Keep them happy and your business will blossom.

Human Resources and job design is one of the ten critical decision areas of operation management. Human Resources play a major role in the success of any operations management of a company. Human resources supply an organization with its employees and take care of administrative issues such as payroll, on-job training, rewards and other vital matters. It forms the fundamental basis for any operations management system.

Based on the company’s requirements, job descriptions should be tailored and accordingly the selection process starts. HR fills the positions with effective workers who are professional, efficient and have the right work skills. Each employee should be aware of his job description and what is expected of him. Some companies do not have a clear job description, no communication of expectations and responsibilities and therefore, employees have little understanding of their job role and feel confused and disorganized. A strong communication path should exist between the management level and its employees.

For a successful business, great emphasize should be placed on HR because they form the base for any organization. Employees are a company’s first customers. They should be treated with fairness and rewarded as they go up the career ladder. A career path for each employee should be drawn and clearly communicated. Dissatisfied employees could generate bad business practices and dissatisfied customers. Keep them happy and your business will blossom.

I have included below a link for an interview with Steve Jobs. This interview was presented and discussed in one of our work meetings and wanted to share with you. He states two main factors for the success of any organization. One is hiring people who have passion for what they do. Steve Jobs mentioned that people who have passion and love their job would never tire from hard work. To reach success, a lot of hard work and long stressful hours is required. People who don’t have passion for their jobs lack the enthusiasm to work for long hours to accomplish the company goals.

Another success factor is hiring the right talent for the right job. Many times you find the wrong person in the wrong job which results in job errors and customer dissatisfaction. Some companies opt for cheap labor to fill positions instead of paying more for qualified workers, not realizing that in the long run their investment would pay off. Invest in your human resources to achieve success in the long run.

I end this article with a tribute to a great mentor who inspired nations, Steve Jobs. Steve Job’s Interview link:

Leading you by hand.

Operations management and product design… Two important areas each organization should focus on in order to differentiate itself from its competitors and become a success.

A very successful organization that has managed to become a very well known brand and a leader in its industry by developing its own operations management style and focusing on its product designs is IKEA. The IKEA vision is “To create a better everyday life for the many people.” Its business idea is to offer a wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

By focusing on product design, consumer value, clever solutions, and by using inexpensive materials in a novel way and minimizing production, distribution and retail costs, IKEA was able to offer its customers furnishing products at low prices compared to its competitors. The IKEA product range is developed to be extensive enough to have something that appeals to everyone and to cover all functions in the home. The products are modern not trendy so they are practical enough for everyday use. They are functional and appealing, and enable many people to improve their home life through practical solutions to everyday problems. Creative yet practical!

Not only that, IKEA products are subjected to rigorous tests to make sure that they meet national and international safety standards (Quality Management).

IKEA has developed a unique way to manage and craft its customer experience and therefore had become its core competence. Many organizations tried to copy this approach but so far none were met with success. The IKEA concept builds on a relationship with the consumer. IKEA is one of those stores with a great shopping experience that evokes word of mouth. I always look forward to my visits there. It is so much fun to just sit on all those couches or envision how that bedroom would look in my own house.

What IKEA management has done was that they have studied thoroughly the customers’ behavior and their hot buttons when it comes to shopping for furniture and focused on developing its shopping environment and operations in a different way from its competitors. They focused on developing unique ideas and solutions that meets different styles and tastes in reasonable budgets by featuring mock up rooms with different sizes and showcase how their products could fit in small rooms and houses.

They have also been very successful in creating some kind of a walkthrough experience from the entry point to exit point with having some arrows on the floor guiding the customers to move from one section to the other. In a way, they are leading you by hand to make your shopping experience more enjoyable.

It might look very simple when discussing the different aspects of a successful operations management in IKEA, but combined together, it is a force to reckon with. Do you not agree?

Car dealerships with zero cars to sell!!!

 Forecasting plays a huge role in a business’s success. Making good estimates about the demand for their products and what sales will be is the main purpose of forecasting.

In a car dealership, management has to forecast market demand for its cars and order from the manufacturer accordingly. Medium-range forecasting is used for sales planning and budgeting.  Finding the right balance of supply and demand allows the dealership to order enough cars to meet the demand of its customers. The financial, marketing and personnel planning is based on the forecasted sales. Giving good estimates for demand is vital to the business as it takes each car ordered 3-4 months to be produced and delivered. Failure to do so would result in having a dealership with no stock and no cars to sell. This would result in turning potential customers away and losing business to other competitors. By predicting good demand, the dealership would have a competitive advantage over others and gain more market share.

I remember when I decided to purchase a new car and when I selected the car, I was told it was unavailable and I would have to wait for two months and had therefore ended up buying another brand.

How many times have you gone to a dealership, liked a car and asked for availability and were told you would have to wait for a month or two? How frustrating is that?

Another vital issue for a dealership and would highly reflect on their image is having a good projection of demand for car parts. Unavailability of parts would result in unsatisfied customers, reflect negatively on the brand image from bad word of mouth and the dealership would end up losing sales. A customer wants a comfortable ride for years and would definitely not purchase a car that has no available parts.  

Thus, you can see how important forecasting is to a business and the role it plays in its success.