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3682 words - 15 pages

Unit 1
Introduction to Operations Management
People and natural resources are two of our earth’s important ingredients for production. As social beings, we tend to group ourselves into communities or cultures which have political, economic, social and religious characteristics. Our cultural environment, in turn, determines how we will use our increasingly limited supply of natural resources. The objective of using environmental resources is to gain or create benefits that will continue to raise the standard of living of all people. In this way, these production activities add value to society in general. More specifically, production is a major element of the technology and economics components of our culture. Production systems deliver the products, services and information that allow modern societies to function. They feed, house, transport, maintain, entertain and sustain the over 5 billion people who inhabit this planet. In addition to their direct reward value in terms of a wage or a salary, work activities also give people a sense of purpose and an opportunity for self-fulfilment, development and socialisation.
The study of operations began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries arising from the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Among the more noteworthy theories, principles, concepts and innovations were:
1910
Principles of Scientific Management
Frederick Taylor
1913
Moving assembly lines and mass production
Henry Ford
1930s
The Hawthorne Studies
Elton Mayo
The hierarchy of needs
Abraham Maslow
1940s
Development of operations research
Many researchers
1950s
MRP
Joseph Orlicky
1960s
Service and production quality, lean production
1970s
EDI, EFT, EPOS
JIT and other Japanese manufacturing methods
Taichi Ohno
Total Quality Management
Deming and Duran
1980s
Personal computers, Supply chain management,
The Internet, WWW, electronic commerce
1990s
Business process re-engineering
Hammer and Champey
Globalisation, agility, flexibility, responsiveness,
2000s
supplier networks, mass-customisation, e-tailing
Table 1
Noteworthy Theories of Operations Management
Production operations lie at the heart of practically all business activity. Human and material resources are used to create the products that either make an organisation healthy and competitive, or cause it to fail. Having an understanding of the role of operations, with its multifaceted interface with financial, marketing, personnel, engineering and all other functions, is essential for anyone assuming responsibilities in managing an organisation. Moreover, production operations is one of a number of the most strategically vital areas of managerial concern. That is to say, the success or failure of a business can often be assessed by measuring specifics such as output levels, inventory levels, production schedules and quality assurance programmes. The operations activity is clearly central to the organisation because it produces the goods and services that are the reasons for...

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