Discussion on Functions of Production and Operation Management.

Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: Functions of Production and Operation Management. Responding to the increased level of competitiveness in the business environment in terms of quality, productivity and lead times, the function of Production and Operations Management has evolved significantly over the history to its current standing within organizations. While the process involved may vary from organization to organization depending on the nature of output be it a tangible product or intangible service, the essential elements of production and operation management is concerned with the management of the input-throughput-output process effectively and efficiently (Wikipedia 2008). Operation Management can therefore be defined as “the management of the conversion process, which converts land, labor, capital and management inputs into desired outputs of goods and services” (Everett & Ebert 2002).

The origins of operations management can be traced to the Industrial Revolution era which began in the 1700s in England. &nbsp.The main features of the changes which took place during this era were the Centralized production, Powered machinery, and the concept of Factory production (Gaither & Frazier 2002). One of the landmark achievements of this era was the steam engine being invented by James Watt in 1764, which provided a new source of energy to power the factory concept. Another key milestone that revolutionized the discipline was the 1776 publication of Adam Smith’s seminal work known commonly as “The Wealth of Nations” which proposed the economic benefits associated with the specialization of labor. His recommendation was that work should be broken down to sub-tasks, and assigned to workers where they became specialized in performing these tasks with efficiency through repetitive performance (Everett & Ebert 2002). As the industrial revolution gained momentum and spread to other parts of the world, Eli Whitney from America developed the concept of “Interchangeable parts” in 1970, laying the foundation for volume productions and standardized parts and the inception of large-scale factories in industries such as textile. By the mid-1800s, the traditional manufacturing systems associated with cottage and artisan productions were completely replaced by factory systems which also brought in new challenges such as managing the workforce and management of quality issues. &nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp.

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