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Operation Management

Type: Course Work
Number of pages: 6
Subject area: Management
Number of sources: 4

The Four Vs of Operation Management

The goal of an organization regardless of its status is to make the most efficient operation while ensuring customer satisfaction and maintaining the quality of goods and services in their operations (Hillier, 2012). Operation management means that the organization has to produce products and services effectively by maintaining effective business operations of production, control, and processes. The optimization in the organization can be measured concerning the variety of output, the degree of operational visibility to the customer, volume of the production and the variation in the goods and services in the production process (Hillier, 2012). In the current scenario of being employed as the operations manager, it is essential to understand the four Vs of operation and single out the most effective one to be utilized for the production of the sandwiches and the supply chain of the goods and services

The volume dimension of operation entails the systemization of work whereby the process is given to details in an operations manual (Ronke, 2013). As a result, the development of fixed structures is vital in that it provides for lower unit costs while the fixed overheads in the organization are spread over the more significant products (Ronke, 2013). The variety dimension of the organization requires that organization is flexible and able to meet the needs of the customers (Ronke, 2013). Nonetheless for retailers to achieve the needed efficiency and satisfying the customer demands, they have to cultivate the right relationship with the suppliers and have staffs that can adapt to any changes.

The variation of dimension looks at the demand patterns and the seasonality of a product and the influence on the sales volume (Ronke, 2013). As a result, the operation mainly considers the crowd management since the shops may be overcrowded during the high season and the low season opening the window of opportunity costs. On the other hand, the visibility dimension is concerned with how the company’s operations mingle with the customer (Ronke, 2013). Notably, the operation looks at the available options that the retailer has in marketing their product and services. For instance, a retailer may decide to utilize online platforms based on customer contact with the products.

Volume Dimension

The volume with which a product will be available is an essential component in the retail business (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). The amount affects the business operation and has a broad impact on the business strategy which also affects the transformation in the resources given. Notably, being the operations manager, it is essential to understand the right amount of sandwiches that will be produced to ensure they meet the customer demands while maintaining the profitability margins.

In the current scenario, the supermarket requires the production of 400 sandwiches on the weekdays and 200 on the weekends. Nonetheless, it is essential to factor in the customer patterns to determine the appropriate to increase the volume of the goods such as the high season (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Consequently, the firm can determine the low season pattern which involves the optimization in the quantities produced to avoid the wastage of goods.

The volume determines certain factors such as the number of machines to be used, space for storing raw materials, methods of dispatching the products and the level of automation to be carried at numerous stages of production (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Notably, the low volume operation in the organization is less repetitive thus encouraging the employees to perform more than two roles. Therefore, the small volumes require that the organization to identify the right type of employees with multi-skills as it can be deployed in different levels of the operation (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). On the other hand, the lack of volume translates to systemization which may lead to higher costs.

The high volume in the production process refers to the repetitive process that is capable of being standardized (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Standardization brings in the ability of automation which may result from the appliance of technology in the production process. The production in the high volumes also affects the human resources that are required in the organization, seeing that automation is likely to lead in fewer jobs (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). In essences, the volume of good produced plays a significant role in determining whether technology should be applied depending on the product demand.

In the given circumstance, the high and low season of the clients determines the volume of production. With the high season which translates to a high influx of customers, the organization would best apply automation in the process of production of sandwiches. The move allows the organization to produce a large number of products while preceding the means of production (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). On the other hand, during the low seasons, it is essential that the organization utilization the multi-skills.

The move allows the organization to diversify the repetitive role in the organization seeing as a low number of products are moving during the period. In reality, the patterns of the customers play a significant role in determining the capital input and the workforce to spread over the processes to ensure the maximization of profits. Notably, the vastness of the infrastructure is a capital incentive and allows for the economy of scale.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Volume Dimension

High Volumes

High volumes of scale have several advantages. For instance, the economy of scale allows the gaining of a larger market share (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Additionally, it provides for the satisfaction of high demand since the automation process allows for the quick output (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Nonetheless, the high volume has some disadvantages such as the staffs are likely to be less satisfied since a majority of the processes are repetitive, and they provide little incentive towards the development of the employees.

