Here is sample for “ELEMENT010 Operation Management Assignment “

Introduction

Operation Management has been considered the administration of business practices to create the highest level of business efficiency possible within a business organization (Zhang et. al. 2019). Based on that given case study, Elite Print Services (EPS) under the Elite Group has been considered a recognized company in the pre-press and print technology market with excellent business operations. Throughout this study, key OM practices of EPS have been appropriately demonstrated.

Question 1

1.1 Analysis of key External Performance objectives and operations of EPS

In the field of Operation Management (OM), it has been found that there have been presented various kinds of external factors for a business organization, which help fulfill key business objectives of the A&B Supermarket business. The external business operations of EPS have included different types of card delivery like Christmas cards, everyday cards, special days’ cards, and others. Zhen et. al. (2019) stated that the whole card-making process had been considered an internal business operation. In this specific segment of the current study, such external performance of EPS has been demonstrated with the help derived from some relevant OM model-based applications as follows:

1.1.1 Input-Process-Output Model

In the field of OM, this model has transformed inputs including labor, capital, equipment, land, buildings, materials, and information into outputs like goods and services. In this way, it has also been able to add value to potential customers of a business organization (Qin et. al. 2019). It has also been found that through the successful application of this model, most business organizations have been striving to maximize the quality of the whole transformation process for meeting customer requirements as per modern market scenarios.

ELEMENT010 Operation Management Assignment

Figure 1: Input-Process-Output Model

(Source: Kumrai et. al. 2018)

As observed from that upper diagram, it can be realized that every input within business operation management can be transformed into outputs by maintaining suitable transformation progress. Here, inputs have been categorized into two (2) subcategories altogether. Those have consisted of transforming resources as well as transforming resources. As stated by Wang et. al. (2017), it has been seen that facilities along with workers are those kinds of resources, which have helped to transform inputs towards outputs, which has also been called transforming resources. In contrast to this, transformed resources have also consisted of finished materials or goods, information, and the most important one, customers at the same time.

Now, in the context of EPS, it has mainly been seen that the transforming resources have been identified as raw paper with enhanced quality standards. However, the transformed resources have also been identified as greeting cards, which will be delivered to the A & B Superstore market at the same time.

On the other hand, in the sense of internal business operations of EPS, it has been found that there are 5 printing machines, 3 guillotines, and 5 folders, which have also helped to deliver materials at 6000 sheets/hour, 4000 sheets/hour, and 24,000 sheets/hour respectively. In this way, Kate Wilson, the accounting manager of EPS has also been assured that EPS has acquired the adequate capacity to deliver 600,000 sheets to A&B business.

Apart from that, it has also been found that between transforming and transforming goods at EPS, raw paper or sheets have been processed through bindery first, then that paper has been cut as per required size in ‘guillotine’ machines. Hence, to fulfill the expectations of the A&B business, such abilities of EPS have become able to produce 5,000 to 6,000 sheets per hour by introducing extra shifts on Saturdays and Sundays. As reported by Singh and Verma (2018), in this situation, during the whole transforming process, the process of guillotining and folding has been considered as the most challenging job, which might take around 10 minutes. Moreover, the process of die-cutting and embossing has also been highly justified. Those proceedings have helped make Christmas greeting cards for A&B into attractive edge shapes with an integrating surface on cards in transformed materials.

1.1.2 Operation 4Vs.’

In operation management (OM), it has mainly been found that all kinds of operation proceedings have included one common thing. Additionally, this thing has also taken some ‘inputs’ like raw materials, knowledge, capital, equipment, and time with the key purpose of transforming raw materials into output goods (Mishra et. al. 2021). However, this whole procedure can be accomplished in unique ways through four (4) key dimensions. Those dimensions consist of Volume, Variety, Variation as well as Visibility altogether.

