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Critically Appraise the Importance of Effective Operations Management in Improving Productivity in Retailing - Essay Example

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Operations management is the branch of business that is primarily concerned with management, configuration and re-configuration of business operations related to the production and manufacturing of goods and services (Lowson 2002, p. 5)…
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Critically Appraise the Importance of Effective Operations Management in Improving Productivity in Retailing
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Download file to see previous pages 5). Operations management brings in an element of efficiency in the business operations by looking to it that that business operations rely on an optimal exploitation of resources and tend to meet the consumer expectations in an efficient and satisfactory manner (Lowson 2002, p. 10). Operations management pertains to the management of all the processes associated with the conversion of inputs like finances, raw materials, energy and labour into the intended outputs like services and goods (Bassett 1992, p. 20). In an operational context, the efficiency in operations management has a lot to do with the policy decisions made by the senior management. It is usually the top management in the organizations that plans the strategy in operations management and tends to revise it as per the altering needs and requirements, while the line managers assure that the policy decisions get implemented in an accurate manner by taking the apt tactical decisions. Operations management in the area of retail is pivotal to the influx of improving productivity. Operations management in retail requires an optimal management of varied associated operations like cost control, logistics and merchandizing associated with the movement of products from production facilities and stores to the hands of the consumers (Nersesian 2000, p. 153). Primarily retail is about curtailing costs so as to extend to the customers the required goods and services at most competitive prices. Operations management in retail has to do with managing and controlling the operating costs within the affiliated organizations (Nersesian 2000). It encompasses all the related and affiliated activities that have to do with the production, distribution and delivery of services of goods and services in a retail organization (Nersesian 2000). Current Characteristics of retail Industry Retail industry is an area of business that has quiet a wide spectrum. It involves small stores serving the select neighbourhoods to behemoth stores catering to the needs of large urban hubs. By its very nature, the retail industry tends to be immensely dependant on consumer spending. This is more so, considering the current economic meltdown, which has greatly compromised the spending ability of the consumers. The small retail stores are already a thing of the past because they failed to meet the customer aspirations in a cost effective and efficient manner. The internet, which has emerged as a ubiquitous medium for conducting retail transactions has added one new dimension to retail. The big departmental stores are also losing their appeal and they are trying hard to reposition themselves. The big departmental stores are under immense pressure to reposition their product lines to meet the fast changing consumer aspirations and preferences (Miron 2002). The emergence of discount stores in the retail scenario is one more salient trend that is poised to stay (Davies & Ward 2002). Discount stores offer varied incentives to the consumers like competitive low prices, money back guarantees, etc. This is combined with varied other features like floor help and an easy access to the merchandise. The coming of Category Killer retail stores is one other major development. Category Killers concentrate their focus on a specific product category and try to outrun their competitors in that category by appropriating a lion’s share in that category (Davies & Ward 2002, p. 105). Category Killers have appropriated a major share of the retail segments in which they are operational and have drastically reduced the number of players in these segments (Davies & Ward 200 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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