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Incorporation of both supply chains and operations is an intrinsic fundamental key that functions as a unit for better sales and profits for the business (Klas et al., 2009). Supply chain provides a sequential process as an analysis of the functioning of the business properties among other facilities, their functioning and the specific activities in realization of their objectives. Variation are however a feature of most businesses in a comparison of their activities. This occurs due to diverse varieties of goods and services produced, variation based on structural diversity in demand, some variations occurs randomly, other are assignable (Zhang et al., 2006). Most prominent are assignable variations that are as a result of defective inputs, ineffective internal processes that can include inappropriate tools as and this would lead to unwarranted output.

The scope of operations management in analysis of organization dwells on forecasting, capacity planning, and the layout of the facilities, scheduling, managing inventories, assuring quality as well as motivating and training employees and locating the appropriate facilities for the customers. In a narrow focus on Cquest Marine Laboratory (CQML), these would form the basis of this analysis as it outlines the challenges that CQML is faced with. The report will also consider the models of operation management and this includes physical, schematic as well as statistical models (Grunckel et al., 2015). In line with the key concerns for business operations that include economic, innovative, quality as well as risk management would also be considered in this report.

The report will also touch on other factors that would form the basis for challenges faced by businesses such as CQML in their daily operations. These are broadly the need to improve operations, the urge to increase levels of outsourcing, the necessity to enhance transportation costs, the pressing pressure form competitive businesses, the complexity of the supply chains as well as the necessity to manage the inventories (Xu, 2017). CQML is faced with numerous problems that need key attentions as per the objective of this study. These are outlined as below.


To begin with, CQML is faced with a challenge of transportation. In their activities, their main objectives as described by the scope of their operations entail transporting tourist from Trinity Inlet in Cairns to the platform. In this their catamaran is designed to transport at most 100 people at a time. This limitation has limited their operations as it cannot meet the increasing demands of the ever annually increasing numbers of tourist who would want to tour the Great Barrier Reef. This has compromised their operations as needs to transport more tourists has been thwarted by the limited capacity of tourist who can tour the region at a time (Tambe et al., 2009). This is a key issue in business as outlined in the introduction part as a quality problem as the business is unable to expand its operations due to the design nature of their operations as well as the underlying risks in an event of compromise of the set up as scientifically outlined.

Continued tourists visit in the area has presented with a challenge for Amy and Doug as they have to expand their business to accommodate the increasing number of tourists. The worry however lies in the structural layout of the business and whether it will in reality accommodate the expansion agenda. These is line with the outlined variation as by the structural challenges that face businesses and limits their ability to expand as would be the case for planning purposes (Rahim, 2008). The operations of CQML are limited by the inadequate capacity to expand. The expansion is meant to accommodate a permanent chef as well as two persons in charge of hospitality for butler services. The physical expansion of the business is the challenge in this regard as the available space cannot suffice the needs of the increasing tourist that translates into a need for more space as regards the layout of the facility and its fitout.

The Great Barrier Reef and CQML have put in place measures to accommodate the seasonal surge in the number of tourists during the summer season, at time in which almost 95% of occupancy levels are records (Management for nonunion organizations, 2016). The business does well as it receives tourists all over the world. The challenge is however the media reports that negate on the image of the business. The media reports points to the danger s associated with the cyclones that are experienced at the CQML. Another negative report points to the salt-water crocodiles among other marine stingers that are a menace at the Great Barrier Reef. Amy and Doug are at kept wondering on the exact level of softness the media would consider appropriate to facilitate voyage activities (Klas et al., 2009).

As a measure to fully utilize the available opportunities with regards to utilization of the grant they were given, the duo are pondering on the possibility to utilize the available provisions by the scientists and use it to expand their operations (Klas et al., 2009). If fully utilized, they will be able to run a double route operation in a day with a capacity to transport 120 tourists as provided by the regulators. The duo need to acquire a faster catamaran that would be able to make two trips a day with 120 tourists. This is meant to ensure double profits to the business. The worry is whether they would be able to manage the quality of voyage they give their customers when they are at the platform.

As regards the payment procedures and modes, the business has been utilizing traditional methods of payment in its operations. Their methods of sourcing for passengers are also backdated and are not able to cope with the current trends in tourists sourcing. This owes to their reliance on traditional tourists supply chains that see them lose up to 40% of the amounts per tourists to the tour agents (Great Barrier Reef, 2014). The duos are therefore facing a challenge and this is the reason they are trying to evaluate a consideration of adopting the current methods of payments. The traditional methods they were using ended up raising profits at a later period almost up to 90 days post a tourist departure during which payments were made. The traditional methods they have been using has made them not able to adequately reap well from their investment even with the inclusion of an additional $3M for expansion purposes (Zhang et al., 2006).