ELEMENT010 Operation Management Assignment

Figure 2: 4Vs’ of Operation Management (OM)

(Source: Qin et. al. 2019)

Now, on behalf of EPS’ operation management practices, these four (4) Vs have been demonstrated and explained as follows:

Volume

This has been considered the specific rate or level of output or transformed materials derived from a process, which is also included within the determined behavioral segment. Therefore, for EPS, the indoor activity of making greeting cards is high. This organization has dealt with various customers or clients like Creativity Inc, Gordon Fraser, INK Group, Cardivity, Descom Cards, and others, small suppliers of cards. However, in recent times, EPS has taken a massive order from the A&B business of around 600,000 Christmas cards at a time. For this organization’s outdoor operation management practices, the volume is low. As stated by Si (2021), as most merchandise has purchased ‘buy once’ products, where customers have acquired is only one chance to get them upgraded simultaneously. This specific volume is also high sometimes for EPS, as most workers cannot forecast clients’ buying patterns depending on sales sizes.

Variety

This has been considered an integral feature, which has determined the behavioral process with several produced services and products. In the company’s internal operation management practices, they have presented a variety of card options, which customers can choose from that range. As Pandey et. al. (2020) indicated, in the field of EPS’ external business operations, a lower variety of cards have been seen thereafter.

Variations

This specific amount has depended on varied output degrees, where an integral character has decided the whole behavioral process. Henceforth, for EPS’ internal business operations, this amount is low, as most raw materials like papers have been used by clients always with easy forecasts of business (Zorin, 2019). In external business operations of EPS, this rate is high, as most cards are sold based on customers’ demands.

Visibility

In this case, it has added value to customers’ experience of buying products, also called customer contact. This rate is high for EPS’ internal business operations, as clients can easily avail their products on demand (Lee and Tuegeh 2020). However, this rate is low within EPS’ external business operations, as most cards are only one-time-use products.

Question 2

2.1 Identification and Evaluation of Risks and Rewards in EPS

In this specific segment of the current study, based on that given case scenario of EPS and A&B Supermarket business, here have been presented potential risks along with feasible solutions against themselves at the time of accepting orders from A&B business below:

Managing Inventory / Stock levels

For any business organization, both overstocks and stock-outs have been considered general issues administrators and managers face. EPS has acquired good market recognition to deliver expected card demands for numerous clients. However, the issue has been identified as when A&B Superstore gave a massive order of 600,000 sheets / Christmas cards to EPS. As in previous times, EPS had been handling only limited customers with small card orders of between 4,000 and 15,000 maximum; such a huge order creates a lot of business complexities in the field of inventory management.

Rewards: However, the accounting manager of EPS, Kate, is willing to take this order as a challenge for EPS leading towards high productivity and profitability rather than a small number of sales in business. Ordu et. al. (2020) indicated that it has also delivered an enormous business opportunity to gain a positive competitive edge in the market from existing competitors with a strong revival position.

Solution: To overcome this inventory issue or challenge of EPS, Kate should adopt the right strategies. In detail, as per maintaining the rapidly changing market conditions, raw materials should be arranged equipped with quality raw papers, die-cutting machines, embossing techniques, metallic inks, and gold foil blocking as per recent market availability and choices (Alhilman et. al. 2017). All members, including Kate, Will, Alex Wu, Jerry, and others, should take on roles and responsibilities at a time.

Maintaining Relationship with Clients and Suppliers

For any business entity’s operation management practices, it is essential to maintain a healthy and sound relationship with customers and suppliers, as they have played pivotal roles in organizational productivity and profitability. In this way, it has been seen that EPS has a broad range of clients in its business. For this specific reason, risk has been identified as when any client will give a huge order; it might fail to fulfill their demands due to some unusual situations (Moreira et. al. 2018). In detail, as A&B business has ordered a huge amount of Christmas cards worth 600,000, unique conditions must have aggravated this client.

