Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Operations Management Research Analysis Proposal

Operations Management Research Analysis Proposal

Nouran Co. Ltd. is a reputable company in Saudi Arabia, specialized in selling lighting fixtures, with customers ranging from individuals to complete projects and palaces. It is an authorized representative of global well known brands, offering complete lighting distributions studies and consultancy, supply, and installation services.

The owners and board management are located abroad, and the company is run by the general manager and the chief financial officer mainly. The management is strict and autocratic, and the company is divided functionally with locations in each major city. The employees are unhappy about many processes done in the company. Two of them could be summarized as follows:

- Pricing process: the company has very strict pricing strategy. The items costs are not visible due to trust issues, and the sales people can not prepare offers to their customers by themselves; as they
need to submit the items need to be offered to the pricing department, wait for the offer to be prepared and signed by the sale manager, and only then they would receive it officially and send it to customer. This process is not appreciated within the sales people as sometimes they have to wait for up to two or three days to receive an offer for a simple single unit (depending on the queue of requests). Problems also occur when customers have special or custom-made needs, and the pricing department would take longer time to be able to confirm the price.

- The installation process: After the unit(s) is supplied to the customer, the installation process begins, and the wait would be 4-5 days till sales people get the installation team to start the work. This issue
causes frustration to the customers due to the long wait, and unwanted conflicts between different parties within the company as the number of electricians and workers is very small compared to
the demand.

This line of business is very competitive, and depend on the customers perceptions to a large degree. These bottlenecks with regards to the pricing system or the installation tasks, need to be removed and solved to maintain CEPCO position in the market. One method could be used in the context, in the theory of constraints. It is a continuous process aimed to identify then eliminate the constraints
(bottlenecks), and consequently achieve considerable improvements (Pegels & Watrous, 2000).

This method is described by Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014) that it focuses on the following steps, constraint identification, exploiting the constraint, maximizing the effectiveness of the constraints process, eliminating the constraint, and finally starting again to identify newconstraints.

The mentioned bottlenecks, pricing process and installation process, consume a lot of time, effort and create conflicts, and throughout this project I will describe methods and ways to enable Nouran to run smooth operations starting from the first offer to the customer, until the products and/or services are delivered.

Pegel, C.C. & Watrous, C. (2005) ‘Application of the theory of constraints to a bottleneck operation in a manufacturing plant’ Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 16(3), pp. 302-311, Scopus, EBSCOhost Online]. Available from: DOI: 10.1108/17410380510583617 (Accessed:

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. & Johnston, R. (2014) Operations management, 7th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education.

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