Business performance is a key aspect of every business. Thus, adopting numerous business changes helps in improving the methodologies applied for better performance. Supply chain management as logistics has therefore been regarded as crucial factors that facilitate competitive company structure. Since the 1980s supply chain management has been receiving attention yet the conceptual analogy of the management of supply has not been well understood, many of the scholars have kept on highlighting the necessity for a clear definitional construct and theoretical context on supply chain management. Therefore, the paper primarily aims at proving an advanced tutorial for the present research on logistics operations management and supply chain. Primarily, a clarification of the conception of operations, supply chain management and logistics defining the scope of the related research papers. Finally, we will conclude the paper with an insight obtained through a scrutinized analysis of these facets at Darent Valley Hospital, UK.
Conception and Scope
Operations management is a business administration structure meant to create a higher-level efficiency within the organization. Operations within an organization aiming at converting labour and materials into goods and services to maximize profitability. At Darent Valley Hospital, there are various techniques used in the operations of the facility for an effective and efficiency in operations for offering quality health services. Operations with an organization aim at balancing costs with revenues to maximize the level of profitability for the organization. Therefore, at Darent Valley Hospital, the operations departments always ensure effectiveness in their measures to ensure there are minimized costs in their operations and other fields to increase their profitability being the primary goal for every business.
Operations management team utilizes resources available from their staffs, equipment, materials and available technology to execute their duties as well as to make a clear decision with regards to various functions. With the information and right details, the team can acquire, process and deliver goods and services to their customers based on their desires and company abilities. Therefore, to ensure effectiveness in services, the management of the hospital seeks credible information from patients’ feedback to help improve their services to satisfy the needs of their customers within their scope of resources.
Logistics is a set structure that monitors the movement of goods between the point of origin and the consumption zone to meet the requirement of the consumer. Resources at Darent Valley Hospital managed through logistics are physical items such as medicines, prescription medicines, beds, towels, bedcovers and sheets, mattresses, wheelchairs among others. There are also nonconcrete items such as time, particles, data, and vigour. Hence, logistics for tangible items involves the incorporation of the flow of information, production, wrapping, material handling, inventory, warehousing, transportation as well as security. Though at times experiencing complexity, the complexity can be analysed, modelled and visualized through simulation software. Mainly, minimizing the use of resources is a common motivation in the logistics department for both exports and imports.
As we can see, logistics primarily focuses on the flow of products in our context of the hospital setup. Additionally, logistics put more emphasis on the activities of dealing with different products including transportation, distribution and packaging processes. Though business logistics is diverse, the traditional research of logistics management related to the logistic facility, inventory planning, and transportation.
As compared to the concept of logistics, there are tending to be few consensuses for defining supply chain management. According to Kathawala and Abdou, among different individuals, there is a variability of what it is meant for supply chain management. Nevertheless, supply chain management is well-defined as systematic coordination of traditional business operations and tactics across the business functions in a given company and across the operations involved in the supply chain for the sole purposes of improving performance in a long-term based basis for company and the supply chain technique.
Therefore, supply chain and logistics are comparative in the industry, with close relevance to product circulation from production to consumption. Thus, they are regarded as central units for competitive analysis on the management models. However, the supply chain is broadened into conceptions with a significant range of involvement to similar subjects among the supply pipeline, value stream, value chain, and network sourcing management.
Additionally, the logistics conception has no definite relationship with the organization while on the other hand, the supply chain has a more definite relationship with the organization since the supply chain is made organizations. Importantly, supply chain management does not supply products with a motive of having a cost reduction benefit at the cost of their supply chain allies but instead making the supply chain procedure more competitive. Therefore, the supply chain is not the involvement of a single company but a series of companies with a pivotal research methodology being the game theory.
Following comprehensive study on operations, logistics and supply chain management, we will have the scrutiny of each in a different perspective with the hospital. Firstly, operations and logistics management primarily focus on the traditional domain of operational management. The conventional domain is based on production planning and transport management for the goods. Therefore, there is a notable aspect that emphasis on profit maximization when logistic and supply chain management are correctly implemented. For instance, the inventory management of drugs at the Hospital is an old and existing field in their supply chain and logistics management structure. The structure has a replenishing policy for the inventories to ensure effectiveness in its operation and services delivery.
