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By Nigel Slack; R Johnston; Alistair Brandon-Jones

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The model now shows two interconnected loops of activities. The bottom one more or less corresponds to what is usually seen as operations management, and the top one to what is seen as operations strategy. This book concentrates on the former but tries to cover enough of the latter to allow the reader to make strategic sense of the operations manager’s job. Critical commentary The central idea in this introductory chapter is that all organizations have operations processes which produce products and services and all these processes are essentially similar.

The other set of inputs to any operations process are transforming resources. These are the resources which act upon the transformed resources. There are two types which form the ‘building blocks’ of all operations: ● ● facilities – the buildings, equipment, plant and process technology of the operation; staff – the people who operate, maintain, plan and manage the operation. ) The exact nature of both facilities and staff will differ between operations. To a five-star hotel, its facilities consist mainly of ‘low-tech’ buildings, furniture and fittings.

Behind its web site it can be more ‘factory-like’. The time lag between the order being placed and the items ordered by the customer being retrieved and dispatched does not have to be minutes as in the shop, but can be hours or even days. This allows the tasks of finding the items, packing and dispatching them to be standardized by staff who need few customer contact skills. Also, there can be relatively high staff utilization. The web-based organization can also centralize its operation on one (physical) site, whereas the ‘bricks and mortar’ shop needs many shops close to centres of demand.

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