Globalization and Outsourcing

Globalization and Outsourcing

Globalization is a phenomenon that has swept across most sectors of the globe leaving firms to adjust to the changes that are occurring. The rise of competition Is one example of an aspect that has emerged within the twenty-first century, especially due to a dissolution in trade barrier that marked numerous markets as impenetrable. With globalization escalating gradually, businesses have gained an exposure opportunity to learn more as well as share tips on better ways of approaching futuristic growth. The following report will expound on globalization as a phenomenon, as well as its associated impacts within the modern day era. 

From an entrepreneurship perspective, the duties and functions that defined the modern-day capitalist or businessperson, have significantly complicated with time. Ideally, the 21st century, unlike its predecessors, has been defined by a revolutionary economic, educational, political, and social landscapes, elements that have emerged as a result of globalization.

Interestingly, the emergence of the phenomenon has transformed the manner in which man does business, given that it has erased the limitations that were nurtured by geographical borders as well as trade barriers, an aspect that has resulted in man embracing new synergies that will offer him or her competitive advantage over other similar players in the same market niche. The following report will further expand on wise investment moves as well as tactics such as outsourcing and offshoring that managers can apply to realize a wider economy of scale as well as achieve a greater competitive advantage. By utilizing the Case study of Telstra Call center services Outsourcing and offshoring, this report will expound on the impact, opportunities, as well as challenges, Globalization, and its associated strategies, have imposed on business operations especially on the global scale.

The World as we know it is currently evolving at unprecedented levels, an aspect that is reconfiguring and transforming the manner in which business, as well as trade, is conducted. As a result of the rampant transformation, goods and services have become easily accessible for most people across diverse regions of the globe. In addition to this, the international business community has continuously expanded as a result of favorable influences that have been nurtured by the economic reconfiguration and transformation. But, what is all this economic reconfiguration and transformation? The 21st century, unlike its predecessors, has been defined by a revolutionary economic, educational, political, and social landscapes, elements that have emerged as a result of globalization. The emergence of globalization as a phenomenon has transformed the manner in which man does business, given that it has erased the limitations that were nurtured by geographical borders as well as trade barriers (Beck, U. 2018, P. 35).

From an entrepreneurship perspective, the duties and functions that defined the modern-day capitalist or businessperson, have significantly complicated with time. Why and How? With factors such as competition escalating as a result of the globalization aspect, most entrepreneurs have embarked on redefining the rules of trade and business engagement provoked by the need to craft and embrace new synergies that will offer them competitive advantage over other similar players in the same market niche (Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds. 2016, p. 52). As a result of the shift in momentum, it is crucial to note that today’s economic environment has shifted its dependency from the public sector to the public sector, given that the later has emerged to be the global powerhouse, while the former segment has continuously shrunk in size, cumulatively losing its prior influence and relevance in the economy setting.

Globalization and Expansion

In spite of Globalization nurturing numerous advantages from an economic growth perspective, it is crucial to note that the phenomenon has also escalated the rate of competition present across all trade sectors. The given aspect has manifested as a result of numerous entities across diverse regions entering the market, with each unit producing a similar commodity, to an already existing product. The escalation of competition has provoked most organizations to invest heavily in expanding their operations onto a global scale, efforts that have emerged based on the need to grow and expand the market niche that each organization claims and controls (Beck, U. 2018, P. 27). As an approach, the expansion to international markets has provided firms with an opening to increase their returns, realize other potential economic opportunities, as well as improve their image perception and brand loyalty. Although there are also challenges associated with the entry into foreign markets, the manner in which a venture tackles the emerging challenges significantly determines its survival chance in the new territory.

Outsourcing and Offshoring

Outsourcing is a strategy that has been employed by numerous institutions, which have pursued the global expansion route, based on its cost-cutting approach. When entering new markets, firms have always been primarily challenged by their ability to adopt, embrace, and conform to new customs, cultures as well as language that define the new market (Solli-Sæther, H. and Gottschalk, P. 2015, p.90).

Outsourcing as a platform provides a solution to such challenges among others, by utilizing the local manpower within the new economic niche as the organization’s workforce. The following report will expound on globalization and its impact on today’s businesses as its foremost agenda. Furthermore, this paper elucidates on tactics that managers pursuing expansion into the international market should observe if they wish to remain ahead of the game. In the second segment, the publication will analyze outsourcing and offshoring, coupled with their contribution to globalization, based on an Australian firm Case study.

Globalization and Today’s International Managers

Globalization as a concept is not new as one may perceive it to be, given that the concept has existed for centuries, only evolving with time to its present state. By definition, Globalization is a term that refers to the gradual but global integration of the numerous states economies, through the production of goods and services, trade escalation, as well as investment flows (Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds. 2016, p. 11). From a phenomenon perspective, globalization emerged as a result of the global outreach fever that swept most nations, transgressing through each of the states military economic, trade and geopolitical niches. The cumulative impact of the global outreach manifested in the erosion of national economic borders, an element that embraced the emergence and growth of integrated international economies.

From a profile perspective, globalization has been defined by; the emergence of global corporations, robust internalization of production related economic activities, growth in the level of specialization, and escalating disaggregation of production. How has this been possible? Globalization as a phenomenon has consistently relied on policy changes as well as technological growth as catalyst platforms (Teece, D. Peteraf, M. and Leih, S. 2016, p. 19).

From a policy perspective, the creation and amendment of numerous trade policies has resulted in the dissolution of trade tariffs and barriers, an element that has opened up and exposed the local markets to international products, while also local products from different nations have been able to trade on the global market platform (Beck, U. 2018, P. 42). Evidently, nations such as Australia, China, and Dubai, all of which opened up their markets to trade and embraced international brands, have gained immensely from Globalization, an aspect that is visible in each state’s current market situation. 

Technology as the second catalyst factor propelled the evolution of globalization to what it is today. How So? As a result of its rampant evolution, technology has been integrated into man’s life as a crucial platform in his civilization. The emergence of a technology-based lifestyle, shifted the manner in which consumers’ access, shop, and order for their products, as well as the strategy in which manufacturers, industrialists, and producers advertise, retail, and distribute their products (Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds. 2016, p. 52). Given that the dependency on technology is still expected to escalate with time, the business world has realized of its importance in globalization and the influence it imposes in the productivity, of goods and services as well as the consumption of the products.

Impact of Globalization: A Business Perspective

Globalization as an economic exposure platform has brought along with numerous advantages as well as implications both from the producer as well as consumer’s perspectives. When focusing on the producer side, which primarily made up of entrepreneurial organizations within the private sector, it is crucial to note that globalization has exposed the sector to competition, fluctuation in prices, as well as the substandard quality of products (Kraidy, M. 2017, p. 31). The following segment will offer an in-depth view of Globalization from a business perspective.

