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Operational Management - Physical Buffering

Essay by   •  August 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  252 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,202 Views

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Physical buffering involves building in a store of the resources so that any supply disruptions will (initially at least) be absorbed by the store. The operation is storing its input transformed resources before it 'transforms' them. The store of input resources are being used as' buffer stocks' to protect the operation. Similarly, buffering can be applied at the output end of the transformation process. A manufacturer could make its products and put them into a finished goods inventory (output stocks are not usually relevant to people-processing operations). Often operations do not need to have output stocks ; they could react to each customer's request as it was made. Yet by stocking their output , the operation is give much more stability when demand is uncertain.

In many organizations the responsibility for acquiring the inputs to the operation and distributing its outputs to customers is not given to the operations function. For example, the people who staff the operation are recruited and trained by the personnel function; the process technology for the operation is probably selected and commissioned by a technical function; the materials, parts services and other bought-in resources are acquired through a purchasing function; and the orders from customers which trigger the operation into activity will come through the marketing function. The other functions of the organization are, in effect, forming a barrier or buffer between the uncertainties of the environment and the operations function. These relationships have developed partly for stability which allows the operation to organize itself for maximum efficiency.

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