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3.5 Feedback

A further component of the transformation model in Figure 1 is the feedback loop. Feedback information is used to control the operations system, by adjusting the inputs and transformation processes that are used to achieve desired outputs. For example, a chef relies on a flow of information from the customer, through the waiter, about the quality of the food. Adverse feedback might lead the chef to change the inputs (for example by buying better quality potatoes) or the transformation process
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2.2.2 Mass production

In many industries, craft manufacturing began to be replaced by mass production in the 19th century. Mass production involves producing goods in high volume with low variety – the opposite of craft manufacturing. Customers are expected to buy what is supplied, rather than goods made to their own specifications. Producers concentrated on keeping costs, and hence prices, down by minimising the variety of both components and products and setting up large production runs. They developed aggress
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1 Understanding operations management

Consider the ingredients of your breakfast this morning. Unless you live on a farm and produced them yourself, they passed through a number of different processing steps between the farmer and your table and were handled by several different organisations. Similarly, your morning newspaper was created and delivered to you through the interactions of a number of different organisations.

Every day, you use a multitude of physical objects and a variety of services. Most of the physical obj
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Introduction

This Unit is designed to provide you with a basic framework for understanding operations management and its organisational and managerial context. It begins with a brief history of the changing nature of operations in a manufacturing context, but emphasises that the operations function is significant in all types of organisation, whether they produce goods or provide services, and whether they are in the private, public or voluntary sectors.

This Unit presents a process model of operati
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2.2.2 A second diagram

This first representation can be developed in the way shown in Figure 11.

1.1.1 The horizontal and vertical axes

The total costs depend on the output, so the output is the ‘independent variable’ and the total costs are the ‘dependent variable’. When there is a dependence of this kind, the independent variable is plotted on the horizontal axis, which is also called the x axis. In the graph, output has been plotted on the horizontal axis. The dependent variable is plotted on the vertical axis, also called the y axis. The total costs have been plotted on the vertical axis.


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3.2 Maturity

The maturity of an investment is the date when the investor is contractually entitled to demand repayment of the investment and the associated return. Some investments (such as company shares, as discussed in Section 3.1) actually have no contractual maturity. Others – such as demand deposits at banks – are subject to contractual repayment
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8 Drawing up the implementation plan

Once the detailed planning and risk assessments have been carried out, you are ready to assemble your implementation plan. A typical implementation plan, including diagrams and charts where appropriate, will contain:

  • a description of the background to the project;

  • its goals and objectives in terms of intended outputs and/or outcomes;

  • the resource implications (budget, personnel – including any training requirements
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Introduction

This unit will help you to develop the skills required when planning a project. You will examine the various components of a project plan, and be introduced to a number of tools and techniques to aid planning.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Fundamentals of Senior Management (B713) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this Author(s): The Open University

Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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6.6 Professional bodies and societies

Consider joining a learned society or professional organisation. They can be very useful for conference bulletins as well as in-house publications, often included in the subscription. Don't forget to ask about student rates. Try looking for the websites of learned societies associated with your subject area (e.g. The Royal Society, the Institute of Electrical
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6.4 Blogs

The founder of Technorati claims that the number of ‘blogs’ doubles every five months and that the creation rate is approaching two per second. One estimate I read in July 2010 put the number at 400 million blogs. Because these online diaries offer instant publishing opportunities, you potentially have access to a wealth of knowledge from commentators and experts (if they blog) in a wide range of fields. Most internet searc
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6.2 Alerts

Online bookshops and some of the major search engines offer ‘Alerts’ services. These work by allowing you to set up a profile once you have registered on their site, and when there are items meeting your criteria you receive an email. The good thing about alerts is that you don’t have to do anything once you have set up your profile. The downside, particularly with alerts services from the search engines, is that given the extent to which internet traffic is on the increase whether new
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5.4 The 5 Ds

If you don’t use a system at all, then you could suffer from the effects of information overload:

  • losing important information

  • wasting time on trying to find things

  • ending up with piles of physical and virtual stuff everywhere

One technique you might like to apply to your files (be they paper or electronic) is the 5Ds. Try applying these and see if you can reduce your information overload.


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5.1 Why is it important to be organised?

  • 87% of items that are filed into a filing cabinet are never looked at again. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

  • TIn 2010, the world’s digital information output was estimated to pass 1.2 zettabytes. A zettabyte is a new term which equals a thousand billion gigabytes.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (BERKELEY)

  • A new blog is created every second. TECHNORATI

  • 10% of salary costs are wasted as employee
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4.6 P is for Provenance

The provenance of a piece of information (i.e. who produced it? where did it come from?) may provide another useful clue to its reliability. It represents the 'credentials' of a piece of information that support its status and perceived value. It is therefore very important to be able to identify the author, sponsoring body or source of your information.

Why is this important?

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4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be
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3.8 Internet resources

There are many websites where you will find useful information for business and management. With all information on the internet you need to make a judgement on the reliability of the information.

Interactive Investor InternationalA good market data site, offering a mixture of real-time, dela
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2.2.1 Checklist of common features

  • Is there any online help?

  • Can I do a simple search?

  • Can I look at the information in both short and detailed form?

  • Can I choose where in the record I want my search terms to be found?

  • Can I search for phrases?

  • Can I combine search terms?

  • Can I use truncation?

  • Can I use wildcards?

  • Can I do an advanced search?

  • Can I get a list
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2.1.1 Choosing keywords

Keywords are significant words which define the subject you are looking for. The importance of keywords is illustrated by the fact that there is a whole industry around providing advice to companies on how to select keywords for their websites that are likely to make it to the top of results lists generated by search engines. We often choose keywords as part of an iterative process; usually if we don't hit on the right search terms straight off, most of us tweak them as we go along based on t
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