It is crucial to note that from the consumer’s end, globalization has been perceived to bear numerous benefits over time. However, that may not be necessarily the case when the aspect is perceived from a business perspective. The increased exposure of markets has also escalated the vulnerability of ventures both in local and international economies to a myriad of unforeseen risks, aspects that will be expounded on below.

Globalization and Outsourcing Dissertation
Globalization and Outsourcing Dissertation

Intense Competition

Competition as the first impact of globalization emerges from the opening up of local markets as well as the integration of economies. It is crucial to note that exportation and importation, as well as outsourcing of product and services are crucial aspects of globalization. Unfortunately, the given elements have created an influx of substitute commodities to most products in diverse markets (Donati, P. 2017, p. 15). The cited aspect which has emerged as the entry of new players into the market culminated in the escalation of competition between existing firms and the new entrants. Cumulatively, although the approach has compelled previously existing firms to improve their quality of products and services, it is unfortunate to note that the cost of competition has been overwhelming for firms in markets that are defined by numerous players.

Price Fluctuations

Fluctuation of prices as the second impact of globalization is highly associated with competition and market saturation. It is crucial to note that although globalization opened up local and international markets, the platform also led to the saturation of various markets that were already defined by a presence of numerous existing local players. Most of the international entrants into local markets were able to supply the consumers with alternative or substitute commodities, to local options at a lower price and even a better quality (Teece, D. Peteraf, M. and Leih, S. 2016, p. 27). Case in point, China’s products are renowned for their cheap price, although inconsistent quality. The given aspect nurtures price fluctuation of commodities because local producers will always be compelled to adjust their prices in a bid to compete with foreign producers, and the cost of their commodities, an aspect that culminates in the unsteady prices of goods.

Substandard Quality of Goods

The quality of a product as well as the brand it has crafted for itself, are aspects that significantly shape customer loyalty and satisfaction. Globalization as a phenomenon has compelled most firms operating in the international platform to outsource their products to developing nations, in a bid to realize a wider competitive advantage, margin when compared to other firms operating in the same niche (Kraidy, M. 2017, p. 22).

The downside of outsourcing is that for most organizations, the ability to observe a given set of quality standards becomes impossible especially when the firm focuses on offering services, or manufactured goods. Cumulatively, although globalization is inevitable, its impacts can be positive as well as be overwhelming for organizations without adequate control structures. The following segment will expound on strategies that international managers can adopt in a bid to remain afloat if not advance in the face of stiff and harsh globalization-induced changes.

Today’s International Managers: Winning tips amidst fierce competition

Drawing from the above analysis of globalization, it is evident that the phenomenon has significantly reshaped the manner in which organizations functions, and conduct business, especially within the international market platform. In spite of the prevalent changes, there are several tactics that wise international managers can utilize to continuously attain growth in returns, and market share. In addition to this, the tactics will enable an organization to establish a reputable image that retains a wide base of loyal customers.

Globalization, Identifying and analyzing the existing and potential Competition

For an organization to stay ahead of its competitors within any market niche, the firm should be aware of the existing threats, an aspect that can only be realized by conducting a thorough competitor’s analysis. It is crucial to note that any industry with new players and startups joining every day is considered to aggressively active, and as such, any firm operating within such a niche should consistently update its analysis in a periodical manner (McLean, M. 2018, p. 35). When analyzing the potential threats, it is crucial to identify the primary and secondary competitors as well as the level of threat each player imposes on your particular firm. By doing so, a manager can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of potential and existing competitors, in addition to making strategic moves that will consistently position the organization ahead of the competition. 

Assessing and Understanding the Target Market

In any business competition, it is crucial to note that the clients or consumers always represent the judges, as their choice embodies their final opinion about their desired product. In any market niche, a wise international manager will always assess the audience, its expectation, and needs, as well as demands. It is crucial to note that consumer behaviors keep on changing depending on the influence of macro factors such as economic conditions (McLean, M. 2018, p. 54). In such an instance, an astute director establishes constant communication with the organization’s existing and prospective clients, as an approach to remain informed and update on consumer concern, predictions as well as desires. By doing so, a firm can adjust its product pricing, market strategies, product packaging, and promotional campaigns in a manner that will attract potential clients and retain the existing ones.

Outsourcing and Offshoring, Telstra Case study

Outsourcing, when defined, refers to the process whereby a firm subcontracts the organization’s tasks and mandates to various external organizations that have specialized in providing the desired service. In other cases, outsourcing also involves a practice whereby an organization acquires a smaller firm with adequate resources and employees to run its tasks. Cumulatively, outsourcing revolves around the breaking down of a given function, and it’s subsequent assigning to third parties (Oshri, I. Kotlarsky, J. and Willcocks, L. 2015, p. 15).

Offshoring, on the other hand, refers to the purposeful relocation of a specific or cumulative business procedure to another new location, such as a country. A good example of offshoring would be when an industrial firm physically relocates its manufacturing process to a new state. The main difference between offshoring and outsourcing is that the former focuses on establishing an operation in a new state as a result of repositioning, while the latter primarily refers to the subcontracting of a firms’ task or duty to a third party which in most cases is usually an external organization (Solli-Sæther, H. and Gottschalk, P. 2015, p.90).

 The fierce aspect of globalization has compelled firms’ overtime to search for innovative and alternative approaches to getting the work done efficiently. Outsourcing and Offshoring have emerged to be promising alternatives means of meeting the production needs of any company. By employing the two approaches, numerous international firms have been able to regulate and cut down operational costs, free up internal resources to support other crucial sectors, and streamline time-consuming functions (Oshri, I. Kotlarsky, J. and Willcocks, L. 2015, p. 48). 

Telstra Outsourcing

Telstra within Australia is presently recognized as the largest media and Telecommunications Company, offering services that include; operating telecommunication network, as well as a vast range of entertainment and communication product and services. As a firm, Telstra prides its purpose to be creating a brilliant and connected future for everyone, a vision it has managed to achieve over time through the expansion of its products and services towards the international telecommunications market.

Expanding into the international market is a move that Telstra implemented provoked by the need to grow the company’s portfolio onto the next level, in addition to embracing the global market platform (CX Central. 2018b, p1). In its expansion operations, the firm has gradually relied on outsourcing and offshoring as approaches to realize its economies of scale and competitive advantage over other players present in the telecommunications industry. One particular and crucial department that the firm has constantly outsourced and offshored to India, Manila, and Perth is its call center operations (CX Central. 2018, p1).

Essentially, under the firm’s international operations plan, Call centers are usually overwhelming departments that are defined by large volumes of low severity type of work. If the firm was to house most of call center operations within its main headquarters back in Australia, evidently quite extensive resources would be committed to the department, to the extent of overwhelming significance performance targets of the institution. Thus by outsourcing and offshoring call center services, the firm is primarily able to focus its resources on dealing with challenging and more severe issues affecting its product portfolio, brand depiction, and customer market base (CX Central. 2018, p1).

