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Operations Management

The key for many companies is to manage the operation in such a way that it provides high-quality products to customers yet simultaneously increase margins. This is accomplished by having the right organization, a good understanding of manufacturing fundamentals, open communication between departments, and high performing team.

Management Organization

Manufacturing operations typically are constructed with a hierarchical organization, i.e., there is personnel at all levels that can make decisions in a timely manner to get work done. Departments must understand company objective and how their departments contribute to ensuring their activities support the overall mission. In fact, many successful organizations encourage ‘self-directed’ work teams today more so than in the past.

Fundamentals in Manufacturing

There are some basic functions that must be in place and managed for most operations. These basic elements are listed below.

Customer Service. Customer Service’s number one task is to coordinate the customer’s needs with the manufacturing facility. Their goal is to improve the customer’s experience.

Planning, Scheduling and Other Departments

The Planning Department works closely with Customer Service by forecasting and producing a production schedule so that shop floor orders are completed in a timely manner.

Procurement. Procurement’s main goal is to get the ‘right products, at the right time, for the right price’ to meet the manufacturing plant’s production schedule.

Inventory Management. The Inventorying goal is receiving, storing and issuing product as well as managing finished goods.

Production Control.  To ensure on-time delivery of customer orders, it is necessary to monitor and manage the workflow on the production floor, escalating issues when necessary.

Production. The manufacturing department is charged with making products from raw materials, components, and/or subassemblies to meet the production schedule.

Warehousing. Warehousing involves receiving, identifying, storing, kitting and shipping of inventory.

Each of these departments has its own set of challenges that must be met in addition to meeting the needs of the ‘work-sharing’ activities in the company. That is why the organization, good fundamentals, communication and continuous improvement are so important.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Services

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