Unit 03: Operations Management - 1.1 Explain why operations management is important for organisations.

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Unit Reference Number


Unit Title

Unit 03: Operations Management

Unit Level


Total Qualification Time (TQT)

200 Hours

Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

80 Hours

Number of Credits


Mandatory / Optional


Unit Grading Structure

Pass / Fail

Unit Aims: Unit 03: Operations Management

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of the production/operations management function in both manufacturing and service industries and to introduce key issues and techniques in operations management.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Learning Outcome – The learner will:

Assessment Criterion – The learner can:


Understand the nature and importance of operations management.


Explain why operations management is important for organisations.


Analyse the operations functions of a selected organisation.


Evaluate the operations management process of a selected organisation using relevant models.


Be able to evaluate the link between operations management and strategic planning.


Appraise the importance of the ‘Three Es’ to organisations.


Assess the impact of the tension between cost minimisation and quality maximisation.


Evaluate the significance of the five performance objectives that underpin operations management to organisation.


Be able to assess how to organise a typical production process.


Assess how linear programming adds value to a given production process.


Evaluate critical path analysis and network planning.


Analyse the need for operational planning and control in a selected production process.


Be able to apply relevant techniques to the production of Unit 03: Operations Management


Produce a set of clearly defined operational outcomes for a selected organisation.


Produce a network plan indicating the resultant critical path.


Assess how quality management techniques are applied to improve operations in a selected organisation.

Indicative contents


Course Coverage

Learning Outcomes 1 and 2

Nature and importance of operations management

·         Operations management: a definition of Operations Management (OM) and its key elements; importance of OM for all organisations; impact on OM of changes in the business environment and in achieving strategic objectives; activities of core functional areas and their interrelationships; differences and similarities between services and products

Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3

Operations functions and processes

·         Operations function: the management of resources for the production and delivery of goods or services; the role of OM in achieving strategic objectives; activities of core functional areas and their interrelationships; differences and similarities between services and products; impact of environmental issues; impact of ethical behaviour; role of the supply chain;

·         Processes: input-transformation-output process; processes hierarchy; characteristics of operations processes e.g. four Vs – volume, variety, variation, visibility; business process modelling, lean management techniques, integration of supply chain e.g. Just in Time (JIT);

Learning Outcomes 2 and 3

Operational efficiency and strategic operations

·         The 3 Es: economy; efficiency and effectiveness

·         Time, resources, budgets; external analysis, e.g. PESTLE; links and differences between operations management and strategic planning; the paradox: efficiency (thrift) versus effectiveness (quality)

·         The five OM performance objectives: cost; dependability; flexibility; quality and speed; internal and external benefits of excelling in each performance objective; trade-offs between objectives

Learning Outcomes 3 and 4

Operational techniques, planning and control

·         Linear programming - definition and applications in planning and production; Critical Path Analysis; flow charts, network planning; activities involved in capacity planning; inventory planning; project management and quality assurance/control

Learning Outcomes 3 and 4

Operational plan, monitoring and control

·         Using planning techniques, e.g. Critical Path Analysis, meeting the requirements; Outcome determination: the five performance objectives

·         Quality assurance and quality control mechanisms, fish bones; quality circles; variance analysis, six sigma, product quality and service quality, benchmarking; best practice; self- assessment; vision; continuous improvement; quality characteristics; importance of quality

Assessment: Unit 03: Operations Management

To achieve a ‘pass’ for this unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria.


Learning Outcomes to be met

Assessment criteria covered

Assessment type

Word count

(approx. length)

All 1 to 4

All ACs under LO 1 to 4


3500 words

Indicative Reading list

Chaffey, D. (2009) E-business and e-commerce management: Strategy, implementation and practice. Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice.

Greasley, A. (2007) Operations Management. Hampshire, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons

Hugos, M. H. (2011) Essentials of Supply Chain Management. Chichester: Wiley.

Mahadeva, B. (2010) Operations Management: Theory and Practice. New Delhi: Dorling Kindersley (pvt.) Limited.

Sheffi, Y. (2005) The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage. Cambridge, MT: MIT Press.

Slack, N. (2006) Operations Management. 5th edition. London: FT/Prentice Hall

Stadtler, H. and Kilger, C. (2008) Supply Chain Management and Advanced Planning: Concepts, Models, Software and Case Studies. Hamburg: Springer.

Turban, T., Lee, J. K., King, D., Liang, T. P. and Turban, D. (2010) Electronic Commerce 2010: A Managerial Perspective. 6th Edition. New York: Pearson Education

Unit 03: Operations Management

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