Process Flow and Product-Process Strategy
Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing … layout, processes, and procedures.
As leadership teams of organizations plan their long-term success, much attention is given to organizational structure, product or service development, capacity planning, and process design and layout. These components are critical to the long-term strategic plan of an organization and help form the basis for decision making. As organizations aim to remain competitive in a global market, there are increasing environmental pressures to adjust operations methods in order to lower costs and shorten production times, all while remaining sustainable. Process flow and product-process strategy are key components in achieving these goals amidst competitive market pressures.
This week, you will examine the concepts of process flow and product-process strategy. In the Discussion, you will assess a real organization’s layout, identify its limitations, and propose recommendations for redesigning it. In the Assignment, you will respond to a set of questions focused on planning layouts, outsourcing decisions, service process design matrixes, aligning product and organizational needs, process flow charts, and capacity.
Discussion: Organizational Layout Analysis
When you walk through the aisles of a grocery store or a home improvement store, you might notice that many are organized in a similar way. For example, have you ever visited a store in which customers entered and exited through the back entrance while the loading docks were located in the front where the parking lot was? Likewise, the cash registers are usually by the main entrances toward the front, restrooms are usually in the front or back, and the outdoor sections are usually toward the left or right side of the building. These intentional placements are often a result of organizational layout analysis. Organizational layouts impact the cost and effectiveness of production and service organizations. Layout analysis is part of an organizational strategic plan because layouts can become a large investment, such as the time set aside for planning and implementation, the costs involved with renovations and equipment, and the additional labor required. The main goal for organizational layouts is to arrange resources (e.g., employees, materials, and their assigned processes) to promote efficiency and a smooth flow of functions and processes.
In this Discussion, you will assess a real organization’s layout in order to identify its limitations. Then, you will suggest some ways to redesign the layout to make some improvements.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review this week’s Learning Resources, with an emphasis on Chapter 9 in Venkataraman and Pinto (2018).
- Visit an organization with which you are familiar to assess its layout (production facility, restaurant, service organization).
- Review the Academic Writing Expectations for 2000/3000-Level Courses, provided in this week’s Learning Resources.
By Day 3
Post a 225- to 300-word (3- to 4-paragraph) analysis of your selected organization’s layout. In your analysis, address the following:
- Briefly describe the layout for your selected organization.
- Based on your analysis, identify the limitations of the layout.
- Propose 2–3 recommendations for how you would redesign the layout.
- To support your response, be sure to reference at least one properly cited scholarly source.
Refer to the Week 3 Discussion Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.
Read some of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 5
Respond with at least 75 words (1 paragraph) each to two or more of your colleagues’ postings by doing one of the following:
- Offer any additional insight on the limitations and/or recommendations your colleague identified.
- Suggest an additional recommendation on how to redesign the layout your colleague identified.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.