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A process involves the use of an organization’s resources to provide something of value. Major process decisions include: 1)Process Structuredetermines how processes are designed relative to the kinds of resources needed, how resources are partitioned between them, and their key characteristics. 2)Customer Involvementrefers to the ways in which customers become part of the process and the extent of their participation. It is Manager’s job to assess whether the advantages outweigh disadvantages, judging them in terms of the competitive priorities and customer satisfaction. Customer involvement is not always the best option as there are disadvantages commonly associated with it. For example, allowing customers to play an active role in a service process can be disruptive thereby making the process less efficient. Additionally, customer involvement in processes can also mean greater expenses for your business as you will require employees with greater interpersonal skills and possibly consider revising your facility layout. However, despite these possible disadvantages, the advantages of a more customer-focused Customer involvement process might increase the net value to your customer. Some customers seek active participation in and control over the service process, particularly if they will enjoy savings in both price and time. More customer involvement can mean better quality, faster delivery, greater flexibility, and even lower cost.
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69 Resource flexibilityis the ease with which employees and equipment can handle a wide variety of products, output levels, duties, and functions. Resource flexibility is considered mainly at two levels: Workforce One of the decisions and operations manager has to make is whether or not to have a flexible workforce, that is, employees that are capable of doing many tasks. The type of workforce you require is also dependent on the need for volume flexibility. For example, when conditions allow for a smooth, stead rate of output, the likely choice is a permanent workforce that expects regular full-time employment. Alternatively, if the process is subject to hourly, daily, or seasonal peaks and valleys in demand, the use of part-time or temporary employees to supplement a smaller core of full-time employees may be the best solution Equipment When a firm’s product or service has a short life cycle and a high degree of customization, low production volumes mean that a firm should select flexible, inexpensive, general-purpose equipment. When volumes are low, the low fixed cost more than offsets the higher variable unit cost associated with this type of equipment. Conversely, specialized, higher-cost equipment is the best choice when volumes are high and customization is low. Its advantage is low variable unit cost Capital intensityis the mix of equipment and human skills in a process.
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