Challenges of Outsourcing and Offshoring

Two of the major challenges that Telstra has realized in its international expansion conquest, are cultural and language barriers. As a telecommunication firm, Telstra is constantly in touch with its customer base compelled by the need to introduce and sell new products, as well as offer supportive services (CX Central. 2018b, p1). Given that the firm opts to outsource and offshore its call center operations, most of its customer base across the western world have been complaining of an ineffective call center support base, as in most situations their needs and demands have often been unmet (CX Central. 2018b, p1).

One good example was a recent scenario, where an American customer received poor call center support services that were perceived to be abusive and culturally insensitive, especially after the firm had withdrawn its support for same-sex relationships (CX Central. 2018, p1). It is unfortunate to note that the given aspect resulted from a conflict in cultural and linguistic customs between the firm’s support staff and a worried client, an aspect that could have been deterred if the firm offered locally based call support from America or Australia.

Globalization, Outsourcing and Offshoring Opportunities

From an opportunity perspective, Telstra was able to run its call center support services at a lower cost especially given that the standard labor wage of employees in most of the countries that the firm outsourced its operations are way below what Telstra was offering its initial employees. Additionally, the firm, thanks to outsourcing and offshoring was able to free up more resources back at home and commit them to more severe and demanding issues associated with the firm’s growth and future projections.

In conclusion, it is evident that Globalization is a phenomenon that is here to stay. More so, firm’s that do not embrace this occurrence will gradually become outdated in our ever-changing and first paced world. As economies integrate, there is a crucial need for managers to begin “thinking out of their market niche, and across the globe.” Customer preferences change from time to time, and with that being a significant determining factor of choice, firms should consistently lay down moves that will secure more potential customers besides retaining the existing ones. Additionally, with competition emerging to be a significant defining factor of today’s markets, there is a pressing need for firms to adopt positive elements of outsourcing and offshoring, besides other competition analysis schemes, all in a bid to remain ahead of the curve that is a saturated market full of numerous existing and emerging start-up players. 

References

Beck, U., 2018. What is globalization?. John Wiley & Sons.

CX Central. 2018. Telstra call centre staff in Perth have language problems – CEO | CX Central.

CX Central. 2018b. Telstra’s offshore call centre has a cultural alignment shocker– CEO | CX Central.

Donati, P., 2017. Globalization of Markets, Distant Harms and the Need for a Relational Ethics. Rivista internazionale di scienze sociali, 1(1), pp.13-42.

McLean, M., 2018. Understanding your economy: Using analysis to guide local strategic planning. Routledge.

Oshri, I., Kotlarsky, J. and Willcocks, L.P., 2015. The Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Offshoring 3rd Edition. Springer.

Solli-Sæther, H. and Gottschalk, P., 2015. Stages-of-growth in outsourcing, offshoring and backsourcing: Back to the future? Journal of Computer Information Systems, 55(2), pp.88-94.

Teece, D., Peteraf, M. and Leih, S., 2016. Dynamic capabilities and organizational agility: Risk, uncertainty, and strategy in the innovation economy. California Management Review, 58(4), pp.13-35.

Kraidy, M., 2017. Hybridity, or the cultural logic of globalization. Temple University Press.

Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds., 2016. Demystifying globalization. Springer.

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Huawei Operations Management Concepts

Huawei Operations Management Concepts and Practices and their Application in Real Business

Huawei – Operations management has been expanding to a broader notion of service and production management hence signifying the principalities of operations management concept in the transformation of raw materials to finished good ready for delivery to the consumer. The increasing recognisability and importance of operations management in organisations have led to growth and exploration of techniques and concepts fundamental in production and service delivery. Therefore, the effectiveness and efficiency of operations and service delivery in organizations are determined by how well they apply operations management concepts and practices in their endeavor.

Operations management scope ranges across various enterprises where people are involved in production and service delivery activities such as product and service design, technology selection and management, system design, process selection, quality improvement etc. (Kunchala). These concepts and functions entail many interrelated activities including scheduling, quality assurance, inventory management, capacity planning etc. fashioned toward effective and efficient production and delivery of goods and services.

Huawei Technologies Corporation, being among the leaders in the production and sale of mobile devices, they need to maintain a high-end operations management through the application of the latest and best operations concept in operations management. Besides, various factors necessitate the organization to facilitate streamline operations management. These factors include the quantity and quality of production, market diversity, change in technologies, competition, and the ecosystem.

Huawei, for instance, is inculcating the user-centric operation initiative which is aimed at digitizing their product while improving quality and user experience. This, therefore, entails the use of market research in their quest to deliver quality products which are user-friendly and well-paced with trend and technology (Huawei). Since the organisation uses make to deliver production approach, their market research should involve an in-depth analysis of the consumer preference and inculcate them during the planning, design, and production of various products.

The organization applies a generic and multistep product development process where they are technologies pushed product and platform products. For instance, the production of the Huawei GR5 product was a platform product as it was built around the pre-existing technology subsystem of the Huawei GR3. Besides, the Huawei Y series is built along a product platform where they use already pre-existing technology. Due to the overly increasing enormity and complexities due to technologies advancement, Huawei, therefore, enhances management transformation as they resort to a lean operation to accommodate customer requirement to improve production efficiency while controlling costs.

To cope with the competition and rapidly changing technologies, the organization applies the quick-build products which entail the rapid modelling and prototyping. To achieve a seamless and quality production, the organization integrates the operations and management organisation with the resources, platforms, and expertise through centralized processes. (Mingwei, Yaling & Feixiang) This highlights the importance of the effective layout decision within the organization.

Facility layout is essential in the realization of a seamless and lean production process in the Huawei Corporation. This entails determining of the arrangement and placement of workgroups, workstation, departments, inventory etc. to reduce possibilities of waste such as motion, movement, inventory, and quality accruing. It is worth noting that Huawei implements a Quality First strategy as they seek to enhance sustainability in materials and suppliers through performance appraisal.

As a contract manufacturer, Huawei has a high-end procurement decision-making team aimed at strengthening customer and supplier’s sustainability. For instance, the organisation has posited a procurement quota to enhance supplier sustainability hence minimizing the risks in supply while facilitating customer satisfaction hence boosting supply chain a competitive advantage. The organizations evaluate supplier eligibility based on compliance with the established supplier Huawei Supplier Sustainability Agreement, laws and regulations.

Further, the procurement process in Huawei is value oriented which entails adhering to the supplier’s regulations, transparency, and scientific procurement which is aimed at building a seamless and healthy s(secure, reliable, and competitive) supply chain. Besides, to facilitate the procurement process, Huawei facilitates a joint innovative, strategic cooperation with a win-win and benefit sharing process. This is achieved by enabling and encouraging mainstream partners to engage in the initial stages of product research and development to assure supply and competitiveness during the process (Tao).

