The purpose of operations management is to make the best use of productive resources. It entails the design and control of all the systems for the productive use of various raw materials, equipment, human resources, and facilities so that products and/or services get delivered in an efficient manner. The way by which various productive resources (like labor, capital) are managed is critical for growing, making profits, and competing.
Operations management is highly responsible for making strategic (long-term) decisions that affect the entire organization. These decisions should not only support the mission but should also be aligned to the overall strategy of the organization. The operations strategy involves a plan to use all the production resources to support the long-term competitive strategy of the organization.
Manufacturing of an automotive product requires good operations management skills. It is a big process which involves many activities. By managing the operations, we could find following advantages:-Decreasing total costs.
• Decreasing working capital.
• Increasing the return on assets-doing more with less.
• Leveraging the value chain for tax advantages.
• Growing revenue-using our operations portfolio to uncover latentrequirements (features or capabilities that customers do not expector maybe even imagine).
Manufacturing of bicycle will involve following phases:
1) Product strategy
- Product Design
- Product Scheduling and Analysis
- Product Costing
- Risk Assessment
- Process Performance Matrix
3) Product Development
4) Product Testing
5) Importance of project management and teamwork in all these phases
2. Product Strategy
• Market Segment: School going children
• Product or service requirement: Light weight cycles
• No of cycles to be sold: 1000 cycles in a month
Formal project planning and scheduling can go a long way toward increasing the probability of successfully completing the project. The manufacturing of bicycles will involve following phases for better planning so that the production gets completed in time:
a) Product Design
The design process would consist of four phases:
1. Idea development or generation (Brain Storming)
There will be a team of product manager, engineers, customer representatives, suppliers and distributors. The product manager will be coordinating the whole design team. The manager will first take some suggestions from the customer about the product they are interested in. He will use the background analysis their marketing team has already done to find the final requirement. He will also see what products are available by competitors in the market. Then he will check with engineers and suppliers as well. In this session, the main purpose will be to get more and more ideas. Quantity will matter over the quality.
2. Screening of ideas
After getting all the ideas of manufacturing a bicycle, he will work on each idea, think about positives and negatives. Few basic questions that will arise are related to required employee skills, product material sourcing, and potential customers. After a thorough discussion the product manager will finalize the design along with the various components and their measures. It will involve the size of tyres, size of pedals, chains, handles, metallic frame and other accessories. He will also decide the size and dimension , material to be used, and quantity of each material etc of each part. He will check with suppliers also about the material availability.
3. Preliminary design testing
A prototype of the cycle to be made is first manufactured. This would be again checked with all the engineers and customers whether they were looking for similar product. Post this few raw pieces of the bicycle will be made which will entail the testing of the design. The parameters like speed, weight, sitting area balance etc will be taken care of during this phase. Depending on the testing results, the design is dropped, modified, or passed on to the final design phase
4. Final design
Once the preliminary testing is complete, the design will be finalized. The following parameters will be taken care of especially during this.
- Simplification-reducing the number of features and parts: It would be assured to reduce the complexity. Adopting the simpler design of bicycle. To ensure light weight, the cover on the tires will be removed.
The number of spokes will be of same size in both the tires.
- Standardization-using common and interchangeable part, design for handling, stocking, and shipping: For eg. Same size of nuts and bolts would be preferred as applicable across various assemblies. It would be tried to use same moldings for different parts. Same material will be used for multiple products for eg. Steel frame, carrier, will be of same material. Same way pedals and handle will be of same material.
b) Product Scheduling:
a) Design bicycle
b) Obtain Financing
c) Order material
d) hire employees
e) employee training
f) manufacturing of tyres
g) manufacturing of bicycle frame
h) manufacturing of cycling system
i) Assembling of parts
j) Select paint
k) Finish Work
Sequence activities: A work break down structure (WBS) will be followed to expedite the manufacturing process. A WBS identifies the work to be done in a systematic, hierarchical way. It clearly defines actions and helps everyone involved understand the project's vision and progression, essentially preparing the project team for scheduling. It makes the project less overwhelming and is also a good way to involve ad hoc members in the project, leveraging their experience and expertise in the planning phase. Following flow chart shows how various processes are connected. This helps all the participants like manager, engineer, and employeeetc to understand the various phases.