Operations processes are the backbone of any business, transforming inputs into outputs. Inputs can be anything from raw materials, labor, equipment, information and money, while outputs are products or services that customers can purchase. The operations process is different for retail, manufacturing and service companies, but the underlying idea is the same. In this article, we'll discuss the steps of the operations process and how it differs between service businesses and product businesses.
What is an Operations Process?An operations process is a set of activities that transform inputs into outputs. It's a continuous process that produces a high volume of standardized products. This type of product is known as non-discrete, meaning that it's not made up of individual products but rather a liquid or something like sugar, gasoline or steel. An example of this type of process is an oil refinery.
Steps of the Operations ProcessThe operations process consists of several steps that must be managed, measured and tested for effectiveness. The steps are as follows:
- Visualize and describe the final state of the operation and operational approach.
- Make and articulate decisions.
- Direct, direct and evaluate operations.
- Organize efforts.
- Integrate warfare functions across multiple domains.
- Synchronize forces to accomplish missions.
- Make timely and effective decisions.
- Act faster than the enemy.
- Integrate and synchronize processes and activities.
- Evaluate progress to develop and refine plans.
- Execute plans by applying combat power to accomplish the mission.
Differences Between Service Businesses and Product BusinessesThe operations process differs between service businesses and product businesses.
Service businesses typically have fewer steps in their operations process since they don't have to worry about manufacturing products. Instead, they focus on providing services to customers such as consulting, accounting or legal services. Product businesses have more steps in their operations process since they have to manufacture products before they can be sold to customers.
ConclusionThe operations process is an essential part of any business, regardless of whether it's a service business or a product business.
It's important to understand the steps of the operations process in order to ensure that your business is running efficiently and effectively. SmartBooks can be used as quick reference guides during operations, as study guides in education and professional development courses, and as lesson plans and checklists to support training. By understanding the steps of the operations process, you can ensure that your business is running smoothly and efficiently.