Reference no: EM13312814
Discussion & Background
One would certainly hope that in situations as the one you're describing above; where redundancy is a safeguard back-up-system in case of power cuts; that these contingency plans would work effectively as a risk management procedure. However there have been so many instances from around the world where these back-up systems have themselves failed. Most of the time the systems put in place are cold stand-by systems that are meant to kick in when power is lost in order to maintain the working condition of machines, some of which are used to maintain peoples' lives. Take for example a situation that took place in California in 1998 where storms caused a power outage in a hospital that had a cold redundancy back-up system. The emergency generator was meant to come into effect within a minute of the main power failing so that emergency procedures could continue without much disruption with machines continuing to function as normal. However at that time that system that relied on an "automatic transfer switches ATS" failed to function and the hospital was thrown into disarray. In order for the surgeon to continue with the operation that was taking place the fire department was called in to assist with the provision of light so the operation could continue safely(Garrett, 1998).
Unfortunately such failures can have more devastating results in third world countries such as Uganda and Botswana where there is a lot of load shedding, power cuts and electricity shortages. In a newspaper report by Wanyera(2012) revealed that there were 150 deaths that were caused by power cuts in Uganda and there is talk of similar situations in Botswana where generators were not maintained to ensure that they functioned well when power failed and were a good safeguard against failure.
In these situations it is quite clear that human error has the potential to still cause the failure to the backup systems. What can be done to ensure that this does not happen so the back-up systems work as effectively as we would like them to(especially where it's a matter of life and death)?
Discussion & Background
It is true that surviving in the market and staying competitive requires organizations to understand and have the ability to respond to failure. Implemented strategies and schemes to detect and prevent such failure (human or machine) are vital for the safe keeping and effectiveness of its operations.
I would agree that regulating and monitoring business practices can aid organizations to detect areas of failure. However, the process of auditing must also have a resolution procedure built in, in case of any apparent failures emerging. As a result, it aids the business practices to keep focus towards the objective and not lose quality, impede additional cost or delay functions in the process (Paine, 1994). The organization needs to take a proactive approach towards business practices and be aware where failure could emerge from. Would you agree? What are your opinions?
The case studies from the works of Dietz & Gippespie (2012) are interesting. The Toyota example reformed the organization to regain the trust of its market and customers by implementing new strategies such as new safety systems, de-layering the management structure and a new global quality task force to improve business operations in all areas. Similar issues and reforms occurred at Siemens as well.Organizations, as large as Toyota has to rely on a disaster to occur before they realize they have lost control of their operations in regards to quality and safety.
Does it have to cost lives or cost millions in bribes in order for organizations to reform and change? Or do third party organizations have to be created to monitor and audit these companies to abide by the quality and safety standards?
In a modular design, standardized sub-components of a product or service are designed and these can be coupled in different, but fully interchangeable ways - this makes it possible to create a wide range of design options (Slack, Chambers & Johnston 2010, p. 124). Rasmussen & Niles (2011) also described modularization as involving the packaging of a system into smaller units - an approach that facilitates redundancy or back-up of component parts. In this technique, failure or disconnection of one or more components does not hamper the operation of the overall system; repair can be done on the failed aspect while the system's operation proceeds (Rasmussen & Niles, 2011).
For example, computers are designed in this way, as noted by Slack, Chambers & Johnston (2010, p. 124). This underscores the possibility of coupling a computer system for different functions such as for architectural-, educational-, or medical, etc use. Imagine combining such a range of functions into a single monolithic or central complex system - such a system would be highly prone to risks of failure because of the high number of components (Rasmussen & Niles, 2011) and high degree of complexity. Modularization thus offers the advantages of profound reliability, fault-tolerance, and therefore, failure-resistance, amongst other things.
As suggested by Slack, Chambers & Johnston (2010, p. 125), modularization can also be applied for packaging services for different customer groups. Can you think of some modularized service-packages that can be created for two customer groups, say, (i) a group of high school students on vacation-, and (ii) a couple on honeymoon, both in China?
Discussion & Background
Management is worried with the achievement of structural goals and objectives by other people and this can be displayed through sinking large capital into forward research, that can prevent issues such as the Toyota recall over the past 12 months.
Hella a world leader in the development of automotive lights has stepped up investments in research and development by about 1 per cent to approximately 9 per cent of group turnover in the past financial year. More than 5,500 people work across the global research and development network, whereby products are customized to suit the needs of the individual market.
This is an example of how organizing an effective strategy in research can reduce long-term costs and problems in defective parts and how the benefit can have a positive impact.
In your example do you think Toyota could have prevented this problem through an organizational strategy model that included emphasis on product research and development?Do you think the competitiveness within the market contributed to this issue, or a simple error of judgment on the strategic side?