Maintaining an efficient flow of materials and services from suppliers and managing internal activities relating to materials and other resources is essential to a profitable operation. Operations management ensures that all resources needed to produce finished products or services are available at the right time. For a manufacturer, this task may mean keeping track of thousands of subassemblies, components, and raw materials. For a service provider, this task may mean keeping track of various materials and supplies and time requirements for many different categories of employees and equipment.
Material requirements planning (MRP) is a computerized scheduling and information system that offers benefits in managing dependent demand inventories because it (1) recognizes the relationship between production schedules and the demand for component items, (2) provides forward visibility for planning and problem solving, and (3) provides a way to change materials plans in concert with production schedule changes. MRP has three basic inputs: bills of materials, the master production schedule, and inventory records. Implementation of MRP systems is widespread.
Significant inventory, customer service, and productivity benefits have been reported by many firms. Prerequisites, to successful implementation are adequate managerial and computer support, accurate database, and user knowledge and acceptance. IX. Managing work and work
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Firms can capitalize on the insights and experience of their employees in various ways, ranging from departmental problem-solving teams to cross-functional, self-directed teams. However, to utilize fully the talents of their work forces, firms must establish the proper environment, which includes restructuring the organization and its incentives, appropriately designing jobs, and using the proper tools to measure performance. Employee involvement is essential to improving competitiveness. One way to achieve employee involvement is to formulate work teams, such as problem-solving teams, special-purpose teams, and self-managing teams.