Businesses can opt to stay in current markets, move on to new domestic markets or venture out to new foreign markets. Depending upon the markets and strategic tie-ups, the enterprises then have to decide whether to continue with existing products or develop new ones. Organizations prepare strategies for long term survival and consistent growth. Operational management encompasses the contribution of all concerned stakeholders in order to achieve the objectives. Now organizations are supposed to have multiple objectives, monetary as well as non-monetary. They are supposed to have flexibility to meet changing external and internal demands. This paper is an effort to study the role of operational management, how the operational strategies keep changing as the organisation grows and how operational management strategies can addresses the speed to market of new products and services and the responsiveness to the demands of customers.
The operations system of an organisation is essentially the part that produces the organisations' products. In some organisations the product happen to be physical goods (like TV refrigerator, soft-drinks etc), while in others it is service (insurance, health care, travel, tourism, hotel etc.). The products and services belong to various categories and fields, but all such diverse organisations have one thing in common within their operations systems, that is, the conversion process (Everett E Adam et al, 1995). There are some inputs into the process and after the conversion process, there are some outputs. The quality of these outputs depends upon the how the organisation manages its operations. Traditionally, a conversion process that includes manufacturing (or production) yields a tangible output, while a conversion process that includes service yields an intangible output. But in today's business there is no such dividing line, because the horizon of 'services' has been widened. At times, both of them are interdependent and appear to be overlapping in nature. Manufacturing organisation requires the services like transportation, communication, promotion etc. to procure the supply of materials, manager the supply and distribution channels, be in touch with the customers and suppliers, plan marketing communication strategies, manage the financial accounts of the company etc. Similarly many services organisations depend upon the manufacturing sector for the business. Services too are undergoing a transformation from the traditional concept of a service transaction to one of an experience (A. Fitzsimmons, Mona J. Fitzsimmons, 2005). For the operations management the general goal is to create some kind of value-added product or service, so that the outputs are worth more to consumers than just the sum of the individual inputs. Services oriented businesses now try to do the value addition by way of providing a valuable experience while dealing with them. For example the retail showrooms like Tesco, Asda, Woolworth, Wal-Mart etc. all take pride in the fact that they provide their customers a big operating space, whole range of products and a wonderful shopping experience. From a humble beginning these stores have grown up owing to sound strategic moves and operational management. It was in the year 1919 that Jack Cohen founded Tesco, when he began to sell surplus groceries from a stall in the East End of London (Tesco, 2006). In those days his