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Week 1: Operations

April 4, 2021
Brenda I. Belcher

Week 1: Operations

The operations function is the foundation of every successful business today and an essential process in every organization, whether it is a for-profit, a non-profit, or a government organization. For example, consider the decisions made in a restaurant, including food preparation and serving processes, quality control, capacity in terms of facilities and equipment, and inventory. All of the functional areas of an organization, including management, finance, marketing, and operations, must collaborate in making decisions about how the organization operates.

This week, you learn how critically important it is for the organization’s operations function to contribute to the achievement of the organization’s overall business strategy. You discover how each functional area of the organization makes operational decisions that must, when combined with decisions from other functional areas of the organization, achieve the firm’s mission, vision, and distinctive competence and policies. In some interesting cases, the supply chain strategy often is the firm’s distinctive competence.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the role of supply chain operations within an operations strategy
  • Analyze cross-functional decision-making processes within an operations strategy
  • Evaluate collaboration in managing operations
  • Identify supply chain and operations management concepts, theories, and practices

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Schroeder, R. G., Goldstein, S. M., & Rungusanatham, M. J. (2018). Operations management in the supply chain: Decisions and cases (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

  • Chapter 1, “The Operations Function” (pp. 2–17)In this chapter, you will be introduced to the importance of operations management within a business. You will learn about the types of decisions that must be made in operations, how these decisions affect other key decision areas, and the processes involved in converting inputs into outputs. Review and think about the examples and anecdotes provided in the chapter that illustrate the major ideas being conveyed. Consider the contemporary themes that recur in the field of operations. Ask yourself what additional operations management skills managers need to be successful in today’s global economy.
  • Chapter 2, “Operations and Supply Chain Strategy” (pp. 18-35)Chapter 2 introduces the operations strategy model, the importance of operations objectives and policies, and the supply chain strategy. The role of operations in expanding a business, including global expansion, is also discussed. Review and think about the examples and anecdotes provided in the chapter that illustrate the major ideas being conveyed. Consider the different components of the operations strategy model and the role of each. Ask yourself, what is the importance of developing a distinctive business competence, and how does expanding internationally impact the decisions that must be made?

Optional Resources

Schroeder, R. G., Goldstein, S. M., & Rungtusanatham, M. J. (2018). Operations management in the supply chain (7th ed.). Retrieved from http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0077835433/student_view0/index.html

Discussion 1: Operations Strategies

The focus of this week has been on operations management and operations as a process. Operations is a major function in every organization and, as the course text states, is responsible for supplying the products or services of the organization. Because operations are a function of the organization, every decision is actually a cross-functional decision involving marketing and finance.

To prepare for this Discussion, consider the following:

Review Table 1.1 in the course text. Based on your reading for this week and using newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, find examples of operations strategies used by an organization. Identify evidence regarding the organization’s:

  • Operations strategy model
  • Supply chain
  • Cross-functional decision-making process

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a 250- to 300-word statement that includes a description of the organization you chose, where you found the information, and the evidence you found regarding the organization’s strategy model, supply chain, and cross-functional decision-making processes.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and the insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Note: Be sure to support your work with specific reference citations from the Learning Resources and any additional sources you consulted. All references must be cited in APA format in an alphabetized list of references at the end of your summary post.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 1 Discussion 1 Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6

To participate in this Discussion:Week 1 Discussion 1

Discussion 2: Group Case Study

Study ProjectYou will have two Case Study assignments to complete for the Operations Strategy at BYD of China, Electrifying the World’s Automotive Market case (p. 410). One will involve a Group Discussion and the other will be an Individual Assignment. The information from both parts will be used for your individual Group Case Study Paper, due in Week 3.

The Individual Assignment in each week will help you to focus your analysis of the case, apply course concepts, and accomplish the course Learning Objectives. You and your group members should discuss the best answers to the question or questions presented. Each member of the group is required to post a response to the assigned questions in the Group Discussion Board.

Read the Operations Strategy at BYD of China, Electrifying the World’s Automotive Market case study in your course text (p. 410).

For your Group Discussion this week, do the following:

By Day 3

Post a 250- to 350-word response that addresses the following:

  • Do you think electric cars may become a viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles? Why?
  • What is the future of the electric car? Explain your answers.

While you are not required to respond to your colleagues’ individual Discussion posts, you are encouraged to do so.

Note: Complete the Group Discussion each week in the corresponding Forum of the Group Discussion Board found in the Groups area.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 1 Discussion 2 Rubric

Post by Day 3

To participate in this Group Discussion:Groups

Project: Group Case Study

Project: Group Case Study

Read the Operations Strategy at BYD of China, Electrifying the World’s Automotive Market case study in your course text (p. 410). After reviewing the information in this case study and the Learning Resources for this week, complete the following:

By Day 7

Submit and post to the Discussion Board a 250- to 350-word response to the following questions:

  • What were BYD’s operations objectives and how did these change?
  • What key operations decisions helped BYD develop a competitive advantage over other manufacturers?
  • Briefly describe BYD supply chain. What innovative ideas did BYD integrate into its supply chain model to reduce costs and improve efficiency?
Post by Day 7

To participate in this Group Discussion:Groups

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK1Proj+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 1 Project Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 1 Project link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK1Proj+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 1 Project Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 1 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Project:Week 1 Project

Week 1 Quiz

Welcome to the Week 1 Quiz.

There is no time limit to complete the Quiz. It is made up of 15 multiple-choice questions, and is worth 30 points. It covers Chapters 1 and 2 of the course text.

By Day 7

Complete the quiz of this week.

Submission and Grading Information

Submit Your Quiz by Day 7

To submit your Quiz:Week 1 Quiz

Week in Review

This week you analyzed the role of supply chain operations and cross-functional decision-making processes within an operations strategy. You also evaluated collaboration in managing operations and identified supply chain and operations management concepts and practices.

Next week you will learn about designing new products and how new product development impacts the operations function. You will also learn about some of the challenges a manager faces when working with cross-functional product development.

Next Week

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