Innovation in Operations

3 Oct

     Recently, I have stumbled upon a website that seems to tap the innovation that is possible in operations. Ironically, it is saying that benchmarking within the industry will not poke breakthrough but outside the industry is where one may find their magic. 

     Basically, it meant to say that by looking for role models outside your industry, you can achieve breakthrough, how? Benchmarking within your own industry is unlikely to uncover breakthrough concepts. But techniques used in other industries with seemingly very different characteristics may turn out to be unexpectedly applicable. for instance, from the article I have read, in the 1980s, Taco Bell transformed its restaurant operations by thinking about them in manufacturing rather than in fast-food terms. The restaurant chain reduced the amount of on-site food preparation by outsourcing to its suppliers, centralizing the production of key components, and concentrating on assembly rather than fabrication in the restaurants. The new approach lowered Taco Bell’s costs and increased customer satisfaction by ensuring consistency and by allowing restaurant personnel to focus on customers rather than production.
  Another innovation is to identify and defy a constraining assumption. At its heart, every operational innovation defies an assumption about how work should be done. Zero in on the assumption that interferes with achieving a strategic goal, and then figure out how to get rid of it.

      Make the special case into the norm. Always think of alternatives for the best solution there can be outside the usual work done in a specific situation. Thinking not just outside the box but taking the situation seriously and thinking there is no box at all. 

Lastly, Rethink critical dimensions of work. Always go back to the core vision and mission of the operations and rethink the operation and evaluate the constraints. Make the design of the operation suitable and customized to the standards and expectation of the consumer. Apply design thinking as it pins down the core problem, emphatize with the customer and rethink the situation, after all these is a solution called a prototype. This may be helpful in such a way that the producers and the consumers altogether meet their standards and all those can be achieved by a good management of operations. 


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