By N. Slack, M. Lewis

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These are the factors which may not be directly observable but are nonetheless significant in enabling any company to function. QXP 14 7/8/07 10:31 Page 14 C H A P T E R 1 • W H AT I S O P E R AT I O N S S T R AT E G Y ? ● supplier relationships, contracts and mutual understanding of how suppliers are managed; ● knowledge of, and experience in, dealing with technology sources and labour markets; ● process knowledge relating to the day-to-day production of products and services; ● new product and service development skills and procedures; ● contacts and relationships in the market which enable an understanding of market trends and more specific customer needs.

Each will be examined in more detail later in this chapter. The operations resource perspectives – operations strategy should build operations capabilities The majority of most organisations’ resources are within its operations function. No surprise then, that long-term resource management is often regarded as the underlying rationale for operations strategy. The problem is again one of translation because the approach and terminology which are useful for understanding a firm’s resources are not necessarily appropriate to clarify the nature of the decisions which shape those resources.

3). 3 Four perspectives on operations strategy: top-down, bottom-up, market requirements and operations resources Top down Operations strategy should interpret higher-level strategy Operations resources Operations strategy should build operations capabilities Operations strategy Market requirements Operations strategy should satisfy the organisation’s markets Bottom up Operations strategy should learn from day-to-day experience The top-down perspective – operations strategy should interpret higherlevel strategy Arguably the traditional view of operations strategy is that it is one of several functional strategies which are governed by decisions taken at the top of the organisation and which set the overall strategic direction of the organisation.

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