Based on the first four chapters which we have covered in class, I can relate and I have a better understanding of the way operations management is done at my job. I work as an interior designer for a global furniture company who produces their furniture in Europe and sells them worldwide. The showroom I work for is located in Bahrain. Our company differentiates itself from our competitors by giving our customers the choice of customization. Our furniture pieces can be customized based on fabric, wood or leather finishes, size adjustments, and color selections. Every piece of furniture can be altered to be unique for the individual customer. Customization comes at the price of waiting three to four months for the delivery of the furniture.
Operations management is the task of our showroom manager. After learning about the Ten Major Operations Management Decisions which are required of operations managers, I have noticed how my manager makes his decisions based on those aspects on a daily basis.
Our company achieves its competitive advantage through operations with the use of differentiation. Our customers highly appreciate our customizing feature that we provide over our competitors, and thus are willing to wait for their unique furniture. In terms of Issues in Operations Strategy, I have noticed how my manager makes use of Porter’s five-forces model. The potential competing forces being: 1) immediate rivals, 2) potential entrants, 3) customers, 4) suppliers, and 5) substitute products, are covered on a regular basis at our employee meetings. My manager does not physically write out or draw the model, but goes through it verbally to see where we stand in relation to our competitors, customers, and our suppliers.
Project Controlling is a very important task in the interior design and furniture industry. Our process begins by meeting with our customers and brainstorming ideas for their spaces based on their preferences and tastes. The next step is planning and drawing with furniture proposals that we would recommend to the customer. Once the customer chooses the final selections, we proceed with ordering the furniture from our different suppliers. Once the furniture arrives we can then deliver it to the customer. Each project has a different completion time depending on the capacity of the project. Clearly the projects of one or two bedrooms finish quicker than a project of furnishing an entire house. Currently we are facing an issue with tracking our orders; therefore, my manager has asked our IT department to provide us with software that will allow for tracking of orders, which I believe will strongly benefit our control over our projects.
Since I deal with interior design and furniture, do you think operations management differs greatly between different industries or is there a basic standard for all industries?