Operational Management Scheduling Operations at Amazon

According to Davies (2013) Scheduling Operations of the business is the most crucial process for the businesses these days as it plays a significant role in the overall success of the business in the market. However, it is a complex and complicated process that should be performed carefully in order to obtain the desired outcomes. In this regard Chase (2006) also explained that the development of effective schedules for the operations of the business is
essential for meeting the delivery dates promised to the customers and also managing the
inventory.

According to Kachru (2009) while Scheduling Operations of the business following areas
are covered

 Assigning the job to a particular machine or work centre
 Time of assignment of job and its completion
 Allocation of the resources for the production
 Developing the sequence for the operations
Chase (2006) states that distribution centres generally cause variability in the product arriving at the facility and there is always a need to get the product into the inventory as quickly as possible, for this, it is necessary to balance the predictability while handling the variability. In regards to the variability, Davies (2013) stated that the variability can occur from various different upstream sources like the manufacturers, the procurement policies and inbound transportation providers. Kachru (2009) concluded that the day to day standard deviation
around 15 – 30 % of units. Hence it is essential for the company to handle this variability
carefully at the facility, while managing the overall operational goals of the organisation in an
efficient manner. 3.5 Process analysis and improvement For analysing and improving the processes of the company Amazon has employed Kaizen philosophy in the fulfilment centre which has allowed company to continuously focus on improving its products, activities and overall processes so that they can keep up with the changes in the needs and wants of their customers in an effective manner (Goldfingle 2014).
O’Connor (2013), states that focusing on the continuous improvement further helps Amazon in eliminating the non value added activities or waste throughout the processes of the organisation. Amazon has implemented Kaizen in its fulfilment centre which has been helping the company in improving its overall processes continuously, for this Jeff Bezos has ordered its senior management to work in the customer service department at least for one day in a year. This strategy has further helped the company and its executives to observe the events of the company on the frontline and to understand the problems employees are facing in the department in order to solve them immediately.

Moreover, Manthan (2014) states that Amazon has also used Kaizen at the work station level in order to reach a higher productivity level for stowing the products.

According to O’Connor (2013), the major challenge faced by Amazon was the unpredictable productivity of the carts, for example, stowing a small item does not take as much time as stowing a desktop computer. In order to solve this, management team of Amazon has used Kaizen which has helped them in improving the standard work by reducing the stowing time and solved the things bottom up on the frontline in order to attain top-down goals for
productivity. Moreover, the company had developed Kaizen teams which were the combination of engineers, frontline workers, engineers and executives of the company and they put them together and said: “Here’s a problem; we’re going to improve it”. Moreover, the company judged the performance of Kaizen team by results which were meaningful for the organisation in the long run.

References

Chase. (2006). Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, Tata McGraw-Hill
Education, pp:40

Davies, P, B. (2013). Business Information Systems, Palgrave Macmillan.

Goldfingle, G. (2014). Analysis: Amazon has become the flag-bearer in fulfillment,
Available online at: http://www.retail-week.com/topics/supply-chain/analysis-amazon-has-
become-the-flag-bearer-in-fulfilment/5059430.article [Accessed on 04/01/2019].

Kachru, U. (2009). Production & Operations Management, Excel Books India.
Manthan. (2014). Amazon Adopts Kaizen to Improve Delivery to Customers, Available
online at: https://thoughts.manthan.com/2014/04/21/amazon-adopts-kaizen-to-improve-
delivery-to-customers/ [Accessed on 06/01/2019].

O’Connor, S. (2013). Amazon unpacked, Available online at:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ed6a985c-70bd-11e2-85d0-00144feab49a.html#slide0 [Accessed
on 05/01/2019].

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