Operations management revolves around planning, organizing and supervising. Businesses use it in production, provision of services and manufacturing. Proper application of operations management ensures that organizations are able to turn the inputs to outputs efficiently. According to Majukwa & Haddud (2016), business areas such as supply chain and project management significantly make use of the knowledge to enhance efficiency. Young or inexperienced managers often make mistakes while implementing operations management. The essay examines the mistakes that new operations managers make and all the aspects revolving around operations management. Company analysis is also provided on how the elements of operations management are implemented.
Ten Mistakes and Traits in Operations Management
1) Failure to create a map in the improvement journey
For a business to track their improvement, they will have to know their current position and create a roadmap that will act as a guide to the improvement process (Majukwa & Haddud, 2016). Failing to develop a map will raise difficulties in assessing the progress made over time. Documenting the existing methods is essential in troubleshooting business operations. Delta Airlines, one of the global transport companies, has a roadmap that will enable it to take its services in every country. Its history reveals that the company has had a clear roadmap to be in its current position.
2) Operating without metrics
Metrics are used to determine the progress that an organization has made. According to Mary, Edward, and Parker, (2018), poor operation manager fails to create metrics and therefore it becomes difficult to determine the progress that they have made over time. Typical metrics include time taken to complete a task, the amount of work that can be done in each operation or even the level of consistency required for a given task. The common metric used by Delta airline include time, efficiency level and even customer ratings. Factors such as trip fulfillment are crucial metrics for the company (Delta Airlines, 2018).
3) Having very complex processes
Inexperienced managers may not know the difficulties faced during implementation; this may trigger them to create complex processes in operations management (Mary et al., 2018). A simple process may have a series of steps and activities. Therefore, a complicated process increases the number of steps and activities making operation difficult to implement. To transport goods, Delta airlines have the option of express shipping, specialty, and standard freight. The simple process is convenient for them and their customers.
4) Misidentifying the bottleneck
The bottlenecks are the assumed hurdles in a given exercise. It is the resource that has the least resource capacity. New operations managers often have difficulties identifying the resource that is least productive and provide the least benefits to an organization (Mary et al., 2018). Wrong analysis brings about loss of time and money thus costing an organization. In the case of Delta Airlines, they have an experienced operations manager who can identify the real bottlenecks in operations.
5) Managing organizations based on utilization
The mentality that all resources in an organization must be working puts strain on an organization. Ideally, the only resource that ought to be operating at full capacity in the organization is the bottleneck. The organization needs to focus on how to utilize the bottleneck to eliminate waste and improve quality (Mary et al., 2018). For instance, Delta airlines partners with other airlines to overcome the bottlenecks that exist in freight (Delta Airlines, 2018). For example, through partnership, it can reach or connect to far destinations at a lower cost.
6) Failure to standardize
In operations management, simple is always better (Majukwa & Haddud, 2016). Organizations need to keep their operations simple to reduce cost and gain more. Standardization is essential in guarantying the user the same quality of services across all platforms of the organization. A bad operations manager will not be able to standardize the process, therefore, customer satisfaction isn't assured. Delta airlines standardize it operations through price, time and quality of airplanes that ensures customers receive the same experience whenever they use the airline (Delta Airlines, 2018).
7) Automation of the wrong or bad processes
In their work, Majukwa & Haddud (2016) show that operations management seeks to smoothen out process in organizations. Automation of processes makes the operation much easier to monster and control. However, the automation of the wrong processes makes the wrong results to be achieved much faster. Inexperienced managers tend to automate the wrong process and fail to handle the underlying issue. Some automated process at Delta airlines includes payment services and clearance of goods. With years of experience and experts at the company, automation is near perfect and little hindrances exist (Delta Airlines, 2018).
8) Misdefining quality
In organizations, quality is created based on the customers' expectations. Operations manager should, therefore, base the measure of quality on the customer needs and previous feedbacks. Getting the wrong definition of quality means that money and time will be wasted. At Delta airlines, the company relies on customer feedback and ratings to define quality.
9) Poor planning
Project and operations management requires that the manager has a proper understanding of how things will be done within the organization. Creating a critical path determines essential steps and those that can be handled at a later date. A projected path enables the manager to give more attention to the right activities. At Delta logistics, the company uses previous data to determine growth patterns and market demand. With this, it is easy to plan to meet market needs.
10) Failure to focus on the customer
The customer plays a huge role in decision making for any business. Inexperienced operation manager focus on performance metrics that do not affect the customer, ideally, the operations should focus on improving the user experience (Majukwa & Haddud, 2016). Delta airlines have focused on the customer by continually improving their services to meet the needs of the customers, creating brand loyalty and improving the rate of customer satisfaction.
Operations management forms a crucial part of any business. However, managers fail to understand the common pitfalls that bring about failure in operations. The ten mistakes and traits are the most common issues that affect managers. Knowing how to handle them and emulating industry experts will go a long way in streamlining operations management in organizations.
Delta Airlines (2018). Operations | Delta News Hub. [online] News.Delta.com. Available at: https://news.Delta.com/category/operations [Accessed 8 Aug. 2018].
Majukwa, D., & Haddud, A. (2016). Operations management impact on achieving strategic fit: A case from the retail sector in Zimbabwe. Cogent Business & Management, 3(1), 1189478.
Mary, A., Edward, A. and Parker, G. (2018). 10 Mistakes That New Operations Managers Make - dummies. [online] dummies. Available at: https://www.dummies.com/business/operations-management/10-mistakes-that-new-operations-managers-make/ [Accessed 8 Aug. 2018].
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