Huawei Operations Management
Huawei Operations Management

Being a contract manufacturer, the organization needs to outsource various parts and or services and maintain robust industrial relations to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness. This is critical as it enhances reasonable profit distribution within the industry thus ensuring key partners and suppliers gain sizeable and reasonable profits hence enhancing a success shared, competitive, and sustainable supply chain. A comment by Huawei’s Consumer Business Group chief, Yu Chengdong, “We are laying out plans for all our key smartphone parts. Huawei might not manufacture these components directly, but it does not mean we do not own technology to manufacture them ourselves” indicates the commitment and appreciation by Huawei to outsource their non-core competencies and dwell on competency for efficiency and effectiveness in their operation after the flash memory incident (Tao).

Additionally, while the organization seeks to facilitate lean manufacturing which is eco-friendly and sustainable, the organization should conduct regular value analysis and sensitivity analysis. These analyses are essential as they enhance the better performance while adhering to customers’ requirement. Lastly, Huawei has prioritized quality as the quality control department is fashioned to make the products synonymous with high quality. The objective is Huawei to win on quality through provision of high quality services and products consistent with their requirements.

MI global started operating in an already competitive market across China and the world. Various challenges culminated which had led to the organization to fall to a ‘unicorns’. Initially, the organization faced a slump supply chain associated with the rapid organizational growth which made the organization to retreat from overseas markets. Additionally, Mi had several organizational challenges that critically influenced their operations hence overall performance.

The organization has facilitated their design and manufacturing process through the application of an innovative business model which differentiate itself from other manufacturers at every phase of the customer journey. First, the organization has facilitated the production and development process of their products as depicted by their CEO, Lei Jun as “Mission Impossible.” Their manufacturing process is unique as they do not have a single physical factory as compared to Huawei which indicates a radical shift from the traditional approach in inventory management. This is vital toward the achievement of lean manufacturing as wastes are reduced in the production process. Xiamo’s make to stock production process inculcates customer requirement as depicted by the research and development process (Wang). The organization adopts a different strategy to reach client which entail cloud sourcing and application of social community to create awareness while at the same time gather information from the customers.

Different organizations have varying strategies and operations in their manufacturing and distribution. In comparison with MI, both organizations applied quick bound product development process where sample and prototypes are designed which includes the mix of the shape and the identity of the line design while depended on the outsourcing various components. Therefore, Huawei and Mi can be described as contract manufacturers.

Mi started operating in an already volatile and competitive market which necessitated differentiation. First, the organization MI Global prompted to restructure their operations through the adoption of more seamless and effective operation management practices. For instance, they restructured their smartphone hardware, supply chain, quality management as well as Research and Development initiative. Besides, the marketing of the end product and delivery to the consumer was exclusively online which made it inaccessible to many less tech-savvy clients (Kline). The organization had to implement therefore a unique and multistep production system which was more platforms based to facilitate production and supply. After their fall, the organization has become one of the super houses in tech in China competing with Huawei. In contrast, Huawei’s also invested greatly in research and development but they had a different marketing strategy which was both through outlets and online platforms.

 Besides, the production design and development entail outsourcing of various components including processors, casing, or camera from other organization for profound and seamless manufacturing. This process culminates with detailed quality tests which are critical in value and sensitivity analysis. Each phase of product development is closely monitored, and any mishap is remedied accordingly before mass production and supply of the product to the final consumer.

Additionally, Xiamo has been a market leader in terms of competitive prices on high quality products. This has been enhanced by sustainable and value-based procurement of components facilitated by quality controls and value analysis. For instance, the Mi3 has a Sony Camera with a sharp LG display and Phillips flash. The organization, however, is purposed toward zero inventories as they only manufacture based on orders hence inventory holding cost is automatically reduced. They procure components only when they get orders (Ghong). This has enhanced the effective alignment of their business model and operations hence meteoric rise.

Huawei Strengths

Huawei had various strengths as compared to Mi in terms of and manufacturing and distribution. For instances, their approach on stock-to-order was favourable in term of logistic and inventory management. Mi implemented a zero inventory management practice where they solely depended on customer orders to procure components. Although this method can save a lot of inventory cost, it can be constraint in case of inventory shortage or delays in delivery. In addition, Huawei had a clear procurement and tendering scheme which facilitated the selection of supplier hence facilitated suppliers’ involvement in the manufacturing process.

Adoption and implementation of seamless and profound operation management concept in the production and delivery of goods and services is a blueprint to the organizational success. They main operations management principles and knowledge adopted by the company included; the principle of reality where Huawei didn’t focus only on lean management or total quality management but rather focused on tools and time-based approaches to provide nearly universal successful operations management.

Besides, the principle of organization is clearly highlighted in the case study. Both organizations had organized their production process coherently as manufacturing, marketing, and distribution are interconnected set of processes. Other principles addresses in the study were the principal of variance, change hence the manufacturing and distribution must be bound with struggles with regulations, benefits, and wages to facilitate competitive advantage. Besides, the concept of lean manufacturing and inventory management are greatly highlighted in the Huawei and Mi manufacturing process. Additionally, the quality assurance and research and development are critically addressed. For instance, these principles enhance the process of procurement through manufacturing to delivery of the final product to the customers.

First, the organization is able to achieve or move toward lean production hence facilitating reduction of wastes which in return results in the eco-friendly operation and competitive advantage in the market (Onwuka, Ugwu & Ndife). For example, Xiamo was able to cut the cost of its products through inventory management and quality control initiatives. Reduced inventory costs and effective supply chain strategy enhances more competent, faster, and accessible products (Francis). To sum-up, adoption of operation management concepts and practices will enhance organizational efficiency, effectiveness, quality, lead time, capacity utilization, and cost objectives through value creation and value addition when transforming inputs to outputs.

Works Cited

Feixiang, Mao et al. “Making Manufacturing Productive Again With Iot – Huawei Publications” Huawei, 2018.

Francis, Abey. “Operations Management – Definition, Objectives and Functions”. MBA Knowledge Base, 2018.

Ghong. “Xiaomi: China’S Threat To Apple And Samsung – Technology And Operations Management”. Rctom.Hbs.Org, 2015.

Kline, David. “Behind The Fall And Rise Of China’s Xiaomi”. WIRED, 2017.

Onwuka, Ebele Mary et al. “Evaluation of Operations Management and Its Impact on Improved Logistics Control”. International Journal Of Economics, Commerce And Management, III, no. 5, 2015, pp. 591-602.

Tao, Li. “Huawei To Improve Supply Of All Key Smartphone Components”. South China Morning Post, 2018.

Wang, Lucy. “Xiaomi – Mobile Disruptor from China – Technology And Operations Management”. Rctom.Hbs.Org, 2018.

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Supply Chain Mapping MBA Project

Supply Chain Mapping is crucial to any organisation regardless of its size, specialization or region.  A typical supply chain system is composed of resources, activities that facilitate the movement of products from the supplier to the client and vice versa, i.e., upstream and downstream (Kozlenkova et al., 2015). However, the keeping track of all these supply chain activities, i.e., delivery and supply of necessary materials, information and other elements is getting complicated day by day.

