Work Standards Are the Foundation Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 13th Edition.

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5. Explain why the need to focus capacity on a fairly limited set of production objectives is the key to successful production

There are many factors that favor setting a limited number of production objectives to ensure a successful manufacturing strategy attains its objectives. The most critical are the many effects of manufacturing goals and objectives on the supply chain relationships and the many interrelationships in the supplier base (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). The greater the number of production objectives, the greater the corresponding complexity throughout any supply chain, impacting pricing, procurement, strategic sourcing and logistics costs over time (Liang, Jiang, Lai, 2008). In industries known for rapid technological change, the need for minimizing the number of production objectives can paradoxically create greater flexibility in terms of defining build-to-order and mass customization strategies (Kang, 2009). The more focused and concerted the baseline production objectives are of an organization the greater the production efficiency through better coordination with supplier and logistics partners (Galvin, 1989). Fewer production objectives also mitigate change within an organization, which is often the most challenging aspect of keeping a supply chain operating as efficiently as possible. The many challenges of change management within organizations are made more complex the greater the number of objectives there are to contend with (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). In addition to the process of setting a few, highly specific and targeted production objectives being an excellent way to run a supply chain, it greatly minimizes resistance to change throughout an organization as well. Due to the cascading effects of complex objectives bringing greater levels of potential confusion into any organization, it is advisable to minimize them whenever possible. The focus on goals that create cohesion and ensure collaboration across the supply chain are critical if an organization is going to stay profitable.


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6. Explain the difference between make-to-order and make-to-stock.

Make-to-stock manufacturing strategies are driven by forecasts that are predetermined with the sales force, often through the Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). The make-to-stock production model also assumes there will be slight variation in product demand and through inventory management and demand management strategies; these variations can be cost-effectively managed over a given financial period (Wee, Dada, 2010). Often manufacturing companies pursue both make-to-stock and make-to-order strategies to be more responsive to their customers' unique needs and also to penetrate new markets (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). The make-to-order production strategy centers on the concepts of mass customization the ability to custom configure products as they move through the production process (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). Often manufacturers who pursue make-to-order production strategies are focused on a variation of product customizations, from the low-end assemble-to-order, through configure-to-order and the entirely customized products for engineer-to-order. Each of these to-order strategies have their own unique challenges in terms of defining real-time pricing, availability and order status (Moses, Grant, Gruenwald, Pulat, 2004). All of them however share the common trait of having product attribute definitions and configurations defined by the customers' unique requirements and needs. Often manufacturers who initially pursue a make-to-stock strategy find that they must also take on a make-to-order strategy to address ancillary market needs that can eventually turn into major segments of their business (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). This focus on market expansion...
...(2010). Operations and Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 13th Edition.

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7. Discuss how supply chain management is an important focus as companies strive to be as efficient as possible

In challenging economic times a supply chain is often a "shock absorber" in that risks can be distributed throughout a supplier network and greater agility in challenging times can be achieved (Olson, 2010). The fundamental structure of a supply chain distributes risk and opportunities equally, creating opportunities for revenue growth over time (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). The inherent structure of supply chains have this distributed risk aspect, and to the extent they are as efficient as possible is the extent to which they deliver economic value (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). The concept of efficiency however can mean drastically different things in different industries, from the high tech industry where this is inventory turns to the B2B service industry, efficiency in supply chain performance is multifaceted in definition (Perego, Salgaro, 2010). Yet across both B2B and B2C markets however is the one constant of efficiency is the extent to which supply chains share and propagate knowledge both between supplier and with manufacturers (Dyer, Nobeoka, 2000). The essence of efficiency is knowledge creation, capture and transfer throughout an organization as knowledge is a catalyst of change in many supply chains as well (Yigitbasioglu, 2010). The greater the level of knowledge sharing throughout an organization the greater the efficiency and at the center of knowledge creation and sharing is supply chain management (Dyer, Nobeoka, 2000). Instead of seeing supply chains as a collection of transactions that must be coordinated and orchestrated over time, it is better to see them as knowledge networks (Dyer, Nobeoka, 2000) capable of keeping companies more focused on their customers while staying profitable from efficient sourcing, production and service delivery.


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8. OSCM focuses on the conversion processes of the firm. How does OSCM add value to the customer?

The essence of any effective OSCM strategy is the ability to synchronize the many conversion processes in a firm to ensure customer and market demand are met from a product standpoint and exceed from a customer experience one (Barrett, 2007). The coordination of the conversion processes within any company form the basis of their unique value proposition and differentiated position in the minds of prospects and existing customers. The conversion processes of any firm must also be agile enough to compensate for changes in market conditions, customer demand and global shifts in industry strategies (Jacobs, Chase, 2010). The OSCM processes then become part of the framework with gives companies the ability to manage uncertainty more effectively while also staying entirely focused on the demand signals and orders from customers and the market (Olson, 2010). The procuresses over time become engrained into the marketing and selling execution strategies of companies, as is the case with Proctor & Gamble (P&G) on a global scale for example (Ragu, 2009). The integration of the Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process into the P&G marketing organization is a critical component in their ability to launch products globally and gain significant market share within weeks of the launch. The S&OP process, a subset of their entire OSCM framework, also creates a solid foundation to alleviate risk throughout the entire distribution network on a global scale (Sarangi, Srivatsan, 2009). The OSCM series of processes are integral to the value chain of any organization and in the case of globally-based packaged goods producers including P&G, the OSCM systems, processes and strategies for…

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