Operations management and its evolutions

Pages: 9 (2151 mots) Publié le: 26 janvier 2011
Operations Management
and its evolutions


Operations management is one of the three main areas of any business, which are Finance, Marketing and Operations Management.

Management is defined, referring to the APICS, The Association for Operations Management, as “"the field of study that focuses on the effective planning, scheduling, use, and control of a manufacturing orservice organization through the study of concepts from design engineering, industrial engineering, management information systems, quality management, production management, inventory management, accounting, and other functions as they affect the organization".
To sum up, Operations Management tries to make “business operations efficient and effective”.

We can say that Operations Managementappeared in the eighteenth century, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Two major authors wrote about Operations Management in this time, the first one is the well-known Adam Smith with its as well-known book The wealth of the Nations in 1776 in which he deals with the division of the labour as a way to be more efficient on the production process. The next important person is Eli Withney in1798 who was the first one really trying to solve Operations Management issues.
The Operations Management has evolved since the eighteenth century, many people have worked about this subject and has invented new ways to manage the resources: specialization, scientific management, moving assembly line, just-in-time…
Operations Management has changed a lot in the last fifty years because of manyfactors: women started to work after the World War 2, communication and information have known huge changes with the development of tools like internet or evolution like the globalization process.

The evolutions of Operations Management are so a subject that really deserves to be studied.
Firstly, the evolution of Operations Management since 1776 to 20th century will be handled and next thechanges and their reasons will be treated.

History of Operations Management:

Adam Smith
Adam Smith was trying to find new ways of creating values. By experimentation, he realizes that division of the labour was an efficient way to develop the productivity of the production process. Before, products were whole made by workers in their own houses. Adam Smith proved with the example of the pinsmanufacture that giving a unique specialized task to each worker makes him much more efficient in his jobs. This could be understood by learning: when someone do the same thing all day long, five days per weeks, those gestures become so natural that they are done really quickly by workers, and so the production is more efficient.

Scientific Organisation of labour
The next step in OperationsManagement is made by Frederick Taylor which created the Scientific Organisation of Labour: he wanted to prevent stroll of employees. This stroll can be explained by the movements inside the manufacture to go from one production area to an other and by the limited motivation of the employees due of the poor wages earned by them.
To reduce those losses, Taylor began by counting the time each gesturetakes to be down by a worker, and next he learned the way of working of the most efficient worker for each task to the others, that’s why it’s called a Scientific organisation. He called that the “one best way” of working. This way of producing increases a lot the productivity of companies.
This revolutionary way to view production increased the productivity by 400%.

Henry Ford
Henry Forddecided to use Taylorism principles in his For Motor Company in Detroit to produce the first mass produced car, the Ford T; but Henry Ford didn’t only used Taylorism but he decided to go further. With the help of mechanization, he created mobile assembly lines to accelerate the production, moreover he developed standardization in his factories: on unique car was produced: the Ford T and in one...
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