Chapter one – A The U. S, and indeed much of the world, has been described as a “knowledge society. ” How does this affect productivity measurement and comparison of productivity between the U. S. and other countries? Illustrate with an example. Productivity is the ratio of out puts (goods and services) divided by inputs (resources and capital). The creation of goods and services requires changing resources into goods and services; the more efficiently we make this change, the more productive we are, and the more value is added to the good or services provided.

By applying the ten decisions of operation management (om) help us to be efficient: developing and using the correct strategy helps us to be effective. The measurement of productivity is an important way to evaluate a country’s ability to provide a high stander of living for its people. Only through the increase of productivity, improve the stander living, and labor, capital and management receive high salary. When productivity increase using the same resources, the prices will go down, and if labor and capital increase without increase in productivity raises the prices. The U.

S has been able to increase productivity at an average rate of almost 2. 55 per year which has double the U. S. ‘s wealth every 30 years. Three factors are important in improving the productivity; such as, labor, capital, and management. In order to improve the labor productivity, the labor force should be better utilized with a stronger commitment; training, motivation, team building and human resource strategies, and improved education are some of the techniques which contribute to increase productivity. The effective sue of capital increase the productivity, and management accounts for over half of the annual increase productivity.

The postindustrial societies are known as knowledge societies, and using knowledge and technology are essential in postindustrial societies. In these societies much of the labor force has migrated form manual work to technical and information processing tasks require on going education. Compare to other industrialized countries, the U. S. remains the world leader in overall productivity and services productivity; despite having the same problems with service productivity as other countries. The productivity challenge is difficult.

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A country cannot be world class competitor with second class inputs such as poorly educated labor insufficient capital, and dated technology. High productivity and high quality out puts require high quality inputs, including good operation managers. Since education is foundation to efficient operation in a technological society, countries are focusing on highly skilled workforce which is essential for global competitiveness. Example: From the text Siemens, the multi-billion-dollar German conglomerate, has long been known for its apprentice programs in its home country.

Due to education is often the key to efficient operations in a technological society, Siemens has spread its apprentice-training programs to its U. S. plants. These programs are laying the foundation for the highly skilled workforce that is essential for global competitiveness. Chapter One – B David Upton is president of Upton Manufacturing, a producer of G0-kart tires. Upton makes 1,000 tires per day with the following resources: Labor:400 hours at $12. 50 per hour Raw Material:20,000 pounds per day at $1 per pound Energy:$5,000 per day Capital:$10,000 per day . What is the labor productivity for these tires at Upton manufacturing? Productivity = units of output hours of labor Productivity = 1,000 400 = 2. 5 units per labor hours b. What is the multi-factor productivity for these tires at Upton manufacturing? 400 * 12. 50 = $5,000 a day Productivity = _______ _Output__________________ _______ Labor+ material +Energy+ Capital+ Miscellaneous = _____________ 1,000___________________ $5,000 + $20,000 + $5,000 + $10,000 + 0 = 1,000 units $40,000 = 0. 25 unit per $ c. What is the percent change in multi-factor productivity if Upton can reduce the energy bill by $1,000 without cutting production or changing any other inputs? Productivity = _______ _Output__________________ _______ Labor+ material +Energy+ Capital+ Miscellaneous = _____________ 1,000___________________ $5,000 + $20,000 + $4,000 + $10,000 + 0 = 1,000 units $39,000 = 0. 02564 units per $ Percentage Change in multi-factor productivity = 0. 02564 0. 025 = 1. 0256 or 2. % Chapter Two –A In order to sustain a competitive advantage, restaurants must employ one the following three strategies: 1. ) Cost leadership; 2. ) Response; and 3. ) differentiation. Give one original example (one not mentioned in the text) of each of three restaurant chains that you could associate with each one of these strategies. (Use a fast food restaurant for only one of your three examples. Strategy is an organization’s action plan to achieve the mission: the strategy exploits opportunities and strengths neutralize threads and avoid weaknesses.

The firms achieve missions in three conceptual ways: differentiation, cost leadership, and response which mean that operations managers are abele to deliver goods and services that are better, or at least different, cheaper and more responsive. The three strategic concepts can generate a system that has a unique advantage over competitors, and provides an opportunity for operations managers to achieve competitive advantage. Differentiation is concerned with providing uniqueness: a firm’s opportunities for creating uniqueness are not located with a particular function or activity, but can arise in virtually everything that firm does.

The opportunities creating this uniqueness are limited only by imagination due to most products include some service, and most services include some products. So, effective operations mangers assist in defining everything about product or services that will influence the potential value to the customers. Example: In Differentiation, the best example that will fit the description would be Illusitions (Thai Cuisine) where you sit around a big pan in the middle and they cook the food in front of you which takes about 10-15 minutes. The difference is the uniqueness of the style of cooking.

I have heard that in Thailand, the food is eaten when it’s very hot. So by having a big pan in the middle, kind of brings the essence of Thai food. They also provide the samples of different foods for you to try. Cost leadership entails achieving maximum value as defined by the customers. It requires examining each of the ten operations management decision in a relentless effort to drive down costs while meeting customer expectations of value: a low cost strategy does not imply low value or low quality. Example: The best example which can fit in the description of Cost leadership is McDonald.

They provide fast food in low prices which are unbeatable and provide an exceptional quality. They have grown tremendously in few years in national and international perspective. They are the one of the largest fast food chains in US and other countries. Response is define as including the entire range of values related to timely product development and delivery, as well as reliable scheduling and flexible performance. Flexible response is ability to match change in a marketplace where design innovations and volumes fluctuate substantially.

The reliability of scheduling is another aspect of response: it manifests it self in reliable scheduling and it has value to end customers. Quickness is an other aspect of response; the operation mangers who develop system that respond quickly can have a competitive advantage. The operation management can increase productivity and generate a sustainable competitive advantage. Example: The restaurant that I think is suitable for this criterion is Olive garden. They serve with love and tradition. It has a different environment then any other restaurants.

It gives a very cozy feeling. The people eat there are mostly families. Chapter Two – B In your own words (i. e. , not using sentences or phrases taken form the text or other resources), explain the difference between an international strategy and a transnational strategy. Identify on company (not mentioned in the text) that employs an international strategy and one that employs a transnational strategy. The difference between the international strategy and transnational strategy is that international strategy is on international level.

The company takes its products to a different country and launches it in that country. They introduce their product in a different country where the competition is low and also the costs are low. Some companies have their raw products come from a different country where they pay less for their purchases. Some companies such as Whirlpool started out in a US state Michigan which now has more than 50 plants in different countries that make washing machines, refrigerators, and stoves. The biggest reason is the cost and cheap labor.

On the other hand, transitional strategy is when a US company takes its products to a different state where their competitors are few and also the product margin is high and costs are low. In the field of Transitional strategy, one of the most common examples is Wal-Mart. They are dominating the market because they have low prices and acceptable quality. They have different plants in different states in US. They compete with their competitors in every way which is cost, quality, and expediency. They buy goods from different states in US and other countries.

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