Operations management refers to the process of managing organizational resources which are meant for the production of goods and services. Operations management also focuses on meeting customer needs or requests through the production and delivery of goods and services. Operational efficiency refers to conducting operational activities at the lowest possible costs. Operational efficiency enables organizations to use minimal resources and facilities to produce goods or services. Operation effectiveness involves engaging in the right activities and processes in order to create the most value for the company. Effectiveness enables organizations to deliver value to customers at minimal time (Jacobs & Chase, 2013).
Operations strategy involves decisions and actions that lead to the setting of vision, mission, goals, and objectives of operations. Operational sustainability is the ability of an organization to meet its current needs and practices without putting future needs at risk (Jacobs & Chase, 2013).
While working as a medical representative at Pfizer, the company’s operations management processes involved managing and coordinating resources needed for designing, producing, and delivering various pharmaceutical products to different sets of customers, including hospitals, pharmacies, and other locations. Without operations management, medical representatives and other players in the marketing department of the company would not have products to sell to customers. Pfizer is a manufacturing organization, and so it produces bulks of pharmaceutical products that can be stored in the inventory before being sold to customers.
One internal area where operations management is implemented in Pfizer is communication between the operations and marketing department for the operations department to understand the market and how it is responding to its products. The key duty of a medical representative at Pfizer is to market pharmaceutical products to groups of customers, including hospitals and pharmacies. The information obtained from the marketing department helps the operation department to produce the products that customers want (D’Mello, 2010).
One of the operations management techniques used at Pfizer is the lean manufacturing technique which focuses on eliminating waste and reducing costs. This is done by harmonizing operational activities at Pfizer. The company also uses six sigma methodology that helps in enhancing productivity, reducing costs and reducing waste. At Pfizer, the key operational activities in the pharmaceutical production process include storage and treatment of raw material, unit operations and shipment. These activities are conducted on the basis of six sigma elements of focusing on the customer, data driven management, process focus, proactive management, collaboration, and drive for perfection (Wilson, 2012).
In order to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness, Pfizer uses various techniques. For instance, the company uses Process Analytical Technology (PAT) that encourages the use of equipment and procedures in the entire manufacturing process for easy monitoring. This has enabled the company to get real time information about the quality features of its products as well as the properties of its raw materials. Pfizer also uses current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP) that assist in doing away with costly procedures that are necessary for quality assurance and use better practices for quality improvement (Wilson, 2012).
Pfizer’s operations strategy has led to the introduction of various business tactics and decisions that have contributed to the success of the company. For instance, in 2003, the company introduced the Right-First-Time (RFT) strategy that helped in revealing the causes wastes and unnecessary variations in the manufacturing process. This strategy has enabled the company to make a successful transition from manufacturing from an empirical basis to manufacturing science. The implementation of six sigma has also enabled the company to address a number of operations problems like reworking parts, lost productivity, and correction of transactional errors (D’Mello, 2010).
While the operations strategies helped in addressing Pfizer’s operations problems, they did not enhance operations sustainability. Pfizer therefore uses the concept of Agile
Manufacturing that helps in analyzing and optimizing the entire manufacturing process. This concept focuses on the entire value stream and prevents sub-optimizing of operations process to address current and future needs (Wilson, 2012).