Operations management is a function of a business responsible for planning, controlling and coordinating issues that manage business resources needed in the production of goods and services. It entails management of human capital, technologies, machinery, information as well as other prudent resources. Operations management acts a core function in every company regardless of how big or small the company is; since OM offers physical services and goods in which every company has a formidable operating function (Agarwal et al., 2018, p. 1750). The key function of operations management is transforming firm's raw inputs into finished outputs. Inputs include human capitals, materials, processes such as building, equipment, and technology while outputs are services and goods that the firm produces (Demeter 2017, p. 324). Also, operations management is in charge of coordinating and combining all available resources needed to create anticipated products and services which include product, designing, decision making, inventory management, scheduling, and quality control with job design (Mtibaa et al., 2018, p. 543).
The global business environment experiences disruptive changes that make it necessary for organizations to adjust the nature of their operations from time to time. Accordingly, operation management is evolving to allow businesses to adapt to dynamics such as innovation, globalization, and sustainable development (Mtibaa et al., 2018, p. 543). For instance, innovation is becoming a core focus operation management because it determines effectiveness and efficiency, which are both very significant factors of management. Similarly, economic changes determine the value of services and competitiveness of businesses that operate low-cost labor markets. This sometimes compels operation managers to transfer production plants or operations to other strategic roles. Also, managing diversity in the workforce is becoming a big challenge because of changing demographics. As population's age and move, labor characteristics also change, making it necessary for operation managers to adopt new approaches to quality control (Sandrin et al., 2018, p. 340). At the same time, businesses have to deliver on their community social responsibility to promote intercultural sensitivity and equity without hurting their operations. All these factors coupled with the pressure to shift to renewable energy and adopt sustainable operations that make operation management a very dynamic concept.
In operation management, the goal of every functional department remains intact but efficient with productivity which shows prudent change. However, the overview of an administrative game has changed and evolved drastically. As such, it is less about the forecast for future operational transformation hence is all about becoming agile to effectively handle the unvarying management and production change (Fodor et al., 2018, p. 124). Business requires seeking advancement which lets to working smarter, moving more rapidly to catch up with the competitive edge in market segmentation. Also, ultimately business has to take advantage of exclusive opportunities against their potential competitors. Therefore, changes in operational management in data collaboration and sharing increasingly determine how fast organizations can move forward. Operation alteration has become invariable oblige, but generally, business change has always been profoundly complex especially multinational business operation. However, a lot of issues have been seen with the human nature especially in the operational management which strongly has been resisting operational change which upholds true nature of the contemporary business world. For most of the local organizations, the operational change can liken to risks as well as more impending for business disruptions if not effectively managed (Larson & Foropon 2018, p. 44).
In running various business aspects such as marketing, and production, some strategies have been brought on board such as sales and marketing strategies which have changed due to evolving market dynamism, production transformations as well as a shift in operational performance. Furthermore, planning, controlling, staffing and production are important operations management function that has drastically changed and entails resource allotment alongside resource utilization. In many organizations, outsourcing has become part and parcel of production, controlling and planning. Also, issues of supply chain management have been researched and have been practiced internationally. Also, project management has as well gained operations management attention regardless of being considered as the traditional practice. Logistics have as well changed in last decades since e-commerce plus global markets have taken their course of actions. In the beginning, firms focused on marketing and sales as the only imperative functions. With drastic changes, they are now focusing on key competencies hence outsources the remaining operating functions.
Consequently, macro environmental drifts are causing some aspects of the future operations management. Issues of cybersecurity, as well as improved technology, furthermore need new techniques to adopt. On the other hand, aging population makes it complex for managers in recruiting suitable workforce. Corporate Social Responsibility is part and parcel of organizations in the contemporary business world, making business allocate its resources to achieve it. The above changes keep on advancing and are expected to affect the future of operations management.