The scientific teams that assist with the operations of the CQML have been operating like pinniped mammals with limited capacity to think and pursue unexplored paths that would lead to increased profits (Klas et al., 2009). The scientists through Dr. Fiona deem themselves as not able to present new ideas to the business as their capacity to present new ideas is limited by their operations that has made them operate a routine that does not permit exploration and new ideas (Distribution Management System, 2014). They have limited time to explore the scientific filed of research and innovations as ordinarily would be the case. Their activities are supposed to be suited to meet the occult global warming etiologies that might affect the operations at the CQML. They are however not involved in the research procedures that would realize a controlled and prevented global warming among other environmental hazards that may jeopardize operations at the CQML.

In an event that the planned ideas are implemented, the business will be faced by numerous challenges among them is the restructuring the recreational activities to provide for the activities that the group that will be staying overnight would do. This is to ensure that the team is fully satisfied. Accommodating a larger group at the facility will present with a scenario where the tourists are not fully entertained or would present with limited activities resulting into a group waiting for a specific one to get entertained after which they are attended to (Global Challenges, 2017). These concerns raised by Dr. Fiona are challenges that if overlooked would results into a complete error at the shore with unsatisfied tourists.

Amy and Doug upon evaluation of the concerns raised by Dr. Fiona, find them meaningful and thus are challenged hat the tourist activities might not be well managed. They are therefore tasked wit ha responsibility of identifying the possibility of having a small group as opposed to a large group that would end up in messes. They are also planning top have a specific group for a particular activity at any given time (Tambe et al., 2009). The challenge with would however be experienced during the return to Cairns which would not ne able to meet the high number of tourists. This is so because during the individual activities, the tourists would be divided into groups but not during their return journey to Cairns that would be total chaos. This would be a serious challenge as the duo had never left any tourist on the reef on their return journey neither have they leave a team member such as a tour guide because of the fear of uncertainties. They have therefore never experienced the challenges with leaving tourists on the board and are not sure of what would happen in such an event (Zhang et al., 2006).

CQML has been thriving based on the feedback from the tourist they have had. The tourists’ opinions have always been used as tools for improvement and having better operations based on the tourists experience and their evaluation. Another avenue that has formed a basis for their improvement to offer better services and products to the tourists has been on the platform and eco-marine activities (Great Barrier Reef, 2014). With the increased number of tourist and their need to handle two trips a day would not be able to provide for adequate time to interact with the tourists nor will they be able to get a feedback. This is so because the management will be more focused on the preparations for their next team. This would prove futile as new expansion of service provision should be evaluated and feedback be used to adjust operations to favor customers satisfaction (Tambe et al., 2009). Without these feedbacks, the duo might end up doing more harm than the intended good. As such, Amy and Doug are faced with numerous challenges as they would not be able to avail customer-suited services even after earlier observation by the same tourists. This might therefore present as an exit door as the business will be relying on the decisions of its managers without involving the tourist ideas.

In their demand in a forecast view as well as a capacity to meet the increased demand and supply, the company would be charged with a responsibility to have more employees. Amy and Doug are therefore presented with a challenge top have an operations manager who would ne charged with the evaluation procedures to ensure that heir operations are still tourists-friendly and that Great Barrier Reef would still remain tourist destination in the future even after the expansion with the overnight operations (Klas et al., 2009). The expenses of the business would therefore be suited to meet the demands buy the operations manager they are yet to hire. This would also require more staff to operate in handy with the Operations Manger. Their main concern however remains whether the business at the Great Barrier Reef would still remain its peak of operation.


In conclusion, various challenges exist at the Great Barrier Reef and more specifically for CQML. These are as explained above and summarized as follows. There is need for a faster catamaran to meet the speed required to make two trips. Structural layout of the business that limits physical expansions, negative media reports that negate on the business of CQML pointing to crocodiles and the cyclones that may hinder voyage (Great Barrier Reef, 2014). Another challenge is reliance on traditional payment methods that has resulted into delays in payment, Lack of scientific exploration by Dr. Fiona and the scientific team, designing the overnight activities to enhance satisfaction of the tourists (Klas et al., 2009). CQML is also faced with the challenge of leaving a group of tourists at the reef due to expanded numbers that necessitate two trips that cannot be managed by a single route transport. The business would be faced with a challenge of lack of feedback from the tourists as was the case and this formed the basis of their decisions making. They however will not be able to take in tourists ideas so as to make favorable decisions as was the case and thus need to incorporate the skills of an operations manager to make the relevant adjustments. They do not have an operations manager at the moment.


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