Henceforth, it’s essential for organizations to manage these activities through visualizations which can help in identifying supply risk factors for necessary actions to be taken (Ho et al., 2015). And this is where supply chain mapping comes in handy. Supply chain mapping refers to the use of visual maps in monitoring the activities linking suppliers and customers.  The supply chain map shows how all partners and actions are connected such as supply, transport, warehousing, retailing and so on.

Moreover, a supply chain map takes into account the transactions and information exchanged by all parties, both upstream and downstream (Jayaratane et al., 2018).  Breaking down the composition of the supply chain mapping reveals interesting factors such as how it’s mapped, parts that are included in the map and criteria used to select. This paper thus discusses these elements of supply chain mapping in addition to the implications of various types of integration in the supply chain management.

Supply Chain Mapping Deployment

Mapping is meant to reveal opportunities and obstacles so that an organization can be able to formulate a winning strategy. To do so, a supply chain map has to indicate two crucial components; the supply chain flow and supply chain entity (Dujak, 2017). This can be achieved by following these steps.

Mapping the Physical Structure

An existing supply chain model already has physical locations that contribute to its value stream. These include the warehouses, factories and retail stores that support the movement of products and services upstream. However, the networks that support that these facilities can be at times complex, even for established organizations. For instance, it may be hard determining who supplies to the organization’s suppliers.

Which facilities or methods do suppliers or producers use to ensure that the raw materials are produced legally and ethically? This requires an organization to step up its involvement by in its analysis of supply chain structure.  Nuss et al., (2016) claims that identifying the relevant physical structures during mapping helps in determining the degree centrality of the supply chain.

Degree centrality is used to determine the level of physical sites that a particular organization owns. This, in turn, determines how the level of control they have on the supply chain and associated risks.

Networking Environment and Context Analysis

The environment that a company operates comes in handy in understanding the supply network system that they can tap into.  Rodriguez (2016) claims that this stage of supply chain mapping entails determining four different types of ties: similarities, relations, interactions and flows. These elements affect how a company is perceived by the society that it operates in.

For companies to successfully succeed in this state, they should take into consideration factors such as;

  • Cultural and ethnic differences,
  • The geography covered,
  • Politics and legal systems within the target markets,
  • Expectations of the end users.
  • The environmental protection laws.

A company that understands these factors will experience more success since it will be able to determine the trends, the drivers and conditions that affect the flow of goods and service both upstream and downstream.

An organization should consider any unique factors which present in the supply chain to determine if they are risks, threats or opportunities. This affects how the organization responds (Rodriquez, 2016). For instance, an organization can critically analyze:

  • Whether to standardize or customize the products:
  • The complexity of the products
  • Customer tastes and preferences
  • Bureaucracy and complexity within the organization
  • Cost of switching for customers
  • The degree of Competition in the market.

All of these factors affect the type of supply chain an organization selects. The more complex and customized the products are, the more complex the supply chain will be.

Supply Chain Mapping
Supply Chain Mapping

Considering the Buying Process:

This organization must consider how many hands the raw material or finished product pass through before reaching them or their target client respectively.  For instance, the company should determine if it buys the products directly from the producers, or from brokers and third-party companies.  To do so, a chart is created, showing how the current transactions and exchange of products are carried out in the supply chain. From this, the organization can determine which parties that they can away with to loosen up the supply chain model.

Dujak (2017) claims this part of the analysis can be classified under the extended value supply map. Brokers and re-suppliers can at times be adding no value to the whole production process, especially if the main producers of raw materials are within reach. In addition to hoarding products and inflating prices, brokers may also become unreliable parties when transacting with them. For instance, if products are not delivered on time despite being paid for, should you hold the broker or the producer accountable?

Can you eliminate the broker and purchase directly from the producer or supply directly to the final clients? Analyzing these elements will help determine how to approach non-value adding-component of the supply chain such as bypassing them.

Supply Chain Mapping – Accounting for Transparency of Information 

Mapping a successful supply chain model entails ensuring that the information being passed across the various parties is consistent and credible. For this reason, a company has to define the types of reports that it expects from all the actors in the supply chain. The expectations will be based on the type of contract that an organization has with these parties.

The suppliers should provide information on their production process and their transport mechanisms (Gardner et al., 2015).  Passing information on sample products or services ensures that expected standards have been met before the commercial production start. In this case, the information being passed down or up the stream covers concepts such as order status, product testing and such. There two ways of ensuring consistency information flow, i.e., manually or electronically.

Moreover, each actor should be provided on information about their expected roles and limitations (Gardner et al., 2015). When all these factors are considered, the supply chain mapping will be based on the transparent information. This implies that each of the party will be accountable and responsible for any issues that they are expected to handle. This stage is usually called the current state map.

Should the map include connected firms or primary firms?

The supply chain map mandates that every activity within the supply model must be accounted for. In doing so, the visualization of how the raw materials are produced to how they reach the final customer must be accounted. Henceforth, this takes into account all the primary and secondary activities that facilitates this process. For this reason, it’s essential to include the connected firm in the supply chain map

Means of determining who should be part of the supply chain map

Heat mapping:

This method entails identifying the main company priority regarding the products that it produces. Each activity of the firm is assigned a grade/ colour/size in the order of its overall importance to a company. In doing so, the company can be able to trace the main parties behind such activity. The parties that become part of the supply chain are those whose roles are found to be invaluable to the company, i.e. those whose grades are much higher (Bryan, 2015).  Regarding this, the supplier of a company has a high priority since the raw materials that they provide; facilitate normal running activities within the firm.

The degree of Risk:

Oliveira et al., (2017) claim the supply chain activities are proliferated with operational threats due to uncertainty in business environments. Such threats can lead to immense losses for a firm. For instance, Boeing suffered a loss of $2.25 Billion, while Cisco lost $2.25 Billion due to supply chain problems (Oliveira et al., 2017). Henceforth, when considering who to include in the supply chain, the main question should be if the party selected is ready to partake in the losses due to risks?

Secondly, how can the party help in mitigating risk? How accountable is the party in the organisational objectives? If a party feels the wrath of consequences related to risks and threats, then they should be included in the supply chain map.

Florian et al., (2015) break down this concept by assigning each risk category with the composition of risks that may proliferate it. All of these activities have a domino effect on the whole supply chain, any parties supplying these activities must be included in the supply chain map.

Supplying Risks: Poor quality good, non-delivery of agreed products, inflated prices, delayed delivery schedule.

Transporting Risk: Loss and damage to good when in transit

Warehousing Risks: Spoiling and damage to goods; changes in storage costs and taxes being levied on them.

Marketing Risks: Wrong promotional strategies, excessive, demand volatility.

Production Risk: Equipment failure, overproduction, poor quality outputs (Florian et al., 2015).