Deterioration of certain goods is an issue that faces the logistics department within the facility. There is always two significant loss of goods which are quantity and quality loss. Thus, in dealing with the challenge, a stochastic procedure is always effective in determining the supply chain models in which the distribution of the products took place. Through understanding, it is always easier to seek for fresh products to better the operations and services offered. Being a trending issue within the hospital, perishable goods especially vegetables in the kitchen department, the hospital has been seeking an alternative to deal and solve the problem. Therefore, through the change management procedures, the logistics and supply chain management tactics have been adjusted from time to time to help in preventing the losses which have been prevalence.
Transportation for products in the facility is another problem has been prevalence over time. Different services require various transport system depending on the urgency and nature of the patients a well as of the goods to be transported. Therefore, as much as the company has its transport system, there are instances where the logistics management is faced with challenges inevitable to the hospital. Consequently, they deter transportations to and fro the facility which is a risk to the lives of patients depending on the hospital logistics department. Simultaneously, the logistics management department seeks for outsourcing service from external parties to enhance their functionality. Therefore, through outsourcing, additional expenses are incurred which is a reduction to profitability. Where the profits are minimized, the operations of the business are affected to extents that might lead to losses.
Vehicle routing problem (VRP) has been a significant challenge in the facility interfering with the supply and logistics of an entity thus delayed delivery and supply for goods and services. However, through the establishment of some new transport domains, there has an alternative whenever the problem strikes. Having an option to solve a problem is always a great move to business as this acts as aback up plan to the set procedures. Unluckily, adopting intermodal transportation has been a headache due to the charges involved. Thus, transportation through intermodal is a way much expensive resulting in business operations on a loss. Primarily, the core purpose of a business is profitability, and hence through extensive losses, the operations are undermine making it hard for them to operate.
Additionally, on load planning for wagons and transport mediums, there is always a challenge in defining the percentage of profitability. Whenever there are logistic challenges, load planning, assign loads and units as well as defining the wagons to use is always an issue that leads to damage for goods being transported. Therefore, supply chain and logistic failures are a source of enormous losses in business due to poor loading of goods where most get damaged in the process of loading, transporting and offloading. Subsequently, there has been a rising cost of transportation due to the increased costs of fuel in the country. Economic fluctuations since the BREXIT has attributed to changing fuel charges thus shifting transport charges. Therefore, through increased costs, business has found it hard to supply their goods and services due to minimal profitability effectively. On the other side, at the hospital the supply and logistics management find it challenging to execute their duties with regards to the minimized incomes effectively.
Sourcing and market in supply chain changes have also been a challenge facing the management of the different organization. In particular, the Darent Valley Hospital management has been facing problems with the sourcing and marketing strategies over the past few years. There have been extensive studies on sourcing over the years leaving an open room for the suppliers to up their efficiency in the supply of goods and services. As Darent Valley Hospital source lots of their technical and engineering works to external parties, makes the suppliers to have knowledge and experience with their system which at the time has been an issue to the information security within a business et up.
Though cost effective at times, outsourcing has been a threat to the wellbeing of company operations. Confidentiality of information in most cases is in the public domain and knowledge to the external parties who might infringe the right of privacy. Personal interest can overcome professionalism being a weak point for the organization’s operations. Interested competitors can seek vital information from outsourced companies or individuals thus using the information to demean the services and products from their rivals. Therefore, while selecting an outsourcing party there need to be great care to ensure an accountable party.
Utilization of the auctioning in sourcing technique is an issue that has been facing supply chain management. An optimal procurement technique is believed to be a great option for a buyer. Specifications about pricing are done then an invitation for the possible and able suppliers are invited to bid on the contract with the most effective bidder winning the contract. However, there is a different form of the auction such as Dutch, Sealed-bid, first-prices, Vickrey and English auctions. Therefore, inventory replenishment policies are applicable in such instances where the bidder is selected. The auction bidding process has been a problem due to a show off for competition to win the bid but later fail to honour the terms and contracts as expected. Though failure to fulfil the terms of an agreement as binding to a legal obligation, there are instances where the contractor honors the contract though with malicious motives to deceive the client this ending up with a low-quality supplier. Therefore, there needs to be great caution while selecting bidders from an auction.
Marketing is another problem that the supply chain system has been facing. Though there are effective marketing strategies for the Darent Valley Hospital, aggressiveness from the rival hospital has been a problem to the facility. Competition is critical in market dominance which results in an increased number of the population target for offered services. Therefore, as competition increase, there calls for more expenses in advertising as well as promoting the functions of the hospital. As more costs come in, the level of profitability reduces thus affecting the operations of the hospital from all ends. As more patients seek to try out new services from other hospitals, there is a loss of market share which makes the facility operate on a going concern basis. Therefore, there need to be aggressive marketing strategies all year round to ensure continued market dominance and to retain their customer loyalty which results in returning patients. Customer loyalty is a sign of culturally and social acceptance for the venture.
