A2 Basic US 165 Folder Collection
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So welcome to my Coursera course in Introduction to Operations Management.
This is a 6-week long course, and today is the first session.
What I thought we would do in this first session is, instead of me bombarding you
with the logistics for this course, including the homework assignments, the
format of the course, the exam, the course book and all these other good things, we
just get started. I promise I make up for the logistics
later on. So, what is operations management about?
The purpose of this first session is to think a little bit about what operations
management does and how it relates to the business strategy of a firm.
This will also help us think about what type of goals management might set for an
operation, and that, in turn, guides what performance measures that we're gonna
track. So let's get started.
Let's start with two various specific examples.
It's soon lunch time. And so consumers are thinking about where
shall we go for lunch today? So we have our consumer here who is
heading to a restaurant. And now ask yourself what does the
consumer want out of the operations of this restaurant?
But first of all they want to get. Their sandwich quickly.
Lunch break is short, people are hungry. And so the time that they have to wait in
order to get the sandwich is a pretty important variable for the consumer.
Second, consumers differ in what type of sandwiches that they like.
And so the ability of the restaurant to really make sandwiches that are appealing
to customers is important. They have to be able to provide a variety
of sandwiches. Which means either having a big menu, or
being able to make these sandwiches to very specific customer instructions.
Third, the customer cares about quality. Now, quality, that could be the ambiance
of the restaurant, the friendliness of the staff.
It could be the hygiene of the place. It could be making sure that the cheese
weighs exactly what it says on the recipe. Quality will have a number of dimensions
that we will [inaudible] later on in this course.
And then finally, of course, price matters.
And so the consumer doesn't want to spend too much money for this lunch.
Now. Let's go from the restaurant here, and
let's look at the operations of a hospital.
Same thing, we have a consumer arriving to, for example, the emergency room of, of
a hospital. So we have our unhappy consumer here who's
coming to the hospital. And we're now asking ourselves, "Well,
what does the consumer want the operations of this hospital to do?" Again time is
critical. Wait times in emergency rooms in this
country can often take as long as five hours.
And so, the peo, person want to be seen quickly.
They want to make sure that they get the care that is right for them, instead of
the care that is right for the person in the bed next to them.
They want to receive this care in a high quality manner, making sure that it is in
accordance to the latest evidence-based medicine.
That the doctors and nurses have washed their hands.
That the place is clean and everything else.
And then finally there are the charges, and the co pay that the consumer and, or
his insurance will have to pay for the service.
So sandwich store or emergency room. We see that an operation has to be able to
perform well along four dimensions. The first one is the, the cost dimension.
That's probably what most of us associate with operations management.
It's just providing a high efficient operation.
The second dimension is variety. Now to be fair, consumers don't care about
variety per se. They just want something that they like.
So really variety measures the flexibility of an operation to provide goods and
services to a heterogeneous customer base. The third dimension is quality.
The quality dimension is broken up into two sub-dimensions.
The first one is called performance quality, the second one is called
conformance quality. Performance quality measures how good of a
product or service we provide. Most of us would agree that a BMW is a
high-performing car. Not because how it is built, but primarily
because how it has been designed. The second dimension then is conformance
quality. It really captures to what extent we're
able to deliver on the promise that we have made to the customer.
And then finally there's timeliness. Our ability to provide a quick response to
demand. Those four dimensions are important for
two reasons. First of all, they are the goals that we
strive for in an operation. And so they will guide what type of
performance measures we track. And then, they're really also at the heart
of defining the business strategy. These four dimensions give us opportunity
to differentiate our operations from other, thereby potentially providing us
with a competitive advantage. Now imagine you get hired to consult to
Subway. And you would be asked to come up with a
performance measurement system that tracks these four dimensions that we just
discussed. What would you measure?
Well, on the plus side, you would start potentially looking at the labor
productivity. You could imagine measures such as the
sandwiches per employees, or the customers served per employee, or the minutes it
takes you to make a sandwich or other measures like that.
You could also look at the customers per restaurant to measure.
To what extent your gonna efficiently use the real estate investment, that you have
by renting the, the restaurant. Now, how about the variety?
On the variety side, again, our idea of varieties that we will look at.
Are we be able to meet the heterogenous customer preferences?
Well, a simple measure for that would simply be looking at the number of items
that we have on the menu. Beyond that, if we're making the c-,
sandwiches to order, we could imagine looking at the percentage of customer
requests that we're able to fill. So customers come in, they want extra
lettuce, extra tomato, and the percentage of customer requests that we meet would be
another good measure of variety. How about quality?
Remember on the quality side, we had the two dimensions, conformance quality and
performance quality. So performance quality we will probably
have to do some customer research. Some survey looking for things about to
what extent they like the ambiance of the restaurant, to what ex-, extent they found
the courtesy of the staff in line with their expectations or other things.
On the conformance side we would probably look are we really delivering what we
promised? And so that means we could look at the
freshness of the ingredients of the sandwiches.
We could in extreme case even go as far as putting the sandwiches on the scale and
just measure whether we put the exact appropriate amount of grams of cheese on
the, the subway ham and cheese sandwich and so that would give us Good measure of
conformance quality. And then timing this is relatively easy to
measure. Customers care about the time that it
would takes them to get to the sandwich. And so, we could go and measure how many
minutes a customer has to wait between entering the store and leaving the store
with a sandwich in their hand. So finally let's talk about strategy.
Strategy guru, Michael Porter, suggested there are two ways in which an
organization can get a competitive advantage.
Either through cost leadership or through differentiation.
The dimensions that we discussed -- variety, quality and timeliness -- are
three ways in which your operation can differentiate itself from others.
Thereby, by coming up with a great operation, you are really creating your
firm competitive advantage.
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Intro Session 1 - Coursera - Operations Management

165 Folder Collection
Darren published on May 23, 2017
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