Solutions: Therefore, for maintaining a good and fruitful relationship with A&B Supermarket, EPS can do the following:

  • Time limitation in business operation management practices
  • Incorporating hard-working workers for working in additional shifts
  • Arranging more raw materials by maintaining quality-standards, which also helps to produce expected Christmas cards
  • Arranging a separate business place for managing inventories and orders only for A&B and others.

Time-Consuming Activities

In the field of organizational operation management (OM) practices, due to a lack of proper time management and schedules, it becomes quite hard to ensure deliverables on time. In this way, on behalf of EPS, it has mainly been seen that for arranging around 600,000 Christmas greeting cards, there might be required an enormous amount of time rather than normal working hours in this organization. Villalba-Diez et. al. (2019) stressed that a negative scenario of the business environment might occur with unproductive elements due to poor time management practices. For this same reason, EPS might have failed to deliver this high amount of card orders to A&B, leading towards a negative business impression in the whole market segment.

Solution: In this situation, for EPS, it has been advised to add more additional time shifts at work on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to this, there must also be a need for recruiting more skilled and knowledgeable workers to resolve this serious business concern with a diverse range of positive business outcomes and benefits altogether.

Unpredictable Demands of Cards

In the field of organizational operation management (OM) scenario, it becomes quite impossible to realize accurate demands of products or services in the specific market segment from its valued customers. Like this way, for EPS, it has been found that rather than numerous clients’ small card orders, A&B Superstore has ordered an enormous amount of cards to be delivered before Christmas. As Zhen et. al. (2019) indicated, this business situation might induce a range of issues and challenges in core business operations. This might stagger the whole business operation management practices with the possibility of sudden loss in profits or net income.

Solution: In these unusual circumstances of business OM practices, it has been recommended to predict the future market demand by enhancing proper recent market research and other developmental activities. Through enhanced training and development measures, workers of EPS have also been becoming more skilled and knowledgeable at work. Thus, Kate and Jerry Winter should have a positive relationship with A&B regarding proper inventory assurance and managerial activities (Zhang et. al. 2019). Apart from that, there must also be a need for inducing positive relationships with suppliers to get on-time delivery of raw materials like paper, ink, and others at the same point.

Question 3

3.1. EPS management and practices

From the case study, Imaging networks, advertising, promotional print, corporate literature, academic journals, rigid and flexible packaging, and labels are just a few of the information exchange industries in which the Elite Group is active (Shahrubudin et. al. 2019). EPS is a printing technology company that employs roughly 250 employees and specializes in greeting cards, gift wrap, posters, calendars, book covers, and folders. The majority of their clients are creative publishers that supply retailers.

The manufacture of cards, which are divided into three categories: Xmas cards, daily cards (including birthday cards), and unique treat cards (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, and so on), accounts for the majority of the company’s revenue. Larger stores, such as supermarkets, were selling increasing cards, indicating that the attractive card business had sparked their attention (Auster et. al. 2016).

EPS had always aspired to remain at the forefront of the market and technological changes. If there were a market for providing larger stores, they intended to be a part of it. Because of their outstanding commitment to quality and timeliness, as well as a strong sales effort, they appeared to have their first serious chance to supply a large store – A&B Supermarket Corporation in the spring of 2019. Kate Wilson, one of the account managers, had been communicating with A&B through a publisher for some time but now appeared to be close to receiving the first order (Ellickson 2016). She had previously briefed many of the firm’s technical professionals and management on the basic needs.

The unique paper could be bought from one of the typical paper suppliers. Still, they would have to utilize a relatively new source with someone they have limited expertise with for the metallic inks and gold-blocking (Liu et. al. 2021). The die-cutting and gold-blocking would be outsourced because the factory lacked the necessary equipment (Ternytskyi et. al. 2021). The firm in question begins using a template to create your card, then changes the contents based on the information you need to express. You might not need to mention a street address, or you could need to include social media profiles. Most services allow you to customize text boxes by adding or removing them. As other firm designers do, companies love it when the online interface gives guidelines to align text boxes or graphics.

