Рrоduсtiоn and Ореrаtiоns Маnаgеmеnt

  • Category:
    Management
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    2083

РRОDUСTIОN AND ОРЕRАTIОNS МАNАGЕMЕNT 9

Рrоduсtiоn and Ореrаtiоns Маnаgеmеnt

Рrоduсtiоn and Ореrаtiоns Маnаgеmеnt 1750 еssаy

Introduction

The Lawn Care Company views its business strategy as providing the highest quality grass seed and fertilizer, delivery to golf courses, delivery to retailers, and competitive pricing. However, the competition delivers high product quality, offers services to customers such as application of the fertilizers on the lawn, and charges higher that Lawn Care Co. it, therefore, appears that Lawn Care Company has serious competition.

Case Background

The Lawn Care Company is a grass and fertilizer producing company with sales that are estimated at $1 billion per year. The company sells either directly to golf courses and parks or to contractors. However, once the company has made a delivery to the clients’ premises and the necessary documents are signed, the company considers its duty done. What it means is that the company has very little concept of customer service. The danger in the inconsiderate treatment of the customer is that the clients may not always know how to apply the fertilizer or the contracted personnel may misapply the fertilizers. The outcome of the failure to deliver the appropriate customer service was the damages done to the lawns or the leakage of the fertilizer to the water ways such as streams and the lakes. The net effect was that the problems that were created by the fertilizer runoff created an opportunity for a competitor to enter the market that Lawn Care Company had held for many years.

The competitor introduced an application of the seeds and fertilizer service for the golf courses and parks at a price. The competitor soon began combining the fertilizer and seeds application service with the primary products; the seeds and the fertilizers. The competitor obviously charged a premium price for the services. The competitor went a notch higher and delivered the products and applied the same day to avoid liabilities. In this case study, the competitor is liberally exploiting Lawn Care Company lack of customer service and was busy building a successful business out of the ignorance of the competitor.

The Lawn Care Company was comfortable producing and delivering seeds and fertilizers but ignored the application services to the parks and golf course, and the residential areas. Suffice to say, the Lawn Care Company viewed its value chain as ending at the products delivery point. What they did not see is the loophole provided by the failure to go a step further and offer the application services. Consequently, the competitor saw an opportunity and entered the market with the mantra “a beautiful lawn with no hassles”.

Lawn Care Strategy

Lawn Care organizational strategy is to produce and distribute high-quality fertilizer and grass seeds. The target markets are upscale facilities including golf courses and parks. The organization strategy may be summarized as supplying the right product at the right time to the right customer. It is, therefore, clear that Lawn Care Company focuses on the internal strengths to move the company forward. The company, can then, be seen as laying more emphasis on production of quality goods. Thus the company is production led.

The central focus for the organizations with o production orientation is to maximize production output. Under such a strategy, the enterprise success is based on the quality quantity of the products (Behnam, 2013). The Lawn Care Company was driven by the quality of the product they made and perhaps, the timely delivery. Such an operation can succeed in an environment without competition. Nevertheless, an organization that wants to thrive in the market has to constantly be on the lookout for more opportunities that may arise in the dynamic market.

Organizations whose business is product driven conducts the operations of the enterprise based on a few assumptions. The first assumption is that they believe that producing products that are superior to competition would naturally make the enterprise economically successful
R. B. (Chase, Jacobs & .Aquilano, 2007). They also believe that they can sell the products if the quality is high. Additionally, the enterprises assume that they can turn in a profit by selling enough products. Lastly, the product oriented organizations believe that the consumers will buy the products if the price is viewed as fair.

Lawn Care Company business philosophy was based on making the right product and get to the customer. They ignored a basic customer need-the application of the seeds and the fertilizer. The company left the application services to the customer and, in some instances to the local sub-contractors. That could be fine enough; however, the application of the fertilizer and the seed was a technical affair. The customer and the subcontractor did the job incorrectly, often using inappropriate methods and equipment. Soon enough, a problem arose. It is noted that the relationship between the sub-contractors, the customers, and the Lawn Care Company was not always the best. Consequently, when the problem arose, which included pollution of streams, lakes, and damaged lawns, the company was placed at the centre of the issue. The customers questioned the quality of the product and the crisis opened an opportunity to a competitor who was offering the application services to the parks and golf course.

It is evident from the case study that Lawn Care Company was satisfied with producing the seeds and the fertilizer only. However, they ignored the need to address the customer care issues that were likely to be associated with the products that the company made. Perhaps, a little look at how the applications of the fertilizer and the seeds were done would have made the company realize that there was a need for the enterprise to offer professional application services and charge a fee for it.

