Innovation and Operation Management

Topics: Innovation, Manufacturing, Management Pages: 8 (2622 words) Published: April 7, 2008
Operation management focuses on carefully managing the processes to produce and distribute products and services. Overall activities of operational management include product creation, development, production and distribution. Related activities include managing purchases, inventory control, quality control, storage, logistics and evaluation (schmenner,1985). Operational management often includes substantial measurement and analysis of internal process. Ultimately, the nature of how operation management is carried out in an organization depends very much on the nature of the products or services in the organization .In this case, the main goal of this paper is to provide an analysis to the business operation of AB Machines Tools.

Question 1

Innovations drive companies to the success and its not always the technology enables this but there are many forms of innovations in different industries and some of these specific innovations dominate over technology which is always rash as the number one factor.Firstly innovation types like disruptive, application and product dominate the technology adoption life cycle. Then, second suite of innovation process, experiential, and marketing types comes to the force. Later, Business model innovation reframes an established value proposition to the customer and Structural innovation capitalizes on disruption to restructure industry relationship (Moore,G. 2004).In AB innovations like product, application, process, experimental, marketing and structural were highlighted for over many years.

Product and application Innovation:
Product innovation is crucial for a firm to get a competitive advantage in the business. AB machine tools used the Product innovation, Asquith-Butler designers and senior management followed technological developments and continuously redesigned their products to exploits new technology. For example, Asquith radial drills and Butler shaping machines were produced with extend of technology. Innovation was the order winning and qualifying criteria in AB machine tools. Imaginative design solutions are most essential for LE and VN applications. Also, computer Numerical Control (CNC) superseded the hard wired Numerical Control. These product new technologies also provide major cost benefits. , for example ‘Multiplex’ where a single wire replaces the complex wiring.

AB used application innovation in phase3 by the introduction of Flexible manufacturing systems where they are expect to extend their products LE and VN to new market to support new customers like general engineering companies who are very cost sensitive and they require more integrated technology and customization (Moreton K., 2005).

Process and experimental Innovation:
The most important innovation type for the AB Machine tools is the process innovation and AB used it with latest technology and function to reduce the overall functional complexity. They used Robotics, advanced material handling devices to handle the products in their shop floor for their efficient and effective utilization. They used Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) to integrate the various companies manufacturing activities like Demand management, Customer orders, Forecast Demand, Master Production Schedule, Inventory records and Purchase Order and helped to reduce redundant process and to eliminate the unwanted process. They also used manufacturing planning and control to manage their operation effectively. Company implemented the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) which integrated system based function of suppliers and customers. It eliminated the process delay by sending and receiving purchase-order, invoice and cash payment through conventional postal services. They achieved a secured link between company and suppliers to transfer secret on-line information with the help of internet. A little experimental innovation can be seen where they change surface of products and slightly the...
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