Understanding Supply Chain Performance Management Issues

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding Supply Chain Performance Management Issues

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Introduction

Customer satisfaction is contributed by very many factors in the supply chain performance ranging from the product availability, on time delivery, appropriate quality and quantity among other factors. (Christopher,2016). Moreso, the productions/operations management is a critical focal point in the supply chain management as it is in this process that value addition on raw material takes place to produce the finished goods and services in a controlled manner and as the per the values of the organization.(Botta et.al,2013).Further quality management is an important aspect as this is what determines the ability of an organization to retain and attract new customers hence the value of quality control in the production process cannot be underestimated.More so the distinction between productions management and operations management varies in the nature of goods. This is whereby productions management refers to the management activities undertaken to oversee the production of certain products whereas operations management refers to the activities undertaken to see that various services are provided in the appropriate manner (Gillet & Sheehan 2016). More so,this essay involves an in-depth analysis and critique of a journal named ‘Special Issue of Production and Operations Management: Innovations and Sustainability’ written by Hau&Zhang,2017.

Review of the Selected Literature

According to Hau&Zhang(2017),the aspect of manufacturing management was highly practiced in the 18th  century with major advancements being undertaken in accordance with the current trends of in the technological sector as well as with globalization.More so, in the 18th century,Adam Smith is highly recognized for coming up with the aspect of division and specialization of labor.(Roe, 2015).This facilitated the work at hand to be divided into various sub tasks and the workers would be allocated the subtasks in accordance to their specialization.

Further, this not only reduced chaos and confusion at the workplace but also facilitated quality control.This is because with improved skill,an individual would get transferred to the sectors in need of the advanced skills hence acting as a great check on quality in the production process.Further, the journal defines the production process as a step-by-step value addition process that involves the conversion of materials from one formto another through mechanical or chemical process in an attempt to enhance the value of the product and increase its utility to the consumer.More so,according Tatham, & Mobley (2004),utility refers to the additional satisfaction derived from a product in comparison to another product, hence the production process in an organization should be carried out in adherence to the benchmarking results of a superior product. Further, according to Blecker (2013), benchmarking refers to the in-depth analysis of a process or product in an attempt to learn on the additional features that make it superior than your commodity. This facilitates continuous improvement which in the end not only retains the existing customers but also attracts new ones as a result of the utility derived from the products or services.

Besides, the journal states that the production/operations management process is made a success because of the interrelationship that takes place between various sectors.More so it the duty of the managers to ensure that there is a harmonious relationship in the various departments characterized with resource sharing,knowledge sharing as well as operating within the check recheck mechanism in order to reduce errors.According toPanneerSelvam(2012),errors and wastage are likely to lead to 80% of the losses incurred in the organization.This is in accordance with the Vilfredo Pareto Principle of the ‘vital few trivial many’ that states that a certain condition for example the incurring of losses may be as a result of only 20% of the prevailing factors hence the 20% factors should be closely monitored. In reference to the productions/operations management errors and wastage of both time and resources seems to make up the 20% percent that may lead to massive losses in the production process.

Besides the authors of the journal state that the sectors with greatest impacts in the production process are the inputs,the transformation process,the outputs as well as the continuous processes and resources such as quality, inventory and cost control. Further, the inputs refers to the materials, machines, information, capital as well as the human laborinvolved. (Vasey,2015).More so,the transformation process comprises of various processes among them being product design,process planning,production control as well as maintenance.

In my opinion, the transformation process is very vital in the production process as this is where major decisions on quality are made. Further, the presence of high quality inputs is rendered useless in the presence of a disorganized transformation process. Inaddition, according to Hau&Zhang (2017), the continuous processes are important all the way from the start to the end of the production process that is completed by the presence of quality goods and services. This is because the inventory, quality and cost control determine the sustainability of the process since without adequate funds or inventory, the production process is likely to come to a halt as a result of the numerous challenges that are likely to be experienced.

