Operations Management is at the centre of so many changes affecting the business world. It’s important that managers can analyse the operations of their organisations and suggest and implement the necessary changes to meet these challenges. In this report I will discuss how the information I find can promote a lean philosophy and describe any recommendations I have. I will base my research on questionnaires and surveys and use literature to support my theories. I am going to conduct my research on the Hartpury College gym.
The research consists of a questionnaire given to 50 customers and 5 of the staff at the Hartpury gym. By giving the questionnaire to both customers and staff, different views can be seen and their priorities shown. The questionnaire consisted of 15 questions all relating to the Five Performance Objectives of the operation. Five main questions were split into three subsections each. The answers were given in ranking style formats out of 10. The first graph shows the results for the customer’s answers to the questionnaire.
Each main question was split into 3 subsections. These three sections were calculated into averages which gave five main values. These values show the level of importance of each performance objective to the customers. The graph shows that cost is the most important objective that the customers have about the operation. Dependability was given the lowest level of importance. This next graph shows the feedback from the questionnaires that the staff completed. The results were calculated as before and the level of importance of the performance objectives determined.
The graph shows that the staff working at the gym, no matter where they are on the hierarchy list, feels that cost is also the most important objective for the company. The last graph compares the customer feedback against the staff feedback. The final graph shows that the customers find cost more important than the staff. This may be because that the gyms primary clientele are students. The gym is based at a university. Students in full time education do have time to have a full time job, so get very little income. This is why the cost of becoming a member and using the equipment is important to them.
Setting the right cost effects all the objectives so is very important in all aspects, including staff costs, facility fees and material costs. Another finding shows that customers find flexibility more important than the staff. This is because students have varying and different timetables. Other students do extra curricular activities in the evenings. This means that the gym needs flexible opening times to facilitate all the students and co-inside with their other activities. The staff have shown that they find dependability more important than the customers do.
An organisation needs strong dependability so that the customers feel catered for. The staff want their customers to be able to trust them and rely on them if they need to change anything. “Each part of the operation can concentrate on improving its own area of responsibility without having its attention continually diverted by a lack of dependable service from the other parts” (Slack et al 2001). A lean philosophy is ‘the reduction of cost through the elimination of waste in the process, and the full appreciation and utilisation of the workers’ capabilities’ (A, Reichart. , M, Holweg.
(2007)). The overall goal is to reduce waste from the system in order to increase operating efficiency, thereby increasing the actual value-added. “Lean is most efficient when production is steady and predictable” (Scott, B 2005). This lean philosophy applies to the five performance objectives of the gym. The key issues of the gym are to eliminate waste, involve everyone and have a continuous rate of improvement. The gym needs to uphold a high level of merit, for example the equipment and services provided need to be of a high and safe standard. Quality means doing things right.
The gym as an operation needs to be clean and tidy, have an appropriate and attractive di?? cor and make sure that the staff are friendly and helpful. Quality reduces costs and increases dependability. Flexibility: The gym needs to flexible so that it can facilitate to any changes. Different products and services need to be available, for example the opening times need to be varied as the main customers (students) have varying timetables. Cost: The membership prices need to be a suitable price to facilitate students and people with different financial situations.
The cost of hiring employment needs to be considered as well as the cost of the upkeep of the gym itself, e. g. updates of equipment. The lower the cost of producing their services, the lower the cost to the customer will be. This is a very attractive attribute, especially to students. Speed: The gym does not want their customers to have to wait to use the facilities. The speed of the internal processes can reduce inventories and reduce risks. Dependability: The staff at the gym want to be able to do things in time for the customers to receive their services.
Being reliable causes the customers to become more loyal over time. Dependability can save time, save money and give support throughout the operation, internally and externally. To achieve a lean operation seven other elements need to be considered. Just-In-Time (JIT) is “producing goods and services exactly when they are needed” (Slack et al 2001). “The Japanese JIT philosophy of reducing waste and efficiently using inventory can profoundly influence organisational efficiency and effectiveness” (Cox, J and Snyder, C 1986). JIT has seven wastes which have to be addressed.