Challenges Facing Operations Management
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the prudent business approaches which create a formidable environmental, social and economic benefit to the community. There various stakeholders who are adversely affected by activities of CSR and they are not limited to employees, suppliers, the community, customers, and political class, unions, media, and government agencies. However, CSR is one of the considerable factors in operations management. CSR in many cases challenges OM due to high stakeholders' expectations. Additionally, CSR guarantees compensate for losses that resulted from environmental dilapidation; therefore, all organizations are expected to depict the social aspect of CSR by ensuring the community members are safe at all cost (Gutierrez-Gutierrez et al., 2018, p. 62). For employees, the company should give assurance of safety and good payment. For economic CSR dimension, there are a lot of challenges due to CSR-friendly situation along economic significance. On the other hand, operation managers have to be careful with their decisions that can adversely affect customers since clients are important stakeholders of the firm
Organizational policies should guarantee transparency since are part and parcel of business sustainability. In most cases, small firms face challenges of sustainability since their environmental aspects are limited that gives operations managers' hard time. A good sustainable environment supports an excellent relationship with internal stakeholders such as customers and employees. On the other hand, organizations are using green revolution to maintain sustainability by applying renewable energy which supports efficiency. They are projected to diminishing footprints in the environment by fabricating green products.
Going forward, Operational management has to focus on sustainability as a global concern. In her article, Kay Miranda, Business Operational Sustainability, defines operational sustainability of business as the technique used to evaluate either a given business might maintain the existing practices without placing future income at the jeopardy (Kristensen & Jonsson 2018, p. 75). Therefore, when illustrating issues of sustainability concept, it is frequently known as three Sustainability Pillars and is not limited to social, economic and environmental (Mtibaa et al. 2018, p. 66). Thus the operations managers should be more concerned among themselves with the results of every pillar consisting of how work affects welfare, safety, communities, economic sustainability as well as the environmental sustainability. Thus key effective and efficient operations management should have to implement the most excellent practices keeping in minds a concern for the three sustainability pillars. Also, they need as well to initiate as well as verify remedial action when any result of the three pillars becomes endangered (Singh et al., 2018, p. 1185).
According to Kathuria et al. (2018, p. 564), Operational management is as well performed better in consideration of ethical conduct. Managers have to consider the critical moral behavior of production and employees at large to comply with the key industrial issues (Schipper & Gerrits 2018, p. 234). Ethics in management operations make sure that production functions and related activities are not damaging to the consumers or the entire society (Tang et al. 2018, p. 55). In many organizations they should reflect on the effects and influences of new technologies, animal testing business deals and defective services have on safety, of people and its effects on the environment (Peal et al. 2018, p. 342). Thus, unethical conduct has radically contributed to the downfall success of many corporations such as Tyco, Enron plus many varied organizations that do business on Wall Street. Additionally, being principled across all functions of business such as human resource management, accounting, sales and marketing, and production are evidently in the purview of the operations management. Unprincipled conduct, despite the consequences of its derivation, becomes a blemish on the corporation as a whole. The lately noted breach of business ethics at Wells Fargo is one distressing example (Hartmann & Vashon 2018, p. 365).
Technology has taken its course of action in all sectors of the economy in operations management exclusive. According to Filson, (2018, p. 70) due to innovation and technological advancement organizations have to develop systems able of producing quality services and goods in demand quantities in satisfactory time framework (Ward et al., 2018, p. 5). System designing, planning system, in addition to managing system but the present days there is a wide assortment of challenges to the operations managers.
Today, many operations managers carry out their duties in multidisciplinary settings which they need to respond to challenges related to globalization, ethical conduct, sustainability, system design as well as communication. That calls for operations managers to excel in business, interpersonal and technical aspects of their work as they energetically support vision and mission of the organization (Formby et al., 2018, p. 100).
One of the reasons technology is transforming operations management that it plays a crucial role in business communication. Proper business communication is one of the guiding principles that will see the efficient running of the business at its scope of disposal at all costs. Being dependable and effectual when communicating it might be complicated anyone in any position of a manager in an organization (Phalli et al., 2018, p. 315). This is because communication is the only way to solve issues that mostly arise; the management juniors should always understand what might be happening in the internal management and the management on the other hand also should understand what juniors carry out on daily operations (Bamford et al., 2018, p. 19). All these can happen when there is active communication at all times. However, the challenge for operations manager is bei...
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