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Answer: Critically appraise how well the inventories and/or assets within the production system are currently managed.

Background

Operations Management (OM) is an important aspect of business (Slack et al, 2013; Greasley, 2013; Patton et al, 2011).  Both service and manufacturing organisations use OM to ensure they are competitive and assist in providing and maintaining good levels of customer service (Johnson et al, 2012).  Developing a system of an organisations operation can be advantageous both for both the customer and organisation (Bamford and Forrester, 2010).  Subsequently, once a system has been developed and understood it should be possible to determine why the system works well, or not well, and to recommend possible production related improvements that will assist both parties concerned.

Task

In this assignment analyse a production system (service or manufacturing based) with which you are familiar; a shop, restaurant, transport system, doctor’s surgery are all possible examples. Your tutor will give some guidance on your choice of organisation/case study. Your assignment should address the following questions:

  1. Critically appraise how well the inventories and/or assets within the production system are currently managed.
  2. Provide a detailed illustration of the key operations involved within your chosen production system presenting a logical operational flow.
  3. From the illustration in point two, identify two points where the organisation’s delivery system may fail to align its operational performance measures, clearly demonstrating your reasoning and understanding behind this.
  4. Discuss how a lean approach could be utilised in the production system to potentially reduce the failings discussed in point three.
  5. Identify three key findings discussing the extent to which the lean approach chosen may assist the production system with aligning its operational performance measures.

Format

Your assignment should be in a report format, being clearly structured using headings, sub-headings etc.  It is not necessary to include an executive summary at the beginning of the report.  Your assignment should be presented using Times New Roman (TNR) 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, and it should be approximately 3,000 (+/- 10%) words in length.  Your word count is from the introduction to the end of the conclusion section. 

You must endeavour to use theory explicitly at all stages, but do not spend too much time describing a theory. While you must be explicit about the theories, models, techniques etc. that you use, you can assume that the reader is familiar with them. What the reader requires is evidence of your ability to understand and apply the theory, and learn from in order to support the development of your findings and/or ideas.

You must cite all sources on which you have relied, for example textbooks, journal articles, web pages etc. using the Harvard Bibliographic referencing system. If you do not cite all sources, then you may be accused of plagiarism, and that in turn may endanger your success in passing the module. If you are in any doubt about how to reference your work, please obtain guidance from your tutor for this module.

Please do use diagrams, illustrations, tables, graphics etc. wherever these are helpful, and remember that these do not count towards your word limit. If you do use these, please do not put them in the appendices if they are part of your discussion.  Appendices are the appropriate places to put supporting material, however, remember if the reader is satisfied with the main points of your discussion; the supporting information within the appendices may not even be reviewed. 

Marking Criteria

Your assignment will be marked against the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of your ability to use Operations Management (OM) theory in order to help you think in a critical way, and to develop an understanding of how key operational decisions are made within the chosen production system.  (20%)
  2. Evidence of your understanding of how different OM and Lean approaches could contribute to addressing the aim of your assignment.  (20%)
  3. Evidence of your understanding of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in various OM and Lean approaches in your chosen production system. (15%)
  4. Evidence of your understanding of the limitations placed upon the OM and Lean options available to your chosen production system.  (20%)
  5. Your ability to convey your conclusions and recommendations in a reasoned, supported and credible manner. (15%)
  6. Accurate grammatical and economical use of English.  A good presentation standard using the report format.  Appropriate citation of sources using the Harvard Bibliographic Referencing System. (10%)

The above criteria and the following grading matrix will assist in providing guidance as to the mark allocation. 


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