Inter-links and synergies of the five objectives of operations management
Operations management has become increasingly important over the last couple of years as a result of the changing business environment. The level of competition among organizations is becoming stiffer each day. The competition puts pressure on the organizations and the management to work tirelessly to gain and maintain a competitive edge. Any organization that is willing to succeed in the current business world cannot afford to relax in the competition (Slack, 2009).
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Losing a competitive edge means that the organization loses its customers and sales. One of the ways that have the capability of guaranteeing the organization a competitive edge is customer satisfaction (Slack et al. 2012). Customers are always willing to get quality products and services from organizations. Therefore, quality production can increase customer satisfaction and an organization’s competitiveness.
Operations management is the department that plays a major role in production and providing quality products and services. It oversees the design and management of processes, services, as well as the supply chains that are carried out as raw materials are converted into finished products ready for use.
It also oversees the movement of products from the location where they are produced to the point where they are consumed (Slack et al. 2012). The operations management acquires, develops, and utilizes resources that an organization requires to deliver the goods or the services to the customers (Mahadevan, 2010).
Operations management has 5 major objectives, which include cost, quality, speed, dependability, and flexibility (Slack, 2009). Most organizations that have been successful and able to win the competition battle have combined all the five operations management objectives effectively (Slack et al. 2012).
Toyota Motor Company is one of the largest companies in the automotive industry. The company has one of the best operations management departments. Toyota has been able to produce high quality vehicles and sell at low prices that are affordable to many people.
In addition, Toyota is able to deliver the goods to the desired consumers at the right time. The operations management is flexible such that it can adapt to the different tastes and preferences in the business world and produce different vehicles based on the customer needs. Toyota is further independent in that it can perform at a high level without necessarily depending on other companies (Slack, 2009).
Toyota Motor Corporation vehicles are relatively cheap compared to those of other companies, such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Land Rover, and Ford, among others. This makes the Toyota vehicles more affordable to many people. The company produces cars that are meant for different classes of people, including high income earners, middle income earners, as well as low income earners.
It should be noted that most customers are able and willing to spend the least amount possible on a product. However, customers are also conscious about the quality of the products they purchase (Ahoy, 2009). Toyota has been able to address this need in that it produces goods that are of high quality. The low price by Toyota does not compromise the quality of its vehicles.
The operations management of the company has been able to secure low cost production and low prices for its products because it is located in a country where there is plenty of cheap labour. Toyota is based in Japan, a country that is ranked among the highest populated nations in the world.
A large percentage of the Japanese citizens have skills and knowledge that can enable them to participate in production activities. This has been an important factor to the operations managers in that they can easily reduce the production cost and the selling price of vehicles.
Toyota’s operations management is already in a position of satisfying its customers in matters of quality and low cost production. However, it has adopted the Toyota Production System to further increase the level of satisfaction. This is a system that ensures vehicles are produced and delivered to their target customers in time.
The company does not hold too much inventory. This further helps in reducing operations costs and prices of vehicles. The Toyota Production System it is able to produce in a speedy and timely manner to deliver the vehicles at the right place and the right time without the need to hold stock (Wild, 2003).
One of the factors that help Toyota to deliver on time is its dependability. The company depends on itself for most of the production activities. Therefore, it is not easy for it to experience delays on grounds that it was inconvenienced by a third party (Slack et al. 2012). Dependability is an operations management objective that has been effective in increasing the production speed and efficiency of Toyota. The company has all the technology that it requires for its production. It also has sufficient labour and finances to fund its operations.
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Finally, Toyota is flexible and able to address all the needs of the different customers speedily. Further, dependability facilitates flexibility in that the company has all it requires to respond to the customer needs. The business world today is changing rapidly. The needs of customers are equally changing fast and an organization should be in a position to address the changes as they come to maintain a competitive edge.
The advancement in technology further facilitates the increased changes in the business world. An organization should be flexible enough to adapt to the changes (Slack et al. 2012). Toyota is able to respond to the changes in a timely manner, given its dependability, the cost advantage, and its speed of production.
Toyota is among the largest companies in the world. Its success is linked to its operations management department. Toyota has been able to reduce the production cost of vehicles, thereby reducing the price at which it sells the cars to customers. However, Toyota should ensure that it is up to date with the changes in technology to maintain and improve on its current performance. It should also have the right employees all time to realize this objective.
Ahoy, CK 2009, Customer-driven operations: Aligning quality tools and business processes for customer excellence, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
Mahadevan, B 2010, Operations management: Theory and practice, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Slack, N 2009, Operations and process management: Principles and practice for strategic impact, Prentice Hall/Financial Times, Harlow, England.
Slack, N, Brandon-Jones, A, Johnston, R, & Betts, A 2012, Operations and process management: Principles and practice for strategic impact, 3rd edn, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Wild, R 2003, Essentials of operations management, Thomson Learning, London.