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The management of the supply chain, inventory management, establishment of strong customer relationship, and strategic planning are critical challenges related to e-commerce which leaders face in the field of operations management.
The following discussion focuses on the critical challenges operations managers in the field of operations management face to improve the productivity and efficiency of operations.
Supply Chain Management
According to Lee, Krajweski and Ritzman (2005) one of the critical challenges operations managers face include creating effective procurement aggressiveness to enable suppliers meet the objectives of quality, quantity, continuous quality improvements, effective pricing, and excellent service delivery.
Managers need to overcome human, organizational, and cultural barriers when determining the type of information to share with suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors and to overcome the bullwhip effect on their e-commerce site to avoid information moving away from the point of use.
Sehgal (2013) argues that a leader has to ensure that innovation, relationship, and process capital are effectively planned and controlled to ensure effective logistical coordination, control, and communication.
Sehgal (2013) argues that an effective framework for interactive and collaborative work and comprehensive understanding of the inner working of the transformation processes are critical to eliminate non-value adding activities and conflicts (Barnes, 2008).
Sehgal (2013) argues that a manager faces the challenge of establishing positive relationship between a firm and its customers on an e-commerce platform to compel them to buy the moment they log into the firm’s site. The features enable the manager to establish strong customer loyalty, which influences them to be committed to the company.
According to Slack, Johnston and Jones (2011), a well formulated e-commerce site influences customers to develop the propensity to switch to that site for better deals. It becomes critical for a manager to put a framework in place for responding effectively to external problems if they occur to avoid the threat of customers complaining to regulators or costly legal actions.
According to Slack, Johnston and Jones (2011), managers face the critical challenges of acquiring, delivering, and maintaining inventories for executing internal and external production activities.
When management tasks are effectively executed, customers readily understand the inventory which is available which helps them to reduce on-hand inventories. It is important for a business to ensure effective inventory tracking, better inventory logistics, and to implement inventory reduction capabilities.
Operations managers have to plan effectively to achieve and increase a company’s market share to enable the firm achieve and maintain industry leadership for its products. According to Slack, Johnston and Jones (2011), the main challenge is to achieve competitive advantage through effective strategic planning efforts (Sehgal, 2013).
Managers have to decide on how to effectively coordinate different functional areas which support e-commerce transactions using information technology (IT) and information systems (IS).
Studies by Leseure (2101) show that managers have to effectively coordinate different functional areas of an organization with different e-commerce strategies by partnering with others to overcome problems associated with competitive advantage because of missed opportunities (Slack, Chambers, Johnston, 2010).
In conclusion, operations managers’ tasks in the field operations management have to overcome a number of critical challenges discussed above to improve processes, the productivity and operational efficiency of firms in current dynamic business environment to competitively position their firms in the dynamic market environment.
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Barnes, D (2008). Operations Management An international Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill
Lee, L., Krajweski, L. Ritzman, P. (2005). Operations Management: Process and Value Chains, 8/E. Pearson – Prentice Hall.
Leseure, M. (2101). Key Concepts in Operations Management. New York: Sage
Sehgal, V. (2013). Leaders in E-commerce. Web.
Slack, N, Chambers, S, Johnston, R, (2010). Operations Management. New York: Financial Times Prentice Hall
Slack, N, Johnston, R., & Jones, A. B. (2011). Essentials of Operations Management with MyOMLab. New York: Financial Times Prentice Hall