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Operation Management

Question 1:

Observing contemporary situation connected with the recent horrific tragedies in Japan, it is necessary to mention that current economic situation is extremely unpleasant and truly dangerous, taking into account the facts that such events did not occur in third world countries, but had a place in one of the most technologically developed countries. It is obvious that the wide row of Japanese tragedies led to losses many companies and different sectors of economics in the country and all over the world, but a big group of economists around the world are now trying to predict how tragedies in Japan might affect other countries. Many analysts even believe that Japan’s influence on the world economy is now restricted because of the continuing slow pace of economic growth over the past 20 years. Thus, basing on the above said, we can mention that analysts suppose that recