|Operations Strategy and Competitiveness |
Case: Custom Fabricators, Inc.—From Lean Manufacturing Partner to Contract Manufacturer
Case: Lasik Vision CorporationKEY POINTS
For a company to be considered world class, it must recognize that the ability to compete in the marketplace depends on developing an operations strategy aligned with the mission of serving the customer. This chapter describes a company's competitiveness and its relative position to other firms in both local and global markets. The competitive dimensions of operations are cost, product quality and reliability, delivery speed, delivery reliability, coping with demand change, flexibility, and new product introduction speed. Central to the concept of operations strategy is the notion of operations focus and trade-offs.
The interface between marketing and operations is necessary to provide a business with an understanding of its markets from both perspectives. Operations strategy must be linked vertically to the customer and horizontally to other parts of the enterprise. Chapter two describes the steps for prioritizing competitive dimensions. Operations strategy is also considered in service firms. An example of Southwest Airlines profiles the fitting of operational activities to overall strategy, while the example of Wal-Mart profiles ways to attack the market by using operations. Finally, productivity measures are presented including partial measures, multifactor measures, and total measures of productivity. These measures provide benchmarks to indicate how well the company is doing and are used to measure improvement.