Operations Strategy

Defining how firms compete

An organization’s operations strategy provides an overarching
framework for determining how it prioritizes and utilizes
its resources to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Today’s operations managers face many new challenges
with respect to strategy issues, from developing effective
strategies to properly implementing them throughout the
As we shall see, there are several external factors that
affect operations strategy decisions, including an increase in
competition that has resulted from the globalization of business
and advances in technology. Consequently, operations managers,
in many instances, are now being asked to do more with
less: more, in terms of faster delivery times, more variety, and
higher quality; less, in terms of lower material costs, lower
labour costs, and less available time.
At the same time, managers know all too well that competitors
can copy successful strategies and can usually implement
them quickly, thereby neutralizing, to some degree, their
advantage. As a result, these same managers, from a strategic
perspective, must keep a watchful eye to the future, constantly
looking for the next strategy that will separate their firms from
those of competitors….



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