From the above, it’s evident that these are high-risk issues that may face an organization. Henceforth, an organization should monitor all activities carried out by these parties to ensure everything goes as planned. Moreover, when an issue arises, it can be easy for the organization to track through the use of an already established supply chain map. Henceforth, under this criteria, the supplier, the transporters, warehousing companies and marketing agencies must be included in the supply chain map.

Benchmarking

If a company wants to have a successful supply chain, it must study its competitors or other companies who have established a successful supply chain model. This is where benchmarking comes in handy where a company studies the processes, performances and products from the best practices (Routroy et al., 2015).  This strategy helps a company select the right partners for its supply chain model, who are more likely to help it achieve its objectives fast.

Hettiarachchi (2016) claims that Apple Inc. has probably the most successful supply chain strategy due to how it has mastered mapping and visualization technologies in monitoring the movement of all products, both upstream and downstream. Once the company has benchmarked other companies supply chain maps, it then decides on how it can visualize its map for maximum benefits. The bigger the firm and the more complex its activities, it might find itself integrating even the secondary parties to the map, just like Apple Inc does (Hettiarachchi, 2016). On the other hand, if the company activities are just simple and use basic raw materials, its supply chain map should include the basic parties, i.e. supplier, warehouses, the firm, and the retailers.

The Importer-Exporter Criteria

The Importer (Buyer):  This is a connected firm who supplies to the organization supplier. The importer is usually the source of goods within that region if he got them from the foreign nations. The importer negotiates purchase terms with the main supplier, which affects the final price of the raw materials when the reach a firm.  This party offloads and inspects the shipment to ensure that all the products that had been ordered are in place. This importer is categorized as a source to pay (S2P) within the supply chain map.

Supplier (Exporter):  Usually categorized as an Order-to-Cash Component in the Supply chain map.  The exporter receives the purchase order from company clients and validates their credentials.  After confirming the order, they fulfill their services by shipping the goods to the clients. He then collects the payment from the clients and reconciles them for analysis. The reason the exporter is accounted for in the Supply chain map is that he can help a company determine the level of demand from customers. The exporter is a connected firm within the supply chain model.

Exporter (Supplier):  This type of exporter falls under the connected firm category and is a Fulfill-to service component.  This supplier is in charge of fulfilling the order of all the raw materials scheduled for production. The exporter procures materials from their direct sources and delivers them to the company for processing. This type of exporter is placed in the Fulfill-to-service component.

Implications of a Good Supply Chain Management Practice

Vertical Structure:

More Control: Under this arrangement, the company control major activities within its supply chain, e.g. Apple Inc.  As a result, the company can make amendments or any changes in the supply chain with minimal tussles (McCandless et al., 2015). For instance, when a manufacturer acquires its product retailers, he can be able to dictate the prices of all the products, just like he would if he were to acquire the supplier. As a result, they may have more bargaining company than the customers’ especially if there are no alternatives.

Differentiation:  Having more control over the distribution channels, retails outlets, production materials inputs can enable a company to distinguish itself from competitors. Consumers may be able to notice these differences which can be leveraged upon further by clever marketing tactics.

Higher Profit and Revenue margins: Upstream and Downstream markets such as selling products to the customers or accessing raw materials directly from the source may become new sources of revenues.  For instance, a company can also supply raw materials or provide transport and warehouse facilities to other companies on a fees basis. Moreover, having access to these elements eliminates middlemen and intermediaries who usually hike the prices by the time the products are reaching the company or end users. Henceforth, eliminating these intermediaries implies all these profits they were enjoying will be redirected to the firm.

Higher Level of Certainty: Florian et al., (2015) claimed that the more the parties involved in the supply chain, the higher the risks due to reduced control the company may have in overseeing all the activities. With vertical integration, all the acquired companies are acting as subsidiaries to the main company; hence it may be easy to standardize products and regulate their quality. This implies that a company is guaranteed of quality raw materials, quality freight and transport, warehousing and even retailing of goods.

Supply Chain Mapping Horizontal Integration

Market Expansion: Horizontal integration refers to the process of acquiring business activities that are at the same level. For instance, a fast-food company can try to gain a footing in another country by merging with another fast-food company in that nation. This enables a company to have a larger market share, which in turn leads to more revenues and profits for a company.  The supply chain model also becomes flexible and loosens up, since they can experiment with different supplier simultaneously to determine the best one.

Industry Control: the merging of two similar businesses implies that their bargaining power also increases. As a result, they can use this power to set the market prices for their products, set standards for customers as well as dictate the quality they expect from their suppliers and prices.

This is an immense power which may lead to more third-party vendors focusing more on such companies due to being assured of continuous contracts and high demand for their goods.

Economies of Scale: An integrated company will be able to order quantity raw materials, engage in more productive activities at a much lower cost than if it were ordering low quantity products.  This may in turn, lead to bigger profit margins and optimal use of all the facilities within the company.

Increased Differentiation: if the company continues acquiring and merging with businesses along with all lines it operates in, it can have more control over the features of its products.  For instance, the products may be either cheaper, high quality, long lasting in a way that other companies which have not integrated themselves cannot replicate.

Focal Company:

Better relations with consumers: Under this structure, the company has a direct contract with the end users (Wang et al., 2016). This may help the company gain more trust and loyalty, leading to repeat sales from customers.

Better insight for better marketing and product strategies: The company taps to first-hand information from clients from matters about complains, suggestions that they may have on the type of services provided. The company may use this information to re-align and strategize itself so that it meets their demand or needs adequately.

Increased Accountability of suppliers and distributors: Since the company has contact with the end user, it may also provide guidelines that their vendors should follow to provide the best quality services and products for their customers. This may lead to the company monitoring the activities within the supply chain more closely than with other forms of integration (Wang et al., 2016). This may lead to a domino effect where the suppliers and other service providers to the company are also more keen, leading to quality products in the end.

In conclusion, it’s evident that supply chain mapping is very crucial for companies. It supports information distribution, shows channel dynamics and enhances strategic planning process for an organization. This enables the company can track all activities.  It helps companies get more insight on all activities that are crucial to its functioning, be it upstream or downstream.

How can a supply chain mapping be successful? Well, the answer lies in who is the parties that are included in the map, criteria used to select them and their contribution to overall organizational goals It’s also worth noting that the supply chain map will be dependent on the type of integration that a company uses in its acquisition and delivery of goods/services, both upstream and downstream.

References

Dujak, D. (2017, January). Mapping of natural gas supply chains: Literature Review. In 17th International Scientific Conference Business Logistics in Modern Management 2017.

Florian, G. L., & Constangioara, A. (2014). The impact of risks in supply chain on organizational performances: evidence from Romania. Series Economy Management17(2), 265-275.

Gardner, T. A., Benzie, M., Börner, J., Dawkins, E., Fick, S., Garrett, R., … & Mardas, N. (2018). Transparency and sustainability in global commodity supply chains. World Development.

