Strategic operation management and the discussion topic is

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Reference no: EM13370193

Strategic Operation Management and the discussion topic is the overall nature of demand affects planning and control with the discussion of what and how an online course that offered by the university address such demands and copes with demand fluctuation.

Question 1

I did notice that you examined the importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in some detail in your answer which I think was quite good. Indeed, ERP systems have made planning and control much easier for the corporations which have adopted them. I think that the fact that large corporations (Fortune 500) have adopted ERP systems (Gupta and Kohli 2006, p. 688) in order to enhance their operational efficiency and effectiveness is a true testament of their value.

However, Gupta and Kohli (2006, p. 695) go further and warn potential adopters of the inherent danger that the adoption of an ERP system may not always result in the expected positive impact e.g. because the technical imperatives conflict with the business imperatives of the organisations. In fact, they argue that if the wrong choices are made the organization's operations may actually suffer because of it.

What would be your advice to operations managers whose organizations that are looking to implement ERP systems?

Question 2

I noticed that at the end of your answer you stated the following: "Finally and as I have mentioned above I believe that a University operation or a University module should always operate at a "level demand". When demand is down the module should still be offered, resources maintained and experienced professors never let go. When the demand picks up the University will be ready and the professors available to carry on with the regular load."

Whilst I somewhat agree, I am concerned that about how the university will manage to cover its fixed costs related to the online module in times of low demand. Therefore, its planning and control must reflect this (Slack et al 2010, p. 300). Remember that lecturers still need to be paid, the software license fees etc. also need to be paid for and so with fewer students on the course, it becomes difficult to cover these costs let alone make a profit.

Given this challenge, what would your recommendations be in the event that there is low demand and the university struggles to cover its overheads?

Question 3

Given that planning and control is very important in operations management, Slack et al. (2010) argue that most views on controls (e.g. push and pull control) are simplifications which do not reflect what is happening in reality. According to them, control has been portrayed as if they were based on models used to understand mechanical systems and simple models such as these assume that operations objectives are always clear-cut and agreeable to all. They suggest that this is not the case in organisations as they are political entities with different and often conflicting objectives which compete against each other.

They provide a set of questions which may be used to assess the degree of difficulty associated with control of any operation as a guide - dimensions of controllability.

1. Is there consensus over what the operation's objectives should be?
2. How well can the output from the operation be measured?
3. Are the effects of interventions into the operation predictable?
4. Are the operation's activities largely repetitive?

Do you know of any literature that has a different view on this question of controllability difficulties?

Reference no: EM13370193

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