Chapter 1

Discovering the Fundamentals of Operations Management

In This Chapter

arrow Understanding the function and value of operations management

arrow Getting a handle on business models and processes

arrow Facing key challenges in operations management

Operations — a set of methods that produce and deliver products and services in pursuit of specific goals — are the heartbeat of every kind of organization, from iron foundries and hospital emergency wards to high finance and professional services. Well-designed operations enhance profitability. Poor operations, at best, equal ineffective processes and wasted resources. At worst, poor operations can drive a company out of business. Therefore, managing operations with competence is vital to meeting strategic goals and surviving financially.

In this chapter we point out what’s part of operations and what isn’t. We also describe key concepts in the world of operations and tell you what you can do to improve operations in a business or any other type of organization.

Defining Operations Management

When most people think of operations management, if any picture comes to mind at all, an image of a large factory billowing smoke often emerges. And, yes, ...

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