Operations Management

Conduct a full appraisal of the operations function in an organization (the ‘is process’), based on

empirical data; and then suggest how the process might be improved (the ‘should be process’) to enhance its performance.

You may choose to study the organization where you work (or your particular division), or another organisation with which you are familiar. If you do not work in the operations area then take this opportunity to find out about it.

RECOMMENDED APPROACH

Begin your assignment by providing a brief description of the background of the organisation or division you have chosen. Discuss the business in broad terms and use SWOT analysis to outline how it competes and what its special strengths are.

Then provide an integrative picture of operations as they are now, and give some details that indicate the complexity of the tasks involved. This should include a description of the product (or services) range, the manufacturing (or services) processes, the plant layout and the system of materials (or information) flow, and what the operatives do.

Then refer to the theory presented in your study guide, textbook and other reading to critically evaluate how that organisational process is currently managed. Factors to discuss include:

whether or not this is a focused operation with a well-defined competitive strategy and systems which support it

planning stages that are necessary in order to implement the organisation’s operations strategy—how precise are plans, and how important are short-term control activities to accommodate random or unexpected events?

the main problems operations managers face—are they related to the workforce, cost control, or

some other aspects of competition and customer satisfaction? Does the marketing function help

or hinder operations in any way?

Finally, prepare a set of recommendations for improving the organisation’s performance and/or productivity, within the context of its goals, values and culture. Cite relevant key performance indicators at the process level, such as cycle time, cost, quality, etc. Expected gains in performance improvement must be emphasised.

Please note that you should include an executive summary, introduction and conclusion in your report.

OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT

This assignment should enable you to:

apply concepts, frameworks and techniques introduced in the first five topics of this unit to an organisational setting

develop data gathering and synthesizing skills

develop critical analytical and problem-solving skills relating to performance and productivity issues

select and apply findings in relevant literature to an organizational system redesign.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

The UAE is currently in the process of building the country’s first nuclear reactor facility to generate power, thus reducing demand on its natural oil resources. The facility will be part of a strategic energy initiative within this country but might possibly attract criticism from other nations because of its geographic closeness to Iran, the recent tsunami caused nuclear disaster in Japan, the Chernobyl incident and what might be described as a current general uneasiness about nuclear generated power, globally. Australia for example has political policies in place that currently prevent these countries from engaging in any large scale nuclear power generation, even though that country is a significant supplier

of “yellow cake”, a raw material used in nuclear power generation around the world.

Executive summary

Overview of the contents of the report, including aims and methods; conclusions and recommendation

(5 marks)

Introduction

Purpose of the report, scope, methodology, assumptions, limitations and organisation background

(5 marks)

Discussion and analysis supported by the literature

Appropriate use of theory, concepts and principles covered in the study guide, textbook and other literature to support the discussion:

  • What Operations Management issues that we have been discussed in unit 305 do you believe should be taken into consideration in the construction and operations of this facility?

(5 marks)

  • How for example might the issues of quality assurance and product and process design be used to alleviate such international concerns?

(5 marks)

  • What operational policies must be set in place to ensure successful long term operations of the

UAE nuclear facility?

(5 marks)

If the suggestion was made that nuclear waste with its half-life of 1000 years be buried inside Jabel

Hafeet, because it is a stable rock formation, how do you believe that Al Ain locals would react?

What alternatives for waste storage might you suggest?

(5 marks)

Conclusion

Presentation of logical deductions that can be drawn from the analysis and discussions.

(5 marks)

Report presentation

Format, quality of expression, clarity of ideas, referencing and correct reference list layout. Meeting the word limit.

(5 marks)

Total marks (40 marks)

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