713 pages, published in 2010
Operations management is important. It is concerned with creating the services and products upon which we all depend. And all organizations produce some mixture of services and products, whether that organization is large or small, manufacturing or service, for profit or not for profit, public or private. Thankfully, most com- panies have now come to understand the importance of operations. This is because they have realized that effective operations management gives the potential to improve both efficiency and customer service simulta- neously. But more than this, operations management is everywhere, it is not confined to the operations function. All managers, whether they are called Operations or Marketing or Human Resources or Finance, or what- ever, manage processes and serve customers (internal or external). This makes, at least part of their activities ‘operations’.
Operations management is also exciting. It is at the centre of so many of the changes affecting the business world – changes in customer preference, changes in supply networks brought about by internet-based technologies, changes in what we want to do at work, how we want to work, where we want to work, and so on. There has rarely been a time when operations management was more topical or more at the heart of business and cultural shifts.
Operations management is also challenging. Promot- ing the creativity which will allow organizations to respond to so many changes is becoming the prime task of operations managers. It is they who must find the solutions to technological and environmental challenges, the pressures to be socially responsible, the increasing globalization of markets and the difficult-to- define areas of knowledge management.
Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers, Robert Johnston