development activity that is supported by the analysis of the product line's life cycle and the estimation on its future evolution on the market. In accordance, theory states that every product has five structuring levels, represented in the diagram in Appendix no. 2.

For example, we will analyze the case of a cosmetics manufacturing company that is trying to come up with a new product in order to enlarge its body care product line. The next step in the product design process is researching the new product. Manufacturing a new product requires a well determined organizational framework and a clear overview on the steps that must be followed. The performance objectives for this stage are the correct succession of these steps and strictly respecting the period of time allowed for each of these steps. Attaining these objectives will determine the product's future commercial success.

In order to manufacture the new cosmetic product, the company must follow the following steps:

Prospecting the market's dimension, structure and dynamics. This analysis will reveal the existent market and the potential one, so that the company can decide whether it is more convenient to continue on this market or to move on to other unexploited markets. Also, the analysis will reveal the niches that the company can exploit and benefit from by creating new products to cover the niches.

Fundamental research. This step is based on the actual research regarding new product ideas. After being evaluated, only the best suited products for the company will be selected.

Technological research. After selecting the new product to be manufactured by the company, specialists will start working on its technical attributes. This stage is fundamental for the new product's commercial future.

Generating the new product and its components. This is the stage when the new product comes to life, and it is no longer just an idea.

Testing the new product. After the prototype is manufactured, it must be tested, from the technical point-of-view and from the acceptability point-of-view.

Homologation of the product by certified organisms.

Distributing the product for its future launch.

The actual launching of the product. Generally, launching the product refers to the long and sinuous process that starts with the idea of a new product and has as final objective the after-effects of the new product on the market.

Controlling the product's launching on the market and studying how the product is received by the customers.

In our cosmetics company's case the new product idea will come to life through the industrial design process. "Design is a creative activity whose aim is to establish the multi-faceted qualities of objects, processes, services and their systems in whole-life cycles. Therefore, design is the central factor of innovative humanization of technologies and the crucial factor of cultural and economic exchange" (Wikipedia, 2007). The cosmetic products market is a very developed one all over the world. It is determined by giant enterprises with long tradition and important results generated by their research and development activity. It is very hard for smaller companies to survive and to compete on this market. Our company is trying to compete with these large companies by creating a new product for body care. In order to create a new competitive product that may stand up to other products on the market, the company must invest serious amounts of money, time, and creativity in the research for the new product. Given the fact that the cosmetics market is very mature and cosmetics products cover most of the issues that the customers request, it is very difficult to come up with an entirely new and innovative product. This is why creativity is so important for the product design operation.

Creativity is appreciated as a result of both imagination and systematic search techniques and methods for new ideas. It requires initiative, imagination, perseverance, methodical spirit, and others. There are several creativity methods for the company to choose from: attributes list, enforced relations technique, morphological analysis, operational creativity, brainstorming, synectics, or brain-writing (Erlendsson).

In our company's case the best suited creativity method is listing attributes. This method consists in stimulating ideas that generate new products by listing an existent product's characteristics, and then finding ways to change them in order to obtain products with superior improved quality. This method would allow the company's researchers to come up with new, improved and enhanced products based on the existent ones.

Another step in the product design process that the company must follow is the selection of new product ideas. The ideas generated in the creativity stage discussed above must go through successive section processes in order to eliminate the variants that do not meet the requirements for the new product. In this stage they will be confronted with restrictions enforced by the human, financial, and material potential of the company, by the market requirements and by the need to ensure profitability. When establishing the selection criteria list, the company must take into consideration the nature of the new product and the specific need it is addressed to. Gathering necessary data, evaluating ideas, in accordance with each criterion, requires large amounts of money. After this process, the variants that do not have high acceptance coefficients are eliminated.

The criteria that the new product must correspond with are:

Technical: The new product's performances must be in accordance with the expected functional, durability, maintenance, ergonomic, aesthetic requirements. Also, the company must determine whether its resources satisfy the requirements imposed by the new product regarding materials, accessories, technological manufacturing possibilities, machines, necessary human capital.

Economic and financial: The company must decide whether its resources meet the requirements imposed by specific consumption of materials, the profitability level, and also ecological requirements. Also, the company must determine whether its financial resources are able to cover the expenses of a new technology, the acquisition of new machines, employing supplementary workforce.

Marketing: The company must decide whether the new product is in accordance with the company's marketing strategy regarding: reaching better positioning on the market, increasing competitive capacity, maintaining or improving the company's image. Also, the new product must meet the customers' requirements regarding: novelty level, price accessibility, and competitive advantage. The conditions of the market that the product is addressed to allow the company to estimate the product's life cycle, to gain new customer segments, and to attain the products forecasted profitability.

This step is followed by another very important one: the technical shaping of the product. Shaping the new product requires the determinations of all the features that confer identity to the new product. This step is consisted of the creation, projection, evaluation and execution operations that finalize in producing prototypes. In most of the cases (excepting absolute novelty products) the shaping process is based on comparing an already existent product with the new one.

The creation process also refers to the wrapping, or the package of the new product. The product's package will be conceived so that it ensures protection from environmental agents, also for maintaining the product's shape and contents during transportation, handling, and storage. The product's package will emphasize its promotional function, which means that its design must meet the customers' requirements.

Creating the prototype must take into consideration other aspects like: the product's name, brand, instructions, additional services, and price. When choosing the name, the company will make sure that the name will be easy to read, pronounce and memorize. Also, another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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