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In the following paper, I will discuss what I have been impacted by during the six weeks of this Operations class, based on the information gained in this course. Moreover, I will also identify how I can use some of the knowledge and insights gained in this course to help shape my management style.
The topics presented each of the six weeks in “Operations” class, helped me realized the importance of operations management in any company, industry or organization. By doing so, I learned how to apply my thoughts and ideas to thought-provoking questions which in turn helped me learn how to critically think on the page. I valued that taking this class has changed my view of service quality, and the importance of adopting lean thinking for it has well provided me with the knowledge that can be used to shape my future management style.
Week 1. We learned about supply chains, cross-functional decision-making processes, and operations management concepts. The discussion boards gave me a better understanding as to how to apply the week’s learning objectives. Conducting the search for an organization, I chose iHOP to discuss their operations strategies. As operations represent the heart of any institution it was important to identify the core concepts that determine how they deliver their goods and services to their customers. One last thing to note according to Schroeder (2017), is that “operations can constrain a firm’s ability to develop new products and make them more costly to produce” (p. 48). What that tells me is that value should be maximized and decisions on process, quality etc. should be emphasized to straighten out any bottlenecks in any company. In fact, I learned in Week 2 of some of those processes.
Week 2. I enjoyed learning about product-process strategies and product flow processes. It’s here I met the different types of processes such as batch, assembly line and continuous. These type of processes I believe to be a great way of organizing the process it takes to make a product or services or how products, customers, and information flows within an industry.
Business management to me means how well one can manage a business and its employees. It’s the reality of what takes place in businesses day-to-day and they are connected to operations. In Week 3, I got a better understanding of business management when we talked about lean systems and employee-manager relationships.
Week 3. I got insight on how lean thinking works from how you deliver value to customers, to how processes are improved – all with the direction of managers. Managers can spot low levels of performance, identify resources to create change and give empowerment to employees who are able to easily identify issues in customer services and processes which slow down value (Saunders, 2018). Thus, I believe lean system to be most resourceful in any business management.
Week 4 and 5. I thought the course became more of a challenge. For example, we learned about product and service quality, quality improvement and technology and the supply chain. My comprehension of the material was slowed because of trying to connect the information from the teaching with familiar cases. The most precise of the learning objectives were the product and service quality concepts we apply every day. If we hadn’t realized, we’re all customers and day-by-day, we want to be completely satisfied with a product bought or service. It’s only here I began to see the popular phrase used quite often, “the customer is always right”, begun to come into play. For example, when I apply the five dimensions of service quality – tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy – I got a better understanding of the value behind services and why those dimensions are the ultimate denominators for a firm’s success.
Week 6. Finally, we analyzed the term aggregate planning, which Schroeder (2017), defines as any activity which involves itself with the matching of supply and demand (p. 224). What I found interesting here are the factors that contributed to the changes in supply and demand such as hirings, layoffs, and recruitment costs.
After taking this course for six weeks, I notice a slight change in my critical analysis which was improved. Critical analysis is mostly opinionated and allows for freedom of expression or free-hand. The ability to use my thoughts and ideas paved way for better understanding of the topics as well as comprehension of the purpose of the course and how it can be applied to my present working environment. After successful completion of my major in General Business Administration, I hope to one day earn a managing position with the company I presently work for. This course has helped me zoomed in on the importance of products and services and how the operation function brings fruition to better management practices. I will use the critical thinking skills then, to measure how I provide service to customers for example in the lean system. Then I would rely on the service quality dimensions to guide me as I continue to provide service to customers day-to-day.
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