15-1. Discuss why operations and products are important, and contrast manufacturing and service operations.
Operations is the function concerned with trans-forming resource inputs into product outputs. A product is a good, a service, or a combination of the two. Operations is important because if a firm doesn’t have a good product developed through effective operations that change with the environment, it will not survive. Manufacturing and service operations are similar because they are both used to produce products, but they are also different. Manufacturing operations are used to transform inputs into tangible output products, whereas service operations use inputs to provide intangible product services, and their transformation is not as clear as with manufactured goods.
15-2. Compare the differences among operations systems with respect to tangibility of products, levels of customer involvement, operations flexibility, and management of resources and technology.
A product can be a tangible good, an intangible service, or a combination of the two. The three levels of customer involvement refer to whether a standard product is made to stock, customer-specific products are made to order, or a standard product with some customized features is assembled to order. Operations flexibility refers to whether the products are produced continuously in nondiscrete units, repetitively on an assembly line for one product, in batches with the same resources used for multiple products, individually to customer specifications at the seller’s facilities, or individually over a long time at sites including the customer’s facilities. Resources may be capital intensive (if machines do most of the work), labor intensive (if human resources do most of the work), or a balance of the two.
15-3. Explain the four facility layouts in terms of their level of customer involvement and flexibility, and give an example of the type of business that would use each of the four facility layouts.
Product layout is associated with make-to-stock and assemble-to-order levels of customer involvement and relatively inflexible repetitive or continuous process operations, and it is commonly used any manufacturing business. Process layout is associated with a make-to-order level of customer involvement and flexible individual process operations, and it is commonly used in retail and health care businesses. Cellular layout is associated with make-to-stock and assemble-to-order levels of customer involvement and relatively flexible batch process operations, and it is commonly used in restaurants to prepare food and office work areas. Fixed-position layout is associated with make-to-order and assemble-to-order levels of customer involvement and flexible project process operations, and it is commonly used in any business that must go to the customer to do the work.
15-4. Describe the three planning schedules, supply chain management, and quality control.
The three planning schedules are as follows: Planning sheets state an objective and list the sequence of activities required to meet the objective, when each activity will begin and end, and who will complete each activity. Gantt charts use bars to graphically illustrate a schedule and progress toward the objective over a period of time. Gantt charts, like planning sheets, are appropriate when independent sequential steps are needed to accomplish the objective. The Gantt chart has an advantage over the planning sheet in that it places progress toward the objective on the chart as a control technique. PERT is a network scheduling technique that illustrates the dependence of activities. When some activities are dependent and some independent, PERT is more appropriate. Supply chain management is the process of coordinating all the activities involved in producing a product and delivering it to the customer, with a focus on purchasing and inventory control. Quality control is the process of ensuring that all types of inventory (raw materials, work-in-process, output finished products, and products in-transit en route to customers) meet standards.
15-5. Recall how to measure productivity and list three ways to increase it.
Productivity is measured by dividing outputs by inputs. Productivity can be increased by (1) increasing the value of the outputs while maintaining the value of the inputs, (2) maintaining the value of the outputs while decreasing the value of the inputs, or (3) increasing the value of the outputs while decreasing the value of the inputs.