Operations management is a body that has a direct impact on logistics and supply chain management. Therefore, through the decisions of the operations management, the logistics and supply chain team are forced to base their decisions to the trend. Hence, problems faced in the operations department are spread to other departments undermining their functionality. Therefore, to ensure effective organizational success, there needs to be a working and active operations department to ensure comprehensiveness in decision making. For instance, where the operations team are unable to plan on whether to outsource products or execute them through their staffs, they are likely to affect the decisions made in the supply chain and logistics departments due to their uncertainty on the move. Primarily, logistics and supply chain management are dependent on the operations manager.
Improved business operations and customer services is a problem that has been facing the logistics, supply chain and operations management in Darent Valley Hospital. Change management is an aspect that leads to the introduction of new policies in control for a better future. Therefore, through the changes, there are challenges and threats to the current situations in management. Unfamiliarity with the new trends makes it hard for the team members to make definite decisions with regards to the various operations they are entitled to control in their facility. For instance, through new technology at the labs, there is a hardship in operating them due to inadequate skills in such technology. Additionally, advanced leadership skills come with new forms of supply and logistics which with the current way and structures, there are challenged adapting to the new strategies.
Government compliance regulations are among the logistics challenges that have been facing the hospital. Various compliance regulations need to be fulfilled for licencing and approval to offer health-based services. Therefore, to receive the accreditations, there are combined and subsequent charges that must be met at departmental levels. Municipal and national government expect the regulations to be fulfilled before the commencement of the service delivery. Therefore, this has always undermined some services due to delays in compliance.
Additionally, there is an issue with driver shortage and retention in the facility. Qualified and skilled drivers have lacked thus affecting the operations within the facility. For instance, an ambulance is not driven by an ordinary driver but a qualified and experienced individual. Therefore, whenever there is a shortage of such skilled personals, there is a delay in services delivered thus outsourcing for such services which makes it more expensive for the hospital.
Additionally, though decisions made under consumer’s behaviour are essential to the company which helps the firm to gain competitive advantages and increase their profit, there has been a challenge in decision making procedure where the decisions are no longer based on the operations of the facility. Primarily the factors that interfere with consumer’s behaviour include paper incorporating, risk-averse and regretful aspects. The arrangement and pricing of different types of products from two brands by modelling consumer choice, makes a consumer get confused while selecting their preferred choice.
Thus, dynamic pricing suggestions of a new price mechanism which is based on a peak-memory mode that proposes that consumer’s presenter in reference price that is the weighted average of the lowest and latest prices, where for the pricing challenge is optimal to the assortment of constant pricing strategies. Profits and procedures on a firm in the advance selling context where the buyers have undefined assessments and awaited regrets on consumer decisions is a problem that faces the operations of the facility. By logical framework for a firm can help in addressing price and product decision, they also show that regardless of the presence of conspicuous consumption and scarcity strategies which are hard to embrace as the demand changeability rises, a firm can still offer high accessibility of goods. Thus, dealing with the rising demands makes it a mandate of the operations manager to ensure a supply towards the demand.
When a company sells two discrete products to strategically advanced customers over two periods, will help in creating price dynamic in each period. Due to loss to planned customers behaviour, there can be less with two variants products likened to the single product yardstick, where dealing with strategic customers a product diversity can perform as a lever. There are three types of consumers which include bargain-hunting, vital consumers and myopic a retailer can sell a product with undefined request in a finite selling season. Thus, each consumer has their preference which the supply chain management team need to serve and fulfil their desires. Therefore, a retailer that stocks less takes smaller prices discounts if strategic consumers are present the retailer earns lower profits than when there are no strategic consumers, and a retailer should also evade been committed to price track over the period.
Concisely, operations, supply chain and logistics have been a crucial aspect in facilitating operations with Darent Valley Hospital. Through their coherency and adequacy in operations, the hospitals have been operating in a going concern basis thus enhancing the increased expansions over time. With change management techniques in place, the hospital has been able to engage in different advanced facets that have been in a move to better their services delivery. However, due to various challenges from the supply chain, logistics, and operations managerial facets, the hospital has had its structure altered in efforts to solve the prevailing problems. Transport, government regulations, outscoring challenges as well as cost increment has been among the leading challenges towards effectiveness in Darent Valley Hospital operations. Therefore, change management is a broad field approaching managing changes that are widely diversified from one organization to the other.