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Historical Milestones in Production and Operations Management - Essay Example

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This essay explores the major historical milestones of the operations management that falls under the industrial revolution, the post-civil war period, scientific management findings, human relations approach, operations research, service revolution and the computer revolution…
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Historical Milestones in Production and Operations Management
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Historical Milestones in Production and Operations Management

Download file to see previous pages... While the process involved may vary from organization to organization depending on the nature of output be it tangible product or intangible service, the essential elements of production and operation management is concerned with the management of input-throughput-output process effectively and efficiently Operation Management can, therefore, be defined as “the management of the conversion process, which converts land, labor, capital and management inputs in to desired outputs of goods and services”. The progression of terms used for this management function over the centuries as manufacturing management, production management, and operations management, is a good indication of the evolution process it has undergone and the historical milestones it has achieved which will be the focus of evaluation in this essay. The origins of operations management can be traced to the Industrial Revolution era which began in the 1700s in England. The main features of the changes which took place during this era were the Centralized production, Powered machinery, and concept of Factory production. One of the landmark achievements of this era was the steam engine being invented by James Watt in 1764, which provided a new source of energy to power the factory concept. Another key milestone which revolutionized the discipline was the 1776 publication of Adam Smith’s seminal work known commonly as “The Wealth of Nations” which proposed the economic benefits associated with specialization of labor. His recommendation was that work should be broken down to subtasks, and assigned to workers where they became specialized in performing this tasks with efficiency through repetitive performance. As the industrial revolution gained momentum and spread to other parts of the world, Eli Whitney from America developed the concept of “Interchangeable parts” in 1970, laying the foundation for volume productions and standardized parts and the inception of large-scale factories in industries such as textile. By the mid-1800s, the traditional manufacturing systems associated with cottage and artisan productions was completely replaced by factory systems which also brought in new challenges such as managing the workforce and management of quality issues.       ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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