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Operations Management Archives - Ideas for Leaders

Super-Fluid Companies Keep Pace with Customer Needs

Many companies struggle to keep up with today’s supercharged, constantly evolving competitive markets, where customers needs, products and technologies change at ever-increasing speed. An in-depth study of the global telecom equipment leader Huawei Technologies by researchers from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and China’s Zhejiang University’s School of Management offers a detailed lesson in what […]

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The Cost Advantage of Reshoring

Despite the well-known and well-documented financial benefits of outsourcing and offshoring business activities, a growing number of U.S. companies are changing direction: they are moving their business activities, including manufacturing and service operations, from foreign markets back to the U.S. — a process known as ‘reshoring’. Reshoring entails both benefits and costs. On the benefit […]

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Meeting Sustainability Priorities in Competitive Operational Strategies

Company follow different strategies in their quest for competitive advantage. For example, some companies compete on price. Other companies try to differentiate themselves from competitors through their capabilities. Still others draw their competitive advantage from their flexibility and innovation. At the operations level, the strategic direction chosen by the company leads to a set of […]

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Lean Manufacturing More Effective in Collectivist Cultures

Developed in Japan, lean manufacturing introduced tools, processes and a mindset that eliminated waste and ensured the smooth flow of production without sacrificing quality. Kanban, a system that sounds the alert when a component in the production process is running low, and TPM, a proactive approach to equipment maintenance, are just two examples of lean […]

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Bad Luck Doesn’t Just Happen: The Case of the Costa Concordia

Despite its best intentions, a company may have structures and processes in place that allows it to construct its own misfortune. This is organizational ‘zemblanity’, a term coined by writer William Boyd. Zemblanity is the antonym of serendipity, which, in an organizational context, occurs when an organization purposefully puts itself in position to take advantage […]

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Management Practices that Lead to Corporate Social Responsibility

While much research has focused on the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on profitability and results, less attention has been paid on the antecedents of CSR — that is, what conditions make a company more likely to become socially responsible. Two researchers from Queen’s University School of Business and Saint Mary’s University investigated whether […]

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The Overlooked Productivity Costs of Collaboration

Collaboration, either formal or discretionary (informally approaching others for guidance, information or assistance), is considered a virtue in today’s workplace. The advantages of collaboration are many, ranging from creativity and knowledge sharing, to teamwork, employee engagement and improved long-term results. However, an in-depth study of the interaction of physicians and health care personnel in one […]

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The Unexpected Impact of Click and Collect Retail Programs

A website today is indispensable for any retail operation, no matter how small. The Internet is an integral part of the shopping experience. Not every online retail experience is the same. Grocery stores might offer coupons, office supplies stores might offer coupons and the opportunity to purchase products, and sites such as BarnesandNoble.com are full-service […]

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