As per the case study, A&B’s collection of cards didn’t appear to be all that different from many previous orders. All of the cards were embossed, and the color was warm, primarily reds and greens, with some metallic inks and gold foil blocking, both of which were rare for this sort of paper. Simple, eye-catching graphics such as Christmas trees, tartan teddy bears, sentimental pictures of youngsters, and a winter bunny adorned the delightful designs. The publisher’s graphics expertise had been put to good use, and the final drawings were to be die-cut for a more intriguing form. Die-cutting refers to the process of cutting the edges of the cards into shapes rather than straight lines, and embossing refers to the process of pressing the paper surface between profiled plates to create an intriguing cover. The quality of the particular paper gave the sample printing an extraordinarily matt texture, giving the cards a highly sophisticated, up-market appearance. This concept design would be a winner when merged with EPS’ production capabilities. As a result of shifting tastes, customers may begin to favor new and innovative products.

When Elite receives an order from A&B supermarket, it will need to focus on some points for delivering on time.

3.2. Strength:

  • Card quality, on the other hand, is about much more than thickness and weight. They have to pay for textures as well (Phillips 2015). The most popular materials include linen, gloss, matte, and soft-touch. Some providers also provide natural, recycled paper, which has its unique personality.
  • There were no technical issues with the card, nor were there any unexpected elements that needed to be addressed. In truth, in terms of design and manufacturing, it wasn’t one of the most complex cards they’d ever worked on.
  • Take good quality papers for embossed and for others.
  • The company needs a labor facility to ship the orders on time.
  • The company also needs less packaging time for fast orders.
  • The company needs to purchase more printing machines for their fast orders.
  • When it comes to making a final selection, buyers prioritize value to be an excellent value price of products.
  • The company made significant investments in staff training, resulting in many competent and motivated personnel.

3.3. Weakness:

  • Until recently, the card industry was dominated by specialty publishers who supplied various retail venues, including newsstands, gift shops, and card stores.
  • In contrast to most routine purchases, the delivery criteria were exceptionally uncommon in that they would be carefully arranged across several weeks.
  • The company needs to focus on labor work as they require more care while working.
  • It also needs eye-catching images as they don’t have these types of graphics for highlighting.
  • Because there are fewer workers than the actual career necessary, the workload per worker is high. Workers are likely to be more irritated and less productive as a result of this.
  • More focus upon Christmas’s orders as for this occasion they received orders from the beginning of October and customers’ needs the order before Christmas.
  • They are not responding quickly enough to the changes in the greeting card business.
  • The company has a very healthy IT infrastructure that guarantees internal and external activities also orders are efficient.
  • Before being converted into printing plates, the graphics were finalized and confirmed by customers and corporate professionals, so it takes time, and then others also take time.
  • Bad customer service (such as ineffective customer complaint management) can cause the unfavorable word of mouth about a company and restrict growth.
  • The price strategy is based on the value judgments of the customers. So the company needs to be the focus on the pricing range.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that both macros and micro-environments of a business organization have played significant roles in that same organization’s future growth, success, and development. Especially in the case of EPS, effective organizational operation management (OM) principles have been highly prioritized to deliver a huge amount of Christmas card orders to A&B Supermarket business at the right time. As this order is huge from other regular orders of EPS from other clients, there might be some potential risks like lack of knowledge and skills, poor time management, lack of inventory management, and others. Hence, it has been suggested to incur the best approaches of feasible strategic options and recommendations to overcome these issues accordingly.

 

 

References

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Auster, C.J. and Auster-Gussman, L.A., (2016). Contemporary Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Greeting Cards: A Reflection of Traditional Ideologies of Motherhood and Fatherhood?. Journal of Family Issues, 37(9), pp.1294-1326.

Ellickson, P.B., (2016). The evolution of the supermarket industry: from A & P to Walmart. In Handbook on the Economics of Retailing and Distribution. Edward Elgar Publishing.

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