Hettiarachchi, H. (2016). Apple’s Supply Chain Strategy. 10.13140/RG.2.2.32075.49448.

Ho, W., Zheng, T., Yildiz, H., & Talluri, S. (2015). Supply chain risk management: a literature review. International Journal of Production Research53(16), 5031-5069.

Jayaratne, P., Styger, L., & Perera, N. (2018). Role Of Supply Chain Mapping In Sustainable Supply Chain Management. 2nd International Conference on Management Proceeding.

Kozlenkova, I., Hult, T., Lund, D., Mena, J.,  & Kekec, P. (2015). The Role of Marketing Channels in Supply Chain Management. Journal of Retailing. 91. 10.1016/j.jretai.2015.03.003.

Bryan, C. (2015). Handbook of Research on Global Supply Chain Management. IGI Global. ISBN-10: 1466696397

Mccandless, E., Abitbol, E., & Donais, T. (2015). Vertical integration: A dynamic practice promoting transformative peacebuilding. Journal of Peacebuilidng and Development. 10(1).

Nuss, P., Graedel, T. E., Alonso, E., & Carroll, A. (2016). Mapping supply chain risk by network analysis of product platforms. Sustainable Materials and Technologies10, 14-22.

Oliveira, U.R., Espindolar, L.S & Marims, S.F (2017). Analysis of supply chain risk management researches.

Rodríguez, R. R. (2016). Social network analysis and supply chain management. International Journal of Production Management and Engineering (IJPME)4(1), 35-40.

Routroy, S., & Shankar, A. (2015). A benchmarking approach for supply chain risk management. International Journal of Services and Operations Management20(3), 338-357.

Supply Chain Mapping Protocol. (2017).  Supply Chain Sustainability. Version 1.

Wang, X. & Wood, L.C. (2016). The Influence of Supply Chain Sustainability Practices of Suppliers.

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MBA Program – Advantages of Online MBA Programs

To be honest, I like options, flexibility, and ability to work under minimum supervision. As a result, I understood at an early age that the best field that could fit with my desires and aspirations is to enroll in an online MBA program. I work full-time and online studying is convenient for my schedule.  My current work task is to review many business documents. 

Getting an MBA will help me understand these documents.  I am also thinking about moving careers to government contractual work.  I believe getting my MBA will give me an opportunity get my foot in the door to a significant government contracting company. Working in the business industry has been one of my dream jobs since my childhood. Working in a business environment helps me to undertake what I desired to do in my entire life. This is the reason why I should focus on improving my skill set and expertise by enrolling in a flexible MBA program.

Besides, gaining both academic skills as well as work experience will open other avenues through which my career could effectively grow to greater heights. I was able to get a GPA of 2.45 which is slightly below your online MBA program requirements of 2.5. Despite, my current grade, I believe that my interest and aspiration goes beyond my past performance and would like you to reconsider my application based on my capabilities as well.

MBA experience helping your future organization

After almost three-year experience working at a large firm in the litigation department, I am seeking to expand my career to greater heights. My professional experience together with the MBA education will introduce me entirely to the future work environment and increased my interest in working fully in the business industry. Considering my business foundation and experience, I will be able to adequately adapt to the future organization without encountering a lot of challenges.

At this stage in my career, I consider MBA to be the most appropriate career field that will adequately give me the right path that I desire to undertake in my future. The foundation that I have established over the past has helped me to make decisions that are significant in my future career. Through the course, I will be able to develop technical, analytical skills necessary in the future organization to challenging technical problems. Besides, my global business perspectives will be able to improve the skills attained from the course to a greater height.

MBA experience helping MBA classmates

I am more ambitious and motivated to take up technical problems and ensure that I deliver my best. This is one characteristic that has shaped me to be what I am today. Without accepting challenges, it becomes hard for you to succeed effectively in a particular field. Working in a team is a critical component that has given me the ability to work with others. The group is a key source of information top any given firm, and its success depends upon the support provided by the company at any given moment.

With my MBA experience, I will be able to work together with my classmates’ ass a team having a common organizational goal. As a senior member of the team with adequate information, I will be able to understand the needs of the people at various levels and ensure that there is constant output among the group members. This step will aid in ensuring the firm attains the best outcome due to the efforts and coordination made by the group members.

MBA Online
MBA Online

Contribution of MBA program in solving real world problems

Currently, as a family law litigation paralegal, I finalize Income and Expense reports and Schedule of Assets and Debts for our clients.  I also review and index any discovery response which includes vast amounts of financial documents. Having more knowledge in the business field will help me to understand better and review financial document reports and discovery for cases where the parties own multiple businesses. Besides, the MBA program will adequately equip me with technical knowledge which is necessary to difficult real-life situations through informed decision making. I will be able to give appropriate accounts for various undertakings that take place in particular situations and ensure that alternative solutions have been established.

Organizations you have worked and work experiences that you have had

I have been able to work as a successful paralegal at a large business firm in the litigation department. This work has been able to give me technical experience that has helped me to realize the best career path that I should undertake. Having more knowledge in the business field will help me to understand better financial documents, which I review for clients who own multiple businesses.

The decision to undertake the MBA program came as a result of my passion and desire to expand my career to greater heights. I will be able to adequately understand the basic principles that are necessary for the business field through the educational skills that I seek. Despite the poor grades in the past, I am still determined to change everything and gain more experience in the business field.

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Did you find any useful knowledge relating to studying an MBA program in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.

Servitization Operations Management

Implications of Servitization in Operations Management

The concept of servitization in operations management has become more pronounced in the last one decade. The term sensitization is defined as where the manufacturer offers services that are in line with the traditional products offerings. The service industry is growing globally and dominating the world’s economies and much of the strategic thinking of business. Businesses have in the recent bundled together products and services with the aim of increasing value of their companies. This paper aims to increase the understanding of the concept of servitization in operations management. The paper is based on a systematic review of journals of servitization in manufacturing. Through critical literature review, the paper seeks to understand the extent of servitization across the global, the motivation behind servitization in operations management and the implication of servitization in operations management.

Literature Review

Servitization is happening across all the industry and all the countries across the globe. According to Vandermerwe and Rada (1998), it is the forces of globalization, fierce competitive pressure and forces of deregulation that have pushed both firms in the services industry and the manufacturing sector to dramatic move into services. Manufacturing firms have been offering services but not to the extent they are offering today. The manufacturers have specialized more in providing the services that are in line with the products they produce and have set up special units and companies to provide specialized services.

The process of servitization of business occurs in a multi-stage process;

Stage 1: Goods or Services

Initially, companies and firms were either providing goods or offering services. The firms either fit in one of the two companies, with little or no overlap. This was viewed as generating a low level of profits and hence limited revenue to sustain the company in the current competitive market environment. As a result, there was a need for a more advanced source of income which could assist in generating a better income for the day-to-day running of business activities. This led to the next stage in the process of servitization which is more advanced as discussed below.

