What is Operation Strategy?
Operations strategy can be described as a collective term for all the strategies and contributions of an organization that are long term. Additionally, a corporate strategy is how a business sets out to achieve its goals and objectives. It gives guiding principles that can lead to a desired pattern of decision-making in the organization when implemented in the premise. A good business strategy should include the company’s goals and objectives, core values, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis (SWOT), resource allocation plans, and tactics, among others. A business strategy helps reduce resistance to change, provides a platform for an organization to control its activities, and improves communication among the employees at the organization’s different levels.
Despite the increasing number of developments happening, there are many varied reasons why organizations engage in projects. It may be due to market and legal requirements, strategic opportunities, environmental requirements, and social needs. However, despite all these varied reasons, ultimately, every organization seeks to ensure that all the projects they are involved in are completed and implemented in society (Nigel and Brandon, 2018, p. 62). To achieve such success in a project, an organization needs to ensure that it develops strategies that can be successfully implemented, meet the growing market needs, and have a viable edge over its competitors.
This can be done by ensuring that the business strategy and the operations strategy have a harmonious relationship and are going hand in hand. The discussion below will seek to ascertain the relationship between the four perspectives of the operations strategy and the business strategy; namely, whether the operations strategy reflects the business strategy top-down, whether the operations strategy aligns with the market requirement, whether the operations strategy learns from operational experience and whether the operations strategy develop the capability of its resource and process inside out (Alhawamdeh and Alsmairat, 2019). Qatar will be hosting the World Cup in 2022; therefore, an example is used of the proposed construction of a stadium in Qatar to evaluate the organization’s operations strategy critically.
How Operations Strategy Reflect the Business Strategy (Top Down)
Operations strategy and business strategy are similar in that both entail patterns of actions that influence decisions and ultimately the performance and overall achievement of goals and objectives. For an organization to achieve its goals and objectives, all top to bottom members should be putting their efforts into their different roles. Additionally, both the operations strategy and the business strategy should be in harmony to achieve success. According to Nigel and Brandon (2018, pp. 62-63), a top-down perspective often identifies three related strategy levels: corporate, business, and functional strategy.
The corporate strategy seeks to ensure that the corporate is in a good ranking position globally, economically, politically, and socially. Moreover, a business strategy ensures that a business’s individual goals and objectives are achieved. Functional strategy finally considers which part each function should play to achieve the company’s overall strategic goals and objectives. Therefore, for a top-down perspective in operation strategy to work, it should ensure that it is consistent with the business strategy and that all its elements are ‘pulling’ towards the same direction. In the above project, the operations strategy reflects the business strategy from top-level management to the low management level. All the operations are geared towards the achievement of goals and the objectives set by the business.
An organization will engage in a project that seeks to satisfy a particular market gap. Therefore, the operations strategy, which are the patterns of decisions that affect the achievement of the overall goals and objectives, should align with the market requirement to ensure that an organization has a good ranking. With the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, there is a need for the construction of Stadiums, which prompted the organization to engage in the stadium construction project.
How Operations Strategy Align With Market Requirements
According to Nigel and Brandon (2018, p. 64), operations strategy should reflect the business’s market position. Different companies compete in various ways; the operation strategy, therefore, should be able to adapt and perform acceptably for the given market position. To ensure that the operations strategy aligns with the market requirements, market requirements are translated into performance objectives such as quality, dependability, and cost. Moreover, setting the organizational strategies should be considered the first step towards the success of the company. This means that, if the organization is bound for excellence the staff should be made to understand what the company targets at a given time, and failure to deliver strict measures should be taken. With this in mind, if the establishment has set goals leaning toward meeting certain market requirements the staff should always think and work towards achieving the set goal. Many operations should be geared towards meeting this market requirement.
Additionally, the performance objectives are divided into two; order winners directly contribute to business success, and qualifier factors contribute to the competitiveness level where the business has to be above a certain level for the customer to consider. For example, the current pandemic has shaken up the market by changing market requirements, such as maintaining social distance, washing hands, and sanitizing. Therefore, the project ought to ensure that the operations strategy aligns with the market requirements, such as providing constant water and soap supply, ensuring seating areas observe the social distance, etc.
How Operations Strategy Learn From Operational Experience
As an organization continues to provide services and products to people, lessons learned might play a role in the operations taking a particular strategic direction. This is called the bottom-up perspective of operations strategy (Nigel and Brandon, 2018, p. 64). Furthermore, this perspective shows emergent strategies that show that strategy making can be unstructured and fragmented. The main advantage of shaping strategies from the bottom up is the ability to learn from routine and transform that knowledge gained into strategically valuable knowledge (Kunc, 2019). For example, in the current time with the ongoing pandemic, operations have taken up drastic changes like no other time. Traditionally stadiums did not need to maintain social distance or put-up areas for washing hands. However, after the past year, there has been a need for such amenities. Therefore, an organization needs to learn from this and come up with better and more efficient amenities to cater to the current market requirements. A situation where an organization has learned from operational experience is whereby there are no longer unused seats in a stadium, but the seats have been replaced with better and more comfortable seats that are well spaced out to maintain social distance. For an organization to remain competitive and have a better ranking, its operations strategy should be able to provide a service or product to the market that the competitors will find hard to match.
How Operations Strategy Develop the Capability of its Resource and Process (Inside Out)
These competitive capabilities are heavily influenced by the firm’s resource-based review, where resources that are difficult to imitate can be classified as strategic when they are imperfectly imitable or substitutable. The operation strategy should be able to exhaustively use all the resources available to come up with a product or service that is strategic in the sense that it cannot be imitated or substituted. For example, the stadium can come up with a seating setup that continuously measures the temperature and heart rate of its occupant and cleans and disinfects itself frequently. This operation strategy cannot be substituted, and in turn, it will ensure long-term competitiveness for the organization’s product. To grasp the whole idea of the operations strategy, one cannot view the perspectives individually; however, when considering all the perspectives together, one can get a good idea of how operations contribute strategically. These four viewpoints should be reconciled (Nigel and Brandon, 2018, p. 65). This can be done by constructing an operation strategy matrix which is a model that describes the operations strategy as the center of business performance as well as explaining all the strategic decisions it makes. Additionally, another alternative model known as the line of fit maps out the intricate balance between the market requirements and what the operations can achieve over time. According to Nigel and Brandon (2018, p. 65), “ideally, there should be a reasonable degree of alignment or ‘fit’ between the market’s requirements and the capabilities of the operation”. To sum up, all that has been said, the individual importance of these four perspectives of operations strategy cannot be downplayed; all the perspectives play an essential role in ensuring that the organization produces quality products while maintaining a competitive edge and exhaustively using all the resources.
Alhawamdeh, H. M. and Alsmairat, M. A. (2019) ‘Strategic decision making and organization performance: a literature review,’ International Review of Management and Marketing, 9(4), p. 95.
Kunc, M. (2019) ‘Strategic planning: The role of hybrid modeling,’ 2019 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC)proceedings, National Harbor, MD, USA,8-11 December. IEEE, pp. 1280-1291
Slack, N. and Brandon-Jones, A., (2018) Operations and process management: principles and practice for strategic impact. UK: Pearson
Wautelet, Y. (2019) ‘A model-driven IT governance process based on the strategic impact evaluation of services,’ Journal of Systems and Software, 149, pp. 462-475.