- Define operations management, and discuss the role of the operations manager in a manufacturing company.
- Describe the decisions made in planning the production process in a manufacturing company.
Like PowerSki, every organization—whether it produces goods or provides services—sees Job 1 as furnishing customers with quality products. Thus, to compete with other organizations, a company must convert resources (materials, labor, money, information) into goods or services as efficiently as possible. The upper-level manager who directs this transformation process is called an operations manager. The job of operations management (OM), then, consists of all the activities involved in transforming a product idea into a finished product, as well as those involved in planning and controlling the systems that produce goods and services. In other words, operations managers manage the process that transforms inputs into outputs. Figure 11.1 “The Transformation Process” illustrates this traditional function of operations management.
In the rest of this chapter, we’ll discuss the major activities of operations managers. We’ll start by describing the role that operations managers play in the various processes designed to produce goods and offer services. Next, we’ll look at the production of goods in manufacturing firms; then, we’ll describe operations management activities in companies that provide services. We’ll wrap up the chapter by explaining the role of operations management in such processes as quality control and outsourcing.