In any Organization, operations interfaces between your business and product. It involves those behind the scene works done to make production happen.
Marketing and Sales on the other hand interfaces between your your product and brand. It is more of the external works of an organization.
Operations as well as marketing and sales are key determinant to organizations competitive advantage. Having said that, our focus for this post would be; operations strategies.
Let’s kick off by defining some terms which will establish a basis for this writeup.
Business strategy is the firm’s working plan for achieving its vision, prioritizing objectives, competing successfully, and optimizing financial performance with its business model.
Source:Business Case Analysis
A plan specifying how an organization will allocate resources in order to support infrastructure and production. An operations strategy is typically driven by the overall business strategy of the organization, and is designed to maximize the effectiveness of production and support elements while minimizing costs.
Source: Business Dictionary
So to our focus, Operational Strategy…
Have you ever bought any product from an online store and then at the point of delivery, you order seem not to match exactly with the picture?
What was your reaction like?
So this is it…
“As much as marketing is good. It will be denting to a brands image to under-deliver.”
Your operations strategy is a function of your process and the people in your organization. These two are vital to get your product out. Your operational strategy is the process through which you deliver you products to the market. Therefore, if your operations are wrong you would fall in the category of poor delivery as described below.
- You have the wrong people in your organization. You would definitely struggle to deliver, translating that your operations are problematic.
- You have the people with wrong processes. You would find it hard to meet up with customer demand.
- You also might have the right people and the right processes but then delivery isn’t at its peak. This might be due to lack of motivation.
Whichever category you fall into, take note that the right operations strategy for the 21st century market is one that reduces;
One example always used to describe this situation is Domino Pizza. They found a way within their operation to reduce the time of delivery.This has made them remain at the top of their game.
Domino Pizza is opening at different points and location in Lagos. What happened to the snack and fast food store we had before.
Improve your operations and you see your delivery process improved and invariably, your sales increases.
The question now is What is your production process like?
What are the strategies employed in your organization to get products or service out?
While I cannot be specific to every organization here, I will give some tips that would aid an improved operational strategy.
Remember, the purpose of operations strategy is to achieve the business goals with reference to process and people
- Increase productivity by developing a good reporting system by person and department. This is achieved by developing proper organograms.
- Increase feedback to employees so they can understand your goals. Employees really want the feedback.
- Develop career path planning with employees to reduce turnover and costs of hiring new employees.
An example is Mc Donalds; he has a structure such that you see how you can get into the company and in no time become a CEO.
Another is the big multinationals like Shell… they gave a good career path planning. You see how entering as an intern, you can reach the top level in the organization.
4. Establishing and enforcing compliance policies.
5. Consider implementing an incentive system to increase output.
6. Improve or say reduce production and delivery time by using technology as an enhancer. Now this is it, as an organization, if your consider options like integrating online payment, using software to fasten your processes (like you accounting, data collection etc) you have a chance of improving your operations strategy.
If you send emails, consider automating it and you see you can save time for other activities.
7. Be data centric. A data driven organization can totally reduce the way service is offered. Imagine using a particular road transport company and then at a point they don’t ask you for personal details again compared because they have stored your data. Don’t you think this company would reduce time spent on one person to respond to other people.
In summary, revisit your operations strategy and see how you would make magic happening your organization.