Characteristics of a production process

The authors of the journal come out clearly on the elements that should be clearly manifested in the production process. Firstly, according to Dickersbach (2005),the process should be an organized activity whose major objective should be the transformation of inputs into useful quality products. Further the process should exhibit high levels of interdependency with others sectors in the organization (Nejati 2013). This is because the lack of harmony among the organization sectors would easily lead to communication breakdown, which can lead to massive losses in an organization. Lastly, a feedback mechanism is very vital in the production process be it positive or negative feedback. This is because it is from the obtained feedback that the managers are able to control and improve on the current system.(Mertins,2016).In my opinion, the authors of the journal should have put into consideration the human factors that relate to the employees. Moreso, even in the most automated production processes, a few human personnel are involved in the process hence the aspect of the employees’welfare should not be underestimated.Among the factors that should be considered is motivation,remuneration,safety at work as well as the general health of the employees.

Further,according to Jones, (2012) employees are an invaluable resource in the organization whose contribution depends on how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with the way things are carried out.More so, the employees facilitate in the formation of an organization culture and with no doubt, a happy employee lot is evidenced in the organizationculture. Further where the employees are satisfied and well-motivated, there are few cases of job turnover,absenteeism as well as everyone is motivated to go that extra mile for the well-being of the organization.

Types of Production Systems

Further, the journal analyzes the various production systems often used by a majority of the organizations. More so, the job shop is one of the processes that involve the manufacture of few products and in accordance with the customers’ specifications with fixed completion time and cost. (Kros&Brown,2013).In my opinion,the process is costly and time consuming considering that the wear and tear on the resources suchas machinery is equivalent with when more commodities are being produced. On the contrary, the process may work to the advantage of the company by the production of high quality materials that facilitate the company to get many referrals from the satisfied customers and in the end the process becomes cost effective and gives the organization a competitive advantage as a result of the high-quality products.

Besides, batch processing is also a processing method whereby the products are produced in specific numbers or batches and stocked awaiting sale. (Monczka et.al,2015).Further, in continuous production, the facilities are arranged in a sequential order from the first operations to the finished products whereby the items flow through the set operations by the use of material handling devices such as conveyor belts among other transfer devices.

In my opinion,the batch processing is the most appropriate processing method for a majority of the organizations since the managers are in a position to control the production in accordance to the demand of the goods.More so,the managers have records of the weekly,monthly or semi-annually products that are sold out as well as the organizations capacity to hold the finished goods, thus making the batch processing the most suitable. On the contrary, the batch system should be keenly monitored, as it is likely to compromise on the quality of the products through the occurrences of errors and damages (JameelHershenson, Khan & Martin-moe2015). Further, the managers should also come up with innovative ways to compensate the customers who mistakenly purchase damaged products.Examples of such measures include the availability of warranties,compensation as well as equivalent discounts. This facilitates the organization to meet their customers’ satisfaction as well as retain them for continued business relations.

Critical Analysis

According to the authors of the journal,the goals and objectives in the production management process are centered on the right quality,quantity,manufacturing cost as well as delivery within the appropriate time.These objectives are achieved because of the interrelationships that take place in the manufacturing process.Further,in my opinion,the authors should have considered the aspects of employee motivation in the objectives since they are the people that facilitate work to be done in the organization. Further, the functions of management that are critical in organizations are carried out by the human personnel and are also implemented on people hence emphasizing on the great role of employees in organization. Inaddition, the functions of management are planning,organizing,directing,controlling as well as staffing.

More so,planning facilitates the laying down of the structures to be followed in accordance to the set goals while as organizing ensures that resource allocation is done in the most efficient and effective manner (Johnston &O’brien 2000).Further directing is concerned with the allocation of tasks amongst individuals while controlling acts as a check mechanism to ensure that the plans laid down during the planning stage are followed without failure. More so, corrective decisions are made where errors have been noted to return the situation to normality.In addition,staffing function ensures that the organization is equipped with the right personnel whose duties and responsibilities are in accordance with their skills. Further it through the staffing function that the managers are able to undertake other staff related functions such as disciplinary measures and firing in the extreme circumstances.

In my opinion, the authors of the journal give more emphasis to the production management whose end results are products with less attention offered to the operating system whose end results are services.More so, in the 21st Century and with increased re-innovations and globalization, the service industry has grown by a wide range with very many services being offered both online and offline. Further, the availability of internet has facilitated the online services that enable the availability of services such as online booking of planes, hotelreservations, booking of doctors’ appointments among others.

Besides,the authors of the journal state that various features are used to distinguish between the manufacturing operations and the service operations.Firstly,the products of the manufacturing operations are tangible whereas those of the service operations are intangible.Further, there is increased customer contact under the service operations in comparison to the manufacturing productions whereby contact with the customer is much limited. In my opinion, the aspect of the measurement of performance is also relevant in comparing the two sectors. This is whereby it is much easier to measure performance in the manufacturing operations since this can be done by the use of machines that check on the quality of the products and appropriate action undertaken in cases of great variance in the expectations.

Moreso, in the service industry, performance can only be measured by the gauge of the customer’s satisfaction which is a challenge to obtain the accurate figures on how far the customers got satisfied. According to Hayes (2008), questionnaires as well as open interviews would be appropriate methods to obtain data on the customers’ satisfaction. Besides, any negative comment from the customers should be taken with the seriousness it deserves as it is of great help to the organization. Otherwise, with globalization, not very many customers are patient to await the improvement of a product or service and instead switch to the available substitute products leading to the loss of market share by the company offering low quality services.

Further, the major assumptions made in the journal is concerning the major objectives of the operations management whereby the authors state that customer satisfaction and resource utilization are the major factors required to propel the service industry to success.In my opinion,the assumption is incorrect since in the currentworld of globalization,there are so many determinants of success with the management of global operations being a key factor.More so,an organization should be in position to keep track of its global image and the competitiveness of its products and services.

Further, the adaptation of the emerging technologies in an organization operations should be of major concern since without keeping in touch with the latest technologies, an organization is likely to wiped out of the market by losing a large number of its customers. Further, globalization has reduced the world to a global village hence it should be the organizations objective and responsibility to remove or minimize all the trade barriers that could possibly hinder them from penetrating the international markets.

Besides, the major strengths of the research work are that it covers extensively on the operations and productions management and provides great insight on the handling of customers.On the contrary,the authors give less attention on the effects of globalization in changing the traditional way of doing business. In my opinion, everyorganization should currently be working to its level best to fit into the new technologies since innovation is bound to continue and its impacts will be greatly felt by the organizations that put minimal effort to remain relevant in the global village set up.

Conclusion

According to Panneerselvam, (2005),the operations and productions management is a broad aspect that is concerned with the value adding process whereby inputs are transformed into finished goods and services in accordance with the policies of the organization. Further, order, interdependency as well as feedback system are the major characteristics of a production system.This facilitates the organization activities to be carried out in an efficient and effective manner and in harmony with all the departments.Further,the feedback system acts as a control mechanism as it facilitates the management to recheck itself depending on the feedback obtained from the customers.

Besides, theinputs, the transformation process as well as the outputs are the major features of the productions and operations management. Further, the types of production systems are three whereby there is the batch, job shop as well as the continuous production all depending on the needs of the customers as well as on the resources the organization.Precisely,productions management is concerned with the manufacture of products while as the operating system concentrates on the service industry with customer satisfaction being the focal point in the two sectors.Further globalization and technological advancement has led to radical shifts in the industries with much emphasis on the organizations to keep updated on the latest trends to avoid being overwhelmed byglobalization as well as to maintain or increase the market share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

HAU LEE · HONGTAO ZHANG (2017)Special Issue of Production and Operations Management: Innovations and Sustainability

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