Managing Technology in Operations Management

Introduction

In last decade or so technology has changed the way organization conduct their business. Advent of technology in operation management has increased productivity of the organization.

Technology and Operations Management

The scope of Technology and operation management has evolved over a period of time and has moved from development of products into design, management and improvement of operating system and processes.

Usage of technology in operation management has ensured that organizations are able to reduce the cost, improve the delivery process, standardize and improve quality and focus on customization, thereby creating value for customers.

Integration of Technology with Production System

Technology drives efficiency in organization and increases’ productivity of the organization. However, bringing technology in the production system is highly complex process, and it needs to following steps:

Technology Acquisition: technology acquired should align with overall objectives of the organization and should be approved after elaborate cost-benefit analysis.

Technology Integration: technology affects all aspects of production i.e. capital, labour and customer. Therefore, a solid technology integration plan is required.

Technology Verification: once technology integrated, it is important to check whether technology is delivering operational effectiveness and is been used to its fullest.

Technology in Manufacturing and Design

Technology is getting extensively used in customization of design products and services. The usage of computers and supporting electronic systems is integral part of modern industrial and services industry. Current techniques can be broadly classified into following categories:

Computer-Aided Design (CAD): CAD facilitates linking of two more complex components of design at very high level of accuracy thus delivering higher productivity.

Computer-Aided Manufacturing System (CAM): Precision is very essential in operating any machines and therefore, Computerized Numerically Controlled machines are used, thus ensuring highest level of accuracy.

Standard for the Exchange of Product Data: As the name suggests product design is transmitted among CAM and CAM in three dimensions. Standard for The Exchange of Product Data process sharing of product across all phases of product life cycle and serves as neutral file exchange.

Software Systems in Manufacturing

There are various software systems available to integrated operations and manufacturing functions with other business functions of organization. Some of the common software systems are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply-Chain Management (SCM), New-Product Development (NPD) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Enterprises Resources Planning (ERP) links all business functions like manufacturing, marketing, human resource and finance through a common software platform. The main benefits of the ERP solution are that it not only reduces database errors but also delivers value to customer through faster delivery and order fulfillment.

Automation in Production and Operations

Automation reduces manual intervention in the manufacturing process. It increases productivity and reduces margin of error thereby facilitating economies of scale. There is this-advantages of automation also, such as unemployment, high breakdown cost and initial capital investment. Therefore, automation may not be suitable in all situations and in the end alignment with an overall organization objective is important.

Challenges

Technology can be facilitating factor in bringing about change in operations and production management. But it may not be feasible to use technology in all aspects with challenge coming through high initial cost of investment, high cost of maintenance and mismanagement.


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