Unit 34: Operations Management
Prêt A Manger
Described by the press as having ‘revolutionized the concept of sandwich making and eating’, Prêt A Manger opened its first shop in London in the mid 1980s. Now it has over 130 shops in the UK, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The company says its secret is to focus continually on quality – not just of the food but in every aspect of the operations practice. It goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid the chemicals and preservatives common in most ‘fast’ food. ‘Many food retailers focus on extending the shelf life of their food, but that’s of no interest to us. We maintain our edge by selling food that simply can’t be beaten for freshness. At the end of the day, we give whatever we haven’t sold to charity to help feed those who would otherwise go hungry. When we were just starting out, a big supplier tried to sell us coleslaw that lasted sixteen days. Can you imagine, salad that lasts sixteen days? There and then we decided Prêt would stick to wholesome fresh food – natural stuff. We have not changed that policy.’
The first Prêt A Manger shop had its own kitchen where fresh ingredients were delivered first thing every morning and food was prepared throughout the day. Every Prêt shop since has followed this model. The team members serving on the tills at lunchtime will have been making sandwiches in the kitchen that morning.
The company rejected the idea of a huge centralized sandwich factory even though it could significantly reduce costs. Prêt also owns and manages all its shops directly so that it can ensure consistently high standards in all its shops. ‘We are determined never to forget that our hardworking people make all the difference. They are our heart and soul. When they care, our business is sound. If they cease to care, our business goes down the drain. In a retail sector where high staff turnover is normal, we’re pleased to say our people are much more likely to stay around. We work hard at building great teams. We take our reward schemes and career opportunities very seriously. We don’t work nights (generally), we wear jeans, we party!’Customer feedback is regarded as being particularlyimportant at Prêt. Examining customers’ comments for
An improvement idea is a key part of weekly management meetings and of the daily team briefs in each shop.
(Source:Slack N, Operations Management, Prentice Hill Financial times, Fifth Edition)
You are required to read the case study onPrêt a Manger and answer the following questions in an essay format. It is advised to visit Prêt a Manager and conduct further research to gain a better understanding of their operations.
a. Explain why operations management is important to Prêt a Manager (AC 1.1)
b. Analyse the operations functions of Prêt a Manager (AC 1.2)
c. Using a process model evaluate the operations management of Prêt a Manager (AC1.3)
d. Assess how important economy, efficiency and effectiveness is to Prêt a Manager (AC.2.1)
e. Through using a PESTEL analysis, assess the impact of the tension between cost minimisation and quality maximisation that Prêt a Manager could experience (AC2.2)
f. Evaluate the significance of cost, dependability, flexibility, quality and speed (five OM performance objectives) that underpin operations management in Prêt a Manager (AC 2.3)
You are required to prepare a business report on a company production process. Your report should include where necessary tables, flow charts and diagrams. Your business report should be designed in a professional manner using headings and subheadings.
You can choose any companies production line of your choice.
a) Choose any companies production line and assess how they use liner programming to add value to the production process (AC3.1)
b) Evaluate the critical path analysis and network planning of a production line in your chosen company through using flows charts and diagrams. (AC3.2)
c) With reference to your chosen companies’ production line, justify the need for operational planning and control with reference to capacity planning, inventory planning, project management and quality assurances. (AC 3.3)
You have been asked by a company of your choice to assist in the production of an operational plan for operational sales unit of a company. You have been asked to prepare PowerPoint slides and give a presentation on the following:
a) Produce a set of clearly defined operational outcomes for an operational sales unit with reference made to the five performance objectives. (AC 4.1)
b) Produce a network plan indicating the resultant critical path analysis for your chosen operational sales unit (4.2)
c) Justify how quality management techniques are applied to improve operations in your chosen company’s. (4.3)
Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria
On successful completion of this unit a learner will: Assessment criteria for pass
The learner can: LO1 Understand the nature
and importance of operations
management 1.1 explain why operations management is important for organisations
1.2 analyse the operations functions of a selected organisation
1.3 evaluate, by using a process model, the operations management of a selected organisation
LO2 Understand the link between operations management and strategic planning 2.1 appraise the importance of the ‘Three Es’ to organisations
2.2 assess the impact of the tension between cost minimisation and quality maximisation in organisations
2.3 evaluate the significance of the five performance objectives that underpin operations management to organisations LO3 Understand how to
organise a typical
production process 3.1 assess how linear programming adds value to a given production process
3.2 evaluate critical path analysis and network planning
3.3 justify the need for operational planning and control in a selected production process LO4 Be able to apply
relevant techniques to
the production of an
operational plan for an
organisation. 4.1 produce a set of clearly defined operational outcomes for a selected organisation
4.2 produce a network plan indicating the resultant critical path
4.3 justify how quality management techniques are applied to improve operations in a selected organisation
In order to achieve a merit or distinction grade, a candidate must do the following:
M1 Identify and apply strategies to find appropriate solutions
To achieve M1, you will make effective judgements by referring to examples evaluating them. Suggestions would be given on different strategies that Prêt a Manager can use to improve its OM.
M2 Select / design and apply appropriate methods / techniques
To achieve M2, you will have referred to models like just in time management, supply chain, transformation process and four vs. You would talked about these models/ theories and would have shown ability of justifying their use. Good use of definitions and examples of real work should be seen in your assignment.
M3 Present and communicate appropriate findings
To achieve M3, you should use tables and flow charts where necessary in your assessment particularly in task 3.
D1 Use critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions
To achieve D1 you would have shown throughout the assignment thorough understanding of the subject OM by justifying and evaluating your findings in all three tasks.
D2 Take responsibility for managing and organising activities
To achieve D2 you will have demonstrated an effective approach to independent research as evidenced from the citations and reference list and study and will have met the deadline to submit the tasks and achieve the unit assessment criteria. (P1-P12)
D3 Demonstrate convergent /lateral / creative thinking
To achieve D3, you will have demonstrated evidence of creative thinking in relation to OM theories and model. .
· Work should be referenced
· Sources should be acknowledged fully by referenced books, journals used and URL visited
· All work should be word processed, font size of 12 and font style of Times New Roman/Arial
· Subtitles of the assignment should be in the font size of 14
· Pages should be numbered in the bottom right hand corner
· Spell check the document and read thoroughly for grammatical errors
· 1.5 Line spacing
· Reference at the end of the assignment
· All paragraphs should be aligned in justified mode
· The guided word limit is between 2500-4000 words