Stage 2: Goods and Services

With the development of technology and converging trends, it becomes clear that companies needed both goods and services. Therefore, the firms started offering services that were in line with their products. For example, the computer companies demonstrated the inseparable ability of goods and services once and for all.

This stage enabled companies to secure a better profit than the initial stage of dealing with either a good or a service. Apart from the profitability and high generation through producing goods and services at the same time, this stage gave firms and companies superiority over the small firms dealing only with one line of product. Furthermore, it led to strong customer sovereignty and loyalty which increased firm profits and revenue to enable them to cope with the existing tough competition in the global market. Firms saw that this was not enough and they sought to a more advanced stage which could incorporate more commodities.

Stage 3: Goods, services, Support, knowledge, and self-service

The firms have now developed to an advanced stage. This is where the firms consisting of focused bundles that are customers oriented and composed of goods, services, support, self-service, and knowledge. By engaging in this type of business practice, it enabled the firms to acquire more capital goods for producing final products for customers spread across the globe.

The performance was seen as being high together with quality; profitability increased revenue at the same rate. These coupled with government subsidy and provision of incentives contributed to the robust growth in the firm’s sizes and hence development. The bundles are in some cases high standardized and in other cases customized.

Servitization Operations Management
Servitization Operations Management

Implications of servitization in operations management

Servitization among the manufactures and other firms across the world has been as a result of increased competitive pressure, forces of globalization as well as the development of technology. Therefore, the manufacturers move to providing services that are in line with their traditional products to increase their competitiveness in the market. The motivation for servitization can be discussed in particular forms of service offerings. In this respect, there is customer based motivation aim at improving the quality of the services that are offered to customers, product-related services which are aimed at providing support services to the products, competitive motivation which is aimed at improving the functioning of the products as well as services aimed at supporting clients. Other motivations include economic motivations which are aimed at increasing the revenues of the firm (Raddats et al., 2016).

Servitization works through some ways to increase the competitiveness of the firms. Some of these ways include setting barriers to possible competitors. Servitization creates barriers for customers to be wooed by competitors. If the customers are in a position to get all their need from the firm, that is both goods and support services, then they are more likely to be glued to the company and remain loyal to the firm. The main idea is to block potential competitors by making the entry into the market too expensive or complex.

Servitization also creates barriers to their customers. The customer who is used to getting all the services from any particular firm will be less likely to leave the firm for a competitor. Offering services to customers together with the products makes it unnecessary for them to look for other firms. Servitization also creates dependency on the side of the customers. Through servitization, the customers will depend so much on the products of the firm, and therefore the firm can keep the customers.

Spring and Araujo (2013) discuss the role of servitization in product differentiation. For this case, firms take the advantage of servitization by offering product-services combinations that are unique to any other firms’ products. Servitization increases the complexity of the firm’s products and services and therefore hard for the competitors to match the design of the products and the services. This makes the firm’s products face little competition in the market, and therefore the income from sales is kept at optimum point hence maximum profits made. Building customer loyalty in the market comes as a result of barriers to entry by other potential competitors since servitization offsets this through product-service combination which makes it different from products of other firms.

Servitization and Profitability

Visnjic and Van look (2012) argues that the relationship between servitization and profitability is complex. The approach that is adopted by any particular firm is the determinant of the level of profitability of servitization. Profitability is related primarily to the level of service culture, that is, to the firm qualities and that of the employees since they participate directly in the company’s activities. The provider’s employees must be autonomous, competent and able to communicate well with customers and be able to gather useful information for the firm. The customer interface is very important. These aids in the high levels of sales and hence boosting the profitability level. Therefore, service culture becomes a key element in the performance of every firm.

Services are globally more profitable. The main reason behind this is the fact that services have a lower price sensitivity. As a whole, results confirm the assumption that the operational service system must be adapted to the service strategy to attain expected financial benefits (Baines et al., 2017). While managers of manufacturing firms are skeptical, that service could generate potential revenue and real value.

It has been observed that in industries with a high-installed product base (e.g., aerospace, automotive industries), higher revenue potential often exists as service revenues can be one or two orders of magnitude greater than new product sales (Meely, 2008). Moreover, as services seem to be a steadier source of revenue (Smith, Maull and Ng, 2014), increasing service revenues can serve as compensation for declining revenues in equipment sales, and because services are more resistant to economic cycles, they can support steadier cash flows in periods of economic crisis. Furthermore, service offerings tend to be less sensitive to price competition and tend to promote customer loyalty.

Motivation for Servitization

Demand-based/customer demand motivation

Due to high demand for certain services in the local/global markets by the customers, the company may be forced to venture into servitization process and offer the service in high demand. This motive is strongly held by the fact that there is a ready market for the service to accompany to initial products produced by the firm. The final result is the high-profit yield accompanied by high level of income generation (Vinsnjic and Van look, 2012).

Development purposes

A firm is said to be developed when it produces a wide range of products to be sold in the market. Since every company aspires to increase its profitability and the desire for continued growth, it thus starts servitization due to the high and first service revenues (Vinsnjic and Van look, 2012). Therefore, the firm will experience growth with the product- service provision and hence developing at either constant or increasing rate depending on the technology and labor applied.

Conclusion

Servitization has become an emerging issue in the global business for the past one decade due to the benefits accruing from its practice. From the above description in evolution section, it is a fact that companies advanced progressively from a lower stage of producing single, that’s dealing with a line of product to a better stage of adopting two line products of producing goods and service provision and then finally to the final advanced and technical stage of incorporating goods, services, support, knowledge, and self-service. Furthermore, we looked at the implications of servitization in operations management and finally the critical motivations for practicing servitization as discussed in the above context.

Bibliography

Baines, T., Baines, T., Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Bustinza, O.F., Bustinza, O.F., Shi, V.G., Shi, V.G., Baldwin, J., Baldwin, J. and Ridgway, K., 2017. Servitization: revisiting the state-of-the-art and research priorities. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(2), pp.256-278.

Neely, A., 2008. Exploring the financial consequences of the servitization of manufacturing Operations Management Research, 1(2), pp.103-118.

Raddatz, C., Baines, T., Burton, J., Story, V.M. and Zolkiewski, J., 2016. Motivations for servitization: the impact of product complexity. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36(5), pp.572-591.

Spring, M., and Araujo, L., 2013. Beyond the service factory: Service innovation in manufacturing supply networks. Industrial marketing management, 42(1), pp.59-70.

Smith, L., Maull, R., and CL Ng, I., 2014. Servitization and operations management: a service dominant-logic approach. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 34(2), pp.242-269.

Vandermerwe, S. and Rada, J., 1988. Servitization of business: adding value by adding services. European management journal, 6(4), pp.314-324.

Visnjic, I. and Van Looy, B., 2012. Servitization: Disentangling the impact of service business model innovation on the performance of manufacturing firms.

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