This paper defines the four functions of management and the operations management theory. It then provides an analysis of how the functions of management the operations management.
THE FOUR FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT
Planning: It is an act of formulating a program for a definitive course of action. The management defines a goal and puts forward its strategies to accomplish the objectives defined.
Organizing: To divide the work force into specific groups and giving each group a specific task. Organizing also involves ensuring that a smooth flow of information and co-ordination exists between these groups. Thus the basic aim of organizing is to simply divide the work load and define the tasks while setting up deadlines in such a way that although different groups do different things but they all work together with the help of each other towards achieving the same goal which has been predefined.
Leading (Motivating): Leading or motivating is simply to influence the employee in such a way that their output for the task given is most competent. This includes communication with the work force, recognizing and dealing with the problems they might be facing and also giving them good incentive to put in their best. Incentives can include best performance awards. Further on leading also comprises of maintaining discipline within the organization.
Controlling: This includes the analysis of the rate of achievement as compared to the objectives defined. If the rate of achievement is less than the original objectives, then specific measures are taken to make certain satisfactory results by increasing the efficiency of the output by the work force. If the analysis shows a flaw in the original objectives, then they are to be corrected.
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT THEORY
Operations management deals with all the operations within an organization. Activities that are included in operations management are quality control, logistics, evaluations, managing purchases, inventory control, product design and production control.
Operations management is simply defined as “The design, operation and improvement of the internal and external systems, resources and technologies that create product and service combinations in any type of organization.” Robert H. Lowson p.5
It is important for an organization to concentrate in on the product. Releasing a product in the market should be affordable and of a better quality than what other competitors are offering. This is one of the main factors that would secure the sale of the product. Primarily the organization should work towards designing a product that would have demand in the market. Producing something that is already provided a large number of companies is generally not a very good idea. The aim should always be to provide something unique, if not then the top most quality at the cheapest rates should be provided.
In practical this is seen in the case of Japan, who in a small time frame has successfully produced low-priced yet high quality products as compared to other competitors from across the globe. John N. Pearson, Jeffrey S. Bracker, Richard E. White
Logistics and evaluations are yet another important face in the field of operations management. It is important to rightfully handle an operation and evaluate the progress and the errors that need to be corrected in an operation. Evaluations can range from improving the time consumed, all the way to the problems faced by the labor.
However there are some problems with operations management, one of them being the fact that everything tends to change continuously. “There are many reasons for this, but they all boil down to the four basic programmatic variables of scope, schedule, resources, and cost. When viewed in the present, it is widely recognized that a change in any one of these variables (and they are variables) will have a corresponding effort on the other three. The entire concept of production and operations management through program management and control is essentially directed at the identification, tracking, understanding, and mastery of these variables and their interactions as they occur.” Michael E. Thorn p.4
IMPACT OF MANAGEMENT FUNCTION ON OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
This section analyses the impact that the previously discussed functions of management has on the operations management.
Planning is the most important pillar of operations management. When an organization plans its goals and sets down its strategies, it then becomes easier for the managerial level to decide and distribute the work load. Without any plan of action, the organization or company would not know what it is working towards. For a manufacturing company, planning would include product design.
For work to be conducted on the principles of operations management, organizing plays an important role. Workload needs to be divided in such an efficient manner that the skills of an employee or a group of employees are used to the fullest. Overloading any employee would result in deficient outputs and derogatory work which would naturally be time consuming.
As the goal of organizing is to produce better results, similarly leading or motivating is necessary for an organization to extract maximum performance out of the workers. With appealing incentives, workers would work honestly and put in their best. This in turn would save the company time and there would be a complete control of the managerial department over things like production control and quality control. When an employee is rewarded for work hard done, then it is only natural that they would put in the most effort. An employee would by nature be well-organized thus bringing the load off the managerial department as far as quality control is concerned. It would also give a higher rate of production and an organization can comply with increasing demands.
Operations management would be incomplete without an analysis of the work in progress. Without any knowledge of the problems either in the work output or the original plan, an organization will not be able to recognize its weaknesses or strengths. This would make the organization less competent in the long run and it will face many difficulties in the struggle to exist as a competitive name in the world. Once an organization analyses the reason as to why the production is slower than intended, it can take necessary steps to increase the production rate. Production control is a fundamental step in operations managements. With a control over the production rate, an organization can meet with increasing demands of supply. If the organization fails to recognize its problematic areas regarding for example production rate, then it will fail to meet increasing demands and thus the consumer will opt for products that are readily available.
The functions of management and operations management go hand in hand. If an organization does not act or base its rudimentary structure on the basic principles or functions of management, then their operations management will suffer a blow. As seen from above, it is highly important for any organization, whether manufacturing or non-manufacturing, to act upon the functions of management. A plan, its mode of action, execution and its analysis are important components for an organization. Their impacts on the operations management are positive and effective. As a result one cannot deny the need of implementing these functions of management, for a successful operations management and thus a successful organization.
(1) Robert H. Lowson – Book Title: Strategic Operations Management: The New Competitive Advantage. Publication Year: 2002. Page Number: 5.
(2) John N. Pearson , Jeffrey S. Bracker , Richard E. White – Article Title: Operations Management Activities of Small, High Growth Electronics Firms. Journal Title: Journal of Small Business Management. Volume: 28. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 1990. Page Number: 20+.
(3) Michael E. Thorn – Article Title: Applications of Technology and Risk Management. Journal Title: SAM Advanced Management Journal. Volume: 66. Issue: 4. Publication Year: 2001. Page Number: 4+.