Task: Report [no more than 2,500 words]
In this assignment you are asked to assume the role of a manager in the operations function of the organisation that you work for (or one with which you are otherwise familiar).
In the last top management meeting the outgoing CEO has requested you to write a comprehensive report (of no more than 2,500 words) introducing the operations function to the incoming CEO, who is new to the organisation. She has specifically requested that you include the following three parts in your report:
An overview of operational activities, including:
a.the type of product/service that the company offers (including a summary of the order qualifiers and order winners of those products/services and the related operations strategy)
b.the production process of that product or service
c.the key performance objectives of operations
d.a brief overview of the supply chain network (if applicable) and/or any key business processes that are outsourced.
An explanation of how the operations function and other business functions (such as human resources, sales and marketing, or finance) work together to improve efficiency and customer service. Add examples for clarity.
A summary of the core challenges that the operations function faces, and why it faces these and, based on that summary, a well-argued proposal for one improvement accompanied by a strategy for implementation.
Before the top management meeting was closed you were told that the incoming CEO is an OU MBA graduate and is likely to respond well to receiving an analytical report rather than a plain description of the operations function.
For this TMA, focus on the organisation you work for or an organisation you are familiar with. In your daily working environment you are surrounded by operational processes that could be improved to improve the service to the customer or to reduce the costs to the organisation. Comparing those processes to those in other similar organisations or to the theory discussed in the course may provide you with interesting ideas for improvement.
Remember that you will be assuming the role of a manager in the operations function who should provide the new CEO with relevant information that will help him or her make decisions concerning the overall strategy of the organisation. It is therefore important that your report addresses the following aspects:
Part 1 should consist of an overview of the main products or services the organisation produces and their key characteristics from an operational perspective (when the range of products that the organisation produces is broad or diverse, focus on the main products/services or families of products or services). You should explain how these products or services are produced (referring to the production process types) and, and this is important, why it is done in this way. Lastly you should also include some comments on how the performance of the production process is measured and identify key supply chain partners that provide products or services that are crucial to the products or services that your organisation offers in the market. The intention of this part is to provide the new CEO with a brief yet comprehensive overview of the operations function.
Part 2 requires you to reflect on and explain how the operations function works (or should work) as part of the organisation as a whole. In other words, how the function integrates and collaborates with the other business functions so that the organisation best serves the needs of the customers and does so in the most cost-efficient manner.
Part 3 asks you to critically assess the performance of the operations function (in the light of the competition and the demands in the market) and to identify an improvement in the operations domain that will benefit the performance of your organisation (and is also about making sure that new CEO will give due attention to the operations function whenever he or she has taken over). Use your overview of Part 1 and your reflection of Part 2 as bases to propose one aspect in particular that should be improved. Provide clear arguments on why this particular improvement should be addressed over other possible improvements and provide well-argued suggestions as to how it should be implemented (e.g. gradually/continuously or as a radical change).
The distribution of words between the three parts of the task is at your discretion; however, it is suggested that you dedicate approximately 1000 words each to Parts 1 and 3, and roughly 500 words to Part 2. The overall word count should not exceed 2500 words.
Note: This report is an academic essay and, as such, it should contain full references of all materials that you use from external sources
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