Low Volumes

The low volumes present certain advantages such as the high level of variety which would be suitable for the organization to shift with the customer’s tastes and preferences (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Additionally, the multi-skills levels are likely to bring in a motivation factor to the employees since they are less likely to suffer from the boredom of performing the same roles. On the other hand, the process brings in specific cons such as limited production of the good (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Additionally, the unit costs of production are high thus making the organization unable to compete in the market.

Based on the roles and cons of the production volumes, automation of the process would be more effective. The method reduces the number of employees required to perform a task (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Additionally, the process leads to a reduction in the costs of production since a few numbers of staff are employed in the process. Although the process is demotivating due to the repetition of roles, at the end of the end of the day, the organization manages to produce the optimum number of good while generating more profits (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Consequently, the production in low volumes may be essential as it allows for the diversification of the goods and services, it does not cost friendly.

The Transformation Process and Operating Strategy

Transformation Process

The transformation process involves the ability to take in the input of the product and transforming it into a desirable outcome for the consumer (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). The transformation involves three processes of input, process, and output. The input transformation consists of a process that leads to the production of goods. During the process, certain factors are brought together such as the materials, employee and the technology (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Notably, the process also factors in the goods that are being transformed and the resources doing the transformation.

In the given circumstance for the production of the sandwiches, it is essential to factor in all the process of transformation to ensure that they are cost effective. Notably, the transformed resource involves factors such as the customer information that is processed to allow the personalization of the goods and services. In this case, the market information will allow for the production of sandwiches based on the data from the market place. The process also incorporates value added which is the process that takes into account the conforming of a product to one that is specific to the needs of the consumers (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). On the other hand, the transforming resources include those that that are involved in the production of the commodity or the factors of production. In the given case, the production process provides the automation or multi-skills of roles to gain maximum returns.

Nonetheless, during the planning process, it is essential to come up with an operating model as it provides references for the different roles (He et al., 2018). If all the functions are placed in one process, they may be problematic to the manager hence overwhelming the work schedule. The transformation model provides the blueprints for the roles that are to be played by all the participants. Appendix 1 illustrates a suitable model.

The production process is a single task that involves the channeling of various procedures to come up with a single commodity (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). The primary role of operation management involves supervising the numerous functions. Therefore, it is crucial that the manager can manage the various components of the process to ensure that the organization is not undergoing unnecessary cost (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). An operation manager should have a comprehension of each of the process in the making of the sandwiches and understanding how each of the methods is interrelated.

Furthermore, creating a model is vital in helping oversee all the process. For instance, the model provides relevant information regarding some of the most cost-friendly and expensive process which can be eliminated from the process (He et al., 2018). As the project manager for the retail, the model provides sufficient information on the services the organization needs to eliminate from the transformation process to achieve maximum production. More so, through the model, it is easier to comprehend all the processes thus strengthen the processes involved in the transformation of goods and services.

Operation Strategy

As an operation manager, the operation strategy is instrumental in providing the guidelines for all the process. The strategies are categorized into, corporate, business and functional approach (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). In the given circumstance, the production of sandwiches should be developed in a manner that satisfies the market demand while competing with other organization. Therefore adopting a business strategy would be the best option (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). Notably, a business strategy is concerned with how the operations of an organization compete with others in the market.

Nonetheless, for the strategy to work, it should link with the corporate strategy and the business units to determine the allocation of resources (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). In the case where the organization has limited resources, it may be difficult for the organization to implement the business strategy. The business strategy is usually a theoretical framework whose applicable is only tested through the practical bit.

Before implementing the business strategy, it is essential for the operation manager to come to terms with the numerous dynamic of the market (Centre for Business Dynamics, 2013). For a business strategy, the operation manager needs to understand the primary competitor and the appropriate technology to be applied to achieve maximum returns.  In this case, the application of technology in the business model would allow the organization to operate at a cost-effective method while maintaining a competitive edge considering the production of sandwiches is based on the volumes.


Centre for Business Dynamics. (2013). Introduction to Operations Management.pp1-16

He, Y., Huang, H., Li, D., Shi, C., & Wu, S. J. (2018). Quality and Operations Management in Food Supply Chains: A Literature Review. Journal of Food Quality, 2018.

Hillier, F. S. (2012). Introduction to operations research. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Ronke,D .(2013). The Four V’s of Operations .pp.1-3