Strategic Decision Making - The Royal Navy

Added on - 21 Apr 2020

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IntroductionThis assessment identifies the issues that are relevant for strategic decision making byoperations manager in a manufacturing company. This report analyzes the case studyon The Royal Navy which is a company that designs and manufactures parts andequipment required to assemble war ships. The Royal Navy manufactured itsequipment and parts at their Royal Dockyard while at the same time depending on theservices of various vendors. The vendors were contracted to supply specialized itemsand equipment that the company found uneconomical to produce by itself. Thedependence on these vendor results to operational problems for RN since at time theymay delay in supplying the required items and equipment and hence affecting otherproduction related activities in the organization (Ruhanita, 2011). Ships may end updelaying before they return to duty. The outsourcing of the vendors also results toissues on quality standards and the workers of RN may be forced to put more work onthem and hence resulting to extra cost of labor and loss of productivity.This report therefore identifies the operational, strategic and financial challengesfaced by RN and identifies ways in which these problems could be solved. The reportbegins with identification of the major strategic decisions the operational managershould take when choosing appropriate manufacturing processes. The most significantof these considerations are indicated. The issue of interference by managementthrough ordering that Goodrich employees as few workers as possible isdiscussed.The management should have let the operational manager make decisionson staffing depending on analysis carried out. The paper also analyzes the initialmanufacturing design using the data provided. The implications of RN achieving amaximum fleet size of 1000 vessels are identified and explained in this paper basedon the statistics available to RN at the time. Suggestions on improving information
flow in the Royal Dockyard through improving design and application of moderntechnology are made in the report (Thukaram, 2013). In addition to these, the paperalso contains recommendation on improving production plan and how to meet thevarious types of demand it RN is faced with.Q1.Operations managers play a very critical role in management of production in acompany. The operations manager is charged with the responsibility of minimizingproduction costs in an organization by designing production systems that are veryefficient. Operations manager is also expected to draw production plans and schedulesfor factory workers so as to ensure that an organization keeps up with the level ofdemand. This also ensures that all the production related activities run smoothlywithout delay or interference. At the RN, the operations manager is expected to makemajor strategic decisions which affect the production and the general performance ofRN. One of the strategic decisions is on the products to be manufactured at the RoyalDockyard. The operations manager should estimate and analyze the cost of producingeach products needed by RN. After determining this, the operations manager can thenanalyze and compare the cost of manufacturing the products and the cost ofoutsourcing the same (Krznaric, 2007). This information helps the operations managerto make a decision on which products to manufacture in their factory and which onesto outsource from other suppliers and hence maximizing efficiency in theorganization.The operations manager at RN also needs to make strategic decisions related toprocesses. Processes are very crucial especially in production since most of theactivities are related. The failure in one or some of the process may lead to collapse of
the all the activities and operations within the organization. The operations managerneeds to decide on the processes that should be followed in order to successfullycomplete specific tasks in an organization. The processes chosen have to be the mosteconomical in terms of time and even cost. Strategic processes helps to ensure that thecompany optimizes production while employing as little labor as possible. Division oflabor and allocating of tasks is very important in a manufacturing company since theactivities of the organization depend on processes which are interrelated and thereforeevery single process is crucial in determining the final output.Apart from the strategic decisions on products and processes, the operations manageralso has a huge responsibility of making decisions on the manufacturing facilities ofthe organization. One of the issues identified as being at the center of the problemsfaced by RN is on the manufacturing facilities. Manufacturing facilities in this caseinvolves plant the building factory, machine and equipment. The operations managerof NR makes strategic decisions on the location of manufacturing plant and factorieswithin the organization or any other location as deemed appropriate (Puddefoot,2010). The operations manager considers factors such as availability of raw materials,production processes involved and their arrangement as well as the bulkiness of thematerials. In the case of RN for example, bulky items required in manufacturing andrepairing ship should be located closest to the sea. The operations manager also makesdecisions on the new technological equipment and machinery required. He/sherecommends to the management new technology that would contribute to increasedefficiency in manufacturing. The other important strategic decision made by theoperations manager is on the capacity of the manufacturing plants and factory. Theoperations manager makes an analysis and determines the need to increase theproduction capacity of the factory depending on demand. The operations manager has
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