Operation Management Decisions

Effective decisions in ten areas of OM are necessary for achieving differentiation from other competitors, reducing cost and positive responses from consumers. There are such areas as a design of goods and services, managing quality, a location strategy, a process and capacity design, a layout strategy, human resources and job design, supply-chain management, inventory management, scheduling and maintenance (Slack, Chambers & Johnston, 2007). The aim of this paper is to investigate some peculiarities of OM decisions for a delivery business.

To begin with, human resources and job design is one of the most important areas for this kind of business because delivery companies provide services and work directly with clients. Therefore, employees become the representatives of their enterprises. As a result, there are several job design decisions that operation management should provide. Firstly, employees must perform qualitative services and avoid making the mistakes. Moreover, the staff should be encouraged to make fewer errors (Slack, Chambers & Johnston, 2007). For example, people that work, as bicycle messengers, are motivated to deliver legal documents to right persons and companies as fast as possible because they get a commission for each order. Secondly, the speed of a response is also highly important in the following business. For example, employees that deal with delivering some transplant organs should perform many tasks simultaneously. Furthermore, if they work with the heart or liver, they have only few hours. If they are too slow, organs will be lost; and patients that need them will possibly die. Another example of the importance of speed is delivering lobsters. Thus, employees should not only transport them but also prepare them for the delivery in the specially prepared water and then put them into boxes where they can stay alive. One more example is pizza delivering. Workers should be very fast transporting it to customers because it has a value only when it is hot. Thirdly, job design can influence on the quality of services by providing necessary equipment, and clothing, etc. (Slack, Chambers & Johnston, 2007). For example, the companies that offer films on DVD accordingly to the customers’ list possess with sorting machines of the good staff-interface design. As a result, employees are able to perform thousands of orders per day. Another example is bicycles and the clothing of bicycle messengers. Their vehicles are fast, in a good state and able to ride many miles on a daily basis. As for clothing, it is comfortable that messengers can ride many hours without any problems. Apart from that, companies that deliver transplant organs cannot work without special containers with low temperatures being able to function without charging for days. In addition, transporting yachts would be completely impossible without the cooperative work of divers and equipment on which these yachts stand in the sea (“Modern Marvels”, 2013). Apart from that, job design operations should provide the flexibility of the staff. For example, employees trained to deal with different tasks may have fewer difficulties with new services or changing the old ones (Slack, Chambers & Johnston, 2007). Thus, the staff of UPS is able to introduce methods to various goods including China’s invaluable terra cotta warriors to Los Angeles Art Museum. Finally, all the elements of job design discussed above have the impact on productivity. It, in its turn, determines the cost of any job (Slack, Chambers & Johnston, 2007). For instance, the number of letters delivered per hour demonstrates the productivity of bicycle messengers. In addition, another two essential elements of job design are safety and quality of their working life. However, it is sometimes difficult to achieve these objectives. For example, bicycle messengers cannot be in the complete safety due to an enormous number of cars on the roads that can hurt them. Nevertheless, employers can reduce the impact of this factor through trainings. As for other components of the quality of their working life, companies can achieve them too. For example, bicycle messengers have the right to choose the orders. It makes them enjoy the freedom and satisfaction from their work. In addition, the variety of orders provides the development of skills and the continuous interest in the work. As an example of effectiveness of this attitude, there is the policy of UPS, which presupposes delivering different goods (“Modern Marvels”, 2013).

Besides, the work organization also presupposes a labor division. However, managers can have difficulties with saving the balance between flexibility and job satisfaction and specialization on doing a particular task (Slack, Chambers & Johnston, 2007). For example, companies that deliver legal documents have phone operators and people that transport papers. Therefore, operators become responsible for taking orders from customers and then informing the couriers about them. Meanwhile, bicyclist messengers only deliver documents, try to manage the time and space in order to bring parcels on time. Another example is pizza delivering. There are always employees who take orders, cook the food and then deliver it to customers (“Modern Marvels”, 2013). Both examples demonstrate the importance of the labor division and impossibility to provide the quality service without it.

Another area of OM is a location strategy. It is also important because it influences on a fact whether products and services achieve customers and production costs. For example, it is more profitable to place companies that offer the pizza delivery in inhabited places. Besides, bicycle messengers should choose the business areas because their target customers are companies and people that work there. In addition, such companies as UPS have a range of sorting hubs throughout the country. It helps to save time and money on transportation.

To sum up, the success of delivery companies greatly depends on the effective OM decisions in such areas as human resources, job design and the location strategy. For example, job design should provide flexibility, speed, quality, dependability, cost, health and safety, and the quality of working life. In addition, the careful labor division is still important for a high productivity. Apart from that, a near location to customers helps to reduce the time of delivery and expenses on its performing.

References

Modern Marvels (2013). Deliver it. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVlp1CA5oaY.

Slack, N., Chambers, S. & Johnston, R. (2007). Operation management. Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

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