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Introduction

Operation management refers to a business function which is responsible for planning, organising, coordinating and controlling the resources. It is considered as core function of organisation which transform all inputs into outputs. It includes manpower, material and money needs to make products or services in best qualitative manner. For increasing efficiencies of services, main role of operational managers of a company is to develop product value at each phase of production. They also formulate strategic and tactical decisions in order to display unique features of products. This would help a corporation in become competitive at marketplace and increase sales performance as well (Bazargan, 2016). The present report is going to explain how a company can introduce operational based improvement strategy. For this purpose, Watson Engineering Tooling Company is taken which deals in manufacturing sector.

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Watson Engineering Company provide a wide metal prototype and production parts to other industries of UK. Providing metal fabrication solutions in manufacturing is considered as core competencies of this company. Along with this, it also specializes in robotic welding, tube bending (bent tubular product), CNC machined components, press brake, powder coating, stamping, laser cutting and assembly services etc. Due to increase in competition and decline of engineering in North East of England, it's managers have realised that there is a high demand of products but run business successfully in future seems to be untenable. Therefore, to overcome from this threat on future business, they need to make alternative radical strategies for survival of company.

Importance of operational management in Watson Engineering

Operation refers to an activity of introducing and managing the resources which are devoted to production as well as delivery of products at marketplace. It is also considered as processes by which a company can transform inputs into outputs (Escolán and et. al., 2017). Similarly, a service can be defined as a product of experience or interaction among business providers and clients. This would made to provide satisfaction to customers who availed products of a company. Service may be classified as tangible or intangible items as per nature of business. For example: Increased saving costs refers to tangible service while customer satisfaction as intangibles. Therefore, providing effective services to people and obtain their high satisfaction, considered as main goal of organisations. As per present Scenario, The Watson Engineering Tooling Company has established its business in early 1980's. It deals in manufacturing sector and offers a wide range of products like engineering calipers, scribes (initial range of products which further supplied to local industries dealing in same sector) and micrometers, etc. These initial items are required to manufacture further high quality and long lasting items. The manufacturing operations in such organisations is generally stated as process of making products, keep them proper store and deliver it on time to customers (Vuchic,  2017). Operational managers of this company also concerns on understanding concept of service management. It covers various activities like managing partners, investors and business clients etc. This concept also emphasises with delivering products or services to customers in highly efficient manner. It assists managers to understand demand and need of consumers, manage process of delivering services as well as ensures that objectives should be met. This would increase value of products and services in minds of customers. They will also used to purchase commodities from such business organisation.

In manufacturing and construction sector, demand of such products are much high. But still owners of Watson Engineering have realised that due to decline in North East of England as well as increased competition from globalization, sustainability of this type of business cannot be gained in future. The production plant of Watson Engineering had a strong financial base and loyal staff members which helps a company to be more productive in a competitive market. Watson Engineering has provided various forms of health insurances to their employee's and their family members. They also give them rewards for their hard work and to generate a healthy competitive environment within an organisation. They follow all the modern management principles to manage their employee's in an appropriate manner to make their work efficient this will simultaneously increases overall development of Watson engineering (Smith, 2014).  The main agenda of this organisation is to analyse all the internal factors that's why it is internally strong as compare to it's competitors. It is an operationally specific firm that manage and operate existing resources.  

Therefore, in order to overcome from this threat and bring efficiencies of production, its operational management has performed various activities. As per module of business  operational management, the main function of this concept is to transform input (resources) into output (products and services). For this process, operational managers of Watson Engineering Company has conducted various activities like planning, organising, controlling and managing the whole business processes. In general, operational strategy is based on three main criteria viz. Design; Planning and Control; Improvement. Under this process, for formulating effective strategies, managers first address problems significantly. Further, they make proper design about activities required to resolve such issues and processes used for the same. After this process of designing and implementing technologies, operational team of Watson will identify other areas where improvement is necessary. It is generally related to areas from where business gets opportunity to gain competitive advantages.

Techniques used for operational improvement strategy

According to given case study of Watson Engineering Tooling Company, it is observed that although they are having wide product range that has commanded great respect throughout industry but still they are facing decline issues in their operations due to increased competition from the globalization (Bobbert, 2017). The course of business activity has become untenable in long term, so Watson Engineering Tooling company has decided to do some modification in their operational improvement strategy. They are out looking for implementing radical strategy that has to developed to ensure the survival of the business for long term and can achieve competitive advantage over increasing competitions.

In order to overcome this competitive issues and retain in the market for long time Watson Engineering Tooling Company has working on various operational improvement strategy. Operational improvement act as the fundamental requirement and an continuous effort of Watson Engineering Tooling Company in order to succeed in competitive environment of change and challenges (De Florio, 2016). Along with enhancement of operational efficiency, it is very crucial to focus on  enormous role driving growth and profitability.  Some of operational improvement strategy that is used by Watson Engineering Tooling Company are total quality management and lean operations. The details regarding to total quality management and lean operations are discussed below:

Total Quality Management

This key approach of operational management emphasis and consists of organisation wide efforts in order to install and develop a permanent climate where both management and workers continuously works on their operations for improvement of their demand of product and services (What is Total Quality Management?, 2018). Total Quality Management allows Watson Engineering Tooling Company to emphasis on various departments in addition to productions which includes sales, marketing, accounting, engineering, finance and design to improve their operations.

Total quality management act as a philosophy which applies equally to different parts of the organisations. Total Quality Management is viewed as an extension of traditional approaches to quality. With the help and implementation of total quality management Watson Engineering Tooling Company is able to focus on overall quality of their production and quality of the product. This approach considers best qualities of products and services that company serves to the desired customers for satisfying their demands and requirement (Gummesson, 2014). Basically concentrates on total quality management approach for producing qualitative products and services for meeting customer's demands. Watson Engineering Tooling Company offers featured or attractive products with best quality to the customers which helps in attracting more customers towards the company.

Total Quality management allows Watson Engineering Tooling Company to emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of each and every member of the staff within an organisation in order to influence the quality  (Taleb, Maine and Kjeang, 2014). In order to be competition in the today's market, it is very crucial for companies to provide more consistent quality and value to their owners and customers. Through total quality management Watson Engineering Tooling Company will be able to develop better and more direct relationship with many other owners or customers in order to initiate more team work at job site and to produce better quality work.

Lean production

It is considered as main key approach of operational management and defined as a set of tools and methodologies that mainly aims for the continuous elimination of all the waste in the production process. The main benefits of lean production is that it helps in lowering production costs, increased output and shorter production lead times (Russell, Hunt and Delaney, 2014). Lean manufacturing and production helps Watson Engineering Tooling Company to produce products and services by lowering production costs.  This approach is used for minimising the costs as well as wastage in production department because it provides support to the production department in getting best outcomes from limited resources (Watson, Long and Lu, 2015). Watson Engineering Tooling Company should apply this approach for framing quality products and less wastage. Lean production approach adopted by  Watson Engineering Tooling Company management to focuses on cutting out waste and whilst ensuring quality. This approach can be applied by Watson Engineering Tooling Company to do simple things well and involves employees in continuous process of improvement and avoid wastage.

Lean manufacturing methods are implemented by all the best and leading companies in the world in order to gain competitive advantage (Saunders, Gao and Shah, 2014). Lean operations allows Watson Engineering Tooling Company to move towards the elimination of all waste in order to develop an operations that is much faster and more reliable, more dependable and produces higher quality services and product at low cost. In order to gain competitive advantage,  Watson Engineering Tooling Company uses lean manufacturing that allows them to deliver products without defects, on demand and at the lowest possible cost. The lean philosophy of operations act as the basis for just in time techniques which also includes just in time time methods for proper planning, controlling and monitoring.  Watson Engineering Tooling Company uses just in time approaches that is generally considered as set of techniques for managing operations which includes basic working practices, design for manufacturing product, small and simple machine flow layout, total production management, set-up reduction, JIT supply, visibility as well as total people involvement.

Lean manufacturing act as crucial operational improvement strategy that is adopted by the  Watson Engineering Tooling Company in order to identify and eliminate waste through continuous improvement by flowing the product or services at the pull of the customers. Lean products allows  Watson Engineering Tooling Company to deal with various types of waste which involves defects and rejects waste, inventory waste, overproduction waste, over- processing waste, transportation waste and motion waste (Kalpakjian, Vijai Sekar and Schmid, 2014). Watson Engineering Tooling Company should adopt lean manufacturing  to become more competent in market that will allow the to gain competitive advantage.

Moreover, lean manufacturing helps them to recognise the wastage, standard processes, maintain continuous flow, maintain quality at source, maintain and focus on continuous improvement. With the help and implementation of  lean manufacturing defects in the production process can be reduced and good quality of products and services can be delivered to clients or customers. Effective lean production allows to create good relationship with the suppliers, along with this it helps to maintain, commit, skilled and motivate employees with the organisation. Furthermore, in order to implement practices for better understanding precise area of waste, managers of Watson Engineering can use value stream and process mapping. It helps in reducing  or eliminating issues which can be pointed out in production. Along with this, using concept of tightly controlled automation and production flow, managers should accommodate live workers within business where quality control demands.  

Conclusion and Recommendations

As per this report, it has analysed that behind success of a company, operational team plays an important role. They perform various responsibilities in order to run business successfully and utilise resources more appropriately. It is necessary for Watson Engineering to adopt a new long term operational strategy for  survival of it's business due to a rapid decline of engineering in North England. It is essential for the chosen organisation to allocate their resources effectively in order to support their infrastructure and production. They should design a effective production system with a support element of minimizing overall cost of a firm.  It should be an overall business strategy which will evaluate their competition and globalization. This strategy should typically defines total working capital and target customers of Watson engineering. The strategy should also include techniques and actions to create new productive directions for the firm.

For improvement of production and increase efficiencies of operational management, managers of Watson Engineering needs to adopt effective approaches. It includes Just-In-Time (JIT), Lean Production, Total Quality Management (TQM) and more. All these approaches helps in manufacturing products in systematic manner. Here, Total Quality Management aid this company in emphasising on various departments for improving operational activities. In addition to productions, this concept covers marketing, sales, engineering, accounting and more. It is recommended to Watson Engineering to use both techniques of operational management i.e. Total Quality Management and Lean Production. As this company faces an intense competition and also realised threats in future therefore, its managers need an appropriate application of quality management for ensuring optimum result. In this regard, implementing TQM approach helps this company to gain a number of advantages. It includes continuous improvement, reducing wastage, taking quantitative measures to analyse deviations in quality etc. This concept not only helps in enhancing quality of production as well as increase reputation of business also. It helps in increasing revenue of business also by minimising input and maximising output of business. TQM also facilitates cash inflow within organization as well as ensures that workflow will be smooth and interrupted as well. Moreover, this approach of operational management emphasizes on eight main principles. It includes Customer focus, Leadership, Process approach. Involvement of stakeholders, continuous improvement, process approach and fatal of decision making. These principles help in increasing efficiencies of operation so that adequate services can be provided to customers. This would give advantage to Watson Engineering to gain high revenue so that business can be expanded in future.    

As efficiencies of business is also more important for manufacturing industry  therefore, in this regard, lean production will be helpful for getting this objectives. It increase quality of products, helps in streamlining the manufacturing processes, keeping sustainability, increased profitability, etc. Implementing this concept of lean production in their organisation Watson Engineering can minimize their waste which is created through work loads without sacrificing their productivity. It mainly focus on removing unnecessary activities, expenses, manpower and stocks. By reducing waste Watson Engineering company can able to improve the quality of their products and services. This will help them to maximise their value and minimise waste and also benefits customer from improved customer services. Employees will also get safe work environment because the risk have already been reduce.

Similarly implementing just in time approach within business also aids Watson engineering increasing efficiency of business. It is a simple inventory system where a company don't store their extra resources and items. They only produce when they have actual need or demand for any product or services. By establishing this system organisation can minimise or eliminate their waste of time and  overproduction. This approach helps a company to maintain smooth workflow and make continuous improvement in their performance and production level. It manages company to order their material, machines in exact number specification and   distribute their products faster than competitors.  

Thus, it has analysed from this assignment that operations and services are considered as two main aspects of business on which overall profitability of company is depended. If an organisation concerns more on improving efficiencies of operational activities and implement various techniques then it will help in minimising inputs and maximising outputs. It includes Just-In-Time, Total Quality Management, Lean Production and more, all are considered as main key approaches of operations. It gives advantages to organisations in improving and enhancing performance of business so that best services or products can be provided to customers. In context with Watson Engineering, by making effective operational strategies within business, it gives opportunity to stay competitive at marketplace. Under this process, its managers can set broad objectives which direct all associated people towards overall goal. Along with this, by planning the path and entire activities for maximising outcomes will helpful in achievement of such goals. Therefore, it is also suggested to this manufacturing company to stress on longer term objectives instead of short term.

References

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  • De Florio, F., 2016. Airworthiness: An introduction to aircraft certification and operations. Butterworth-Heinemann.
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  • Russell, R., Hunt, N. and Delaney, R., 2014. The Mortality Peer Review Panel: a report on the deaths on operations of UK Service personnel 2002–2013. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps. 160(2). pp.150-154.
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  • Taleb, A., Maine, E. and Kjeang, E., 2014. Technical-economic cost modeling as a technology management tool: A case study of membranes for PEM fuel cells. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. 25(2). pp.279-298.

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