Operation Management

Operation management focus is on the management of the processes to produce and distribute the products or services. The operation activities include the design of the product, production, and distribution (Jones, & Robinson, 2012). These processes are also associated with service and product management. Other related activities are managing procurement, inventory control, logistics, storage and quality control. Most of the focus in operation management is on the effectiveness and efficiency of the processes. Consequently, operation management has to do with the analytical consideration of internal processes (Jones, & Robinson, 2012). The nature of operations management, ultimately, depends on the products or services offered by the organization such as manufacturing, wholesales, or retail. In order to deliver value for the organization’s customers in both products and services, the organization must identify the consumers’ needs and seek to fulfill the need by producing services or products (Poluha, 2016). The organization should also engage both internal and external vendors with the aim of creating a supply chain for both raw materials and finished products between the raw material vendor-production-customers (Poluha, 2016).. Suffice to say, the operation management is associated with the above activities. On that score, Lawn Care Company seems to be successful.

Lawn Care operation management involve the production of grass seeds and fertilizer. The company also delivers the products on site. The company’s operations generates close to $1 billion in revenue. The company sells its products to golf course and parks. That summarizes the operations of the company. However, the company misses out on customer service. The organization’s definition of customer care is reported to be narrow. Lawn Care Company defines it customer service as supplying “the right product to the right customer at the price”. Thus, once the products are delivered to the right customer and the delivery is signed, Lawn Care job is done.

Customer Service

Lawn Care Company appears to be woefully unaware or blatantly disregard the importance of customer care. It can be argued that the company feels that providing a high quality product is sufficient to support the operation of the organization. However, customer care could have boosted the company sales and avoided most of the problems and loss of business that was created by the disregard of customer service.

Customer service is the offering of services to an organization’s clients before, during, ad after the customer has engaged with a purchase. The success of such engagement or interactions is often dependent on the employee’s ability to adjust to customer’s personality. Customer service, therefore, is associated with the priority that an enterprise allocates to the care relative to the other components including product design, production, and pricing (Barlow & Stewart (2006). Viewed through such an approach, the companies that value customer service are likely to be proactive in seeking customer feedback.

Viewed from the sales process engineering perspective, customer service has an important role in a company’s ability in generating increased revenue and income. Thus, Lawn Care Company should include customer service as part of its approach to the systemic growth. As it is presently instituted, Lawn Care can only play catch-up since competition has commenced to offer the after sales customer services that should have been initially offered by Lawn Care Company. It can, nevertheless be observed that a good customer service to one client may change the perception that other customers holds.

A discussion on customer service is incomplete without the consideration of customer support. Ideally, customer support is often a range or a rafter of customer services that are aimed at helping the customer to make the correct and efficient use of a product (Doole, & Lowe, 2008). The customer support may include the offering of assistance in planning, training, installation, maintenance, or in some instances, disposal of products. Some of the support is offered on site.

Lawn care failed to provide customer support to the clients preferring dumping the seeds and fertilizer at the customer’s site only. In the kind of business that lawn Care are engaged in, it was important that the supplier provides technical support in the form of application services since the customers were not trained in the application of grass seeds and fertilizer and neither were the sub-contractors.

The importance of customer support is demonstrated by the competitor who identified a shortcoming and sought to turn it into a business opportunity at the expense of Lawn Care. The competitor designed a supply package that incorporated the application services and charged a premium price. The competitor did not only take the parks and golf courses business, but also considered expanding to the residential lawn care applications. Whereas the Lawn Care Company produced and sold the highest quality seeds and fertilizer, they nevertheless were not in the parks, golf courses, and residential application services market segment.

Recommendation

Lawn Care Company should reconsider their operation strategies to include providing better customer services that include the after sales services. The company can adopt either of two approaches to customer services. They may consider offering technical training to the customers and the local sub-contractors. The company may also consider entering the application service business and design a package that would be competitive enough to attract and build customer confidence. The training option may be considered an effective strategy to counter the services offered by the competitor. The strategy would also be attractive to the customers since it would reduce the cost of application.

Conclusion

Lawn Care organizational strategy is to produce and distribute high-quality fertilizer and grass seeds targeted upscale facilities including golf courses and parks. The organization strategy may be summarized as supplying the right product at the right time to the right customer. It is, therefore, clear that Lawn Care Company focuses on the internal strengths to move the company forward. Thus, the organization concentrates on the operation processes and ignored or failed to appreciate the customer services, or the marketing aspect of the business. The net result is the entry of a competitor who significantly threatens the survival of the Lawn Care Company.

References

Barlow, J. & Stewart, P. (2006).Branded Customer Service: The New Competitive Edge, Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Behnam, M. (2013). Operations and Production Systems with Multiple Objectives. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Doole, I. & Lowe, R. (2008). International Marketing Strategy: Analysis, Development and Implementation, Boston: Cengage Learning

Ferrell,O. & Hartline,M. (2013). Marketing Strategy, Text and Cases, Boston: Cengage Learning.

Jones, P. & Robinson, P. (2012). Operations Management,
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mahadevan, B. (2010). Operations Management: Theory and Practice, Bengaluru: Pearson Education India.

Poluha, R. (2016). The Quintessence of Supply Chain Management: What You Really Need to Know to Manage Your Processes in Procurement, Manufacturing, Warehousing and Logistics. Heidelberg: Springer.

R. B. Chase, R., Jacobs, F. & .Aquilano, N. (2007). Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, New York: McGraw-Hill.