Join Eddie Davila for an in-depth discussion in this video What is operations?, part of Operations Management Foundations.
- You are a business. I'm not talking about your job. I'm not talking about your company. I'm talking about you. Every day you run the business that is your life. Think about it. How you dress and how you speak, that's marketing. Developing goals and creating a plan, that's strategy. Managing relationships with family and friends, that's management and communications. Managing your electronic devices, that's IT. Making money and managing money, that's finance and accounting. But how about everything else you do in the day? Making meals? Getting ready for work? Getting to your office? Even working out and going out with your friends for the evening? What are all those things? These would fall into the category of operations.
But what exactly is operations? Operations is the management of the systems that produce products and services. In other words, it's the management of how we get things done. You see, even as individual human beings sometimes we make products. Tangible outputs like a meal, or perhaps a report at work. Other times we produce services. Intangible outputs. How we got to work, is a result of operations.
How we got ready for work, is a result of operations. Even the fun evening out with friends, was the result of operations. You see, operations is about getting more done in less time, with less effort, and hopefully, using fewer resources. But also, by not compromising quality. Wouldn't you love to find a way to get to work faster in the morning? Wouldn't you love to make a great dinner every night, that tasted great, but was easy to make? Of course you would.
Saving time, money, and getting consistent, positive results, means that we have more time to get other things done. We have more money for other endeavors. And it means that everything we make is valuable to others and ourselves. This is why companies love people that understand and value operations. How would you or your boss feel, if you could find a way to make products better? If you could make them in less time, with fewer materials? What if you could effortlessly deliver your shipments, on time, damage-free? Or how about if you could provide better service to your customer, with less effort? Do you think your boss might be impressed? I'm pretty sure if you could do all of those things, your boss might find a way to give you a promotion and a raise.
Heck, if you could do all of those things, they should probably make you the boss. That doesn't sound too bad, does it? Our lives and our companies are about managing time, people, materials, quality, and even movement. By understanding operations, you will better understand how to manage all the moving parts in an organization. Inventory, manufacturing processes, waiting lines. You'll better understand how to effectively manage projects, how to control and improve quality, and in the process, how to satisfy customers and improve employee productivity.
So, whether you want to make your company's customers happier using fewer resources, or if you just want to create a better, more productive life for yourself, learning about the fundamentals of operations may be the key to your future success and happiness.
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- Understanding operations management
- Making key inventory decisions
- Balancing holding costs and ordering costs
- Choosing a production strategy and facility layout
- Managing waiting-line systems
- Defining quality and improving quality
- Managing business processes