Electrolux Case Study: Competing on Time
In all organisations (public or private, for profit or not, large or small, and so on), specific offices and departments are directly responsible for the production of goods and services that are delivered to customers. In managerial literature, the generic term ‘operations’ is used to ‘refer to the function which produces goods or services in any organisation’ (Schroeder, 1989). As the operations function exists in every industry (manufacturing, banking, retailing, and so on), operations management is not industry-specific. Stevenson (1990) remarks that the operations function consists of all activities directly related to producing goods or providing services. Therefore, an operations process can be modelled as in Figure 2.1 Inputs are used to obtain finished goods or services using one or more transformation (or conversion) process – storing, transporting, cutting, and so on – thereby adding value. To ensure that the desired outputs are obtained, measurements are taken at various points along the transformation process (known as feedback) and then compared to previously established standards to determine if corrective action is needed (Stevenson, 1990).