3.8 Section summary
This section has introduced you to the nature of operations management and the role that technology plays.
The operations function has been treated as a transformation process, converting resource inputs of various types to outputs that providcovere value for a range of stakeholders – particularly but not exclusively in the form of goods and services for customers. This transformation process principle can be applied at all levels in an organisation – both the enterprise as a whole and subdivisions or departments within it, that is, to macro- and micro-operations. And of course it applies to all types of enterprise, large and small, public and private, manufacturing and service based.
Although processes are identified as the province of the operations function, potentially they span all departmental boundaries. A process to provide a service to a customer will generally involve the marketing department for information about customers likely to be interested in taking up the service, the finance department to cost the service and provide invoices and other financial information, and the human resources department to recruit staff. Similarly, a process may well need to span organisations and embrace the entire supply network, to make use of resources provided by third parties. Management of various interfaces internal and external to the organisation is therefore an important part of the operations role.
Technology plays a key role in transformation processes of all types, whether they are concerned with transforming materials, information or customers, or a combination of all three. Technology's capability to integrate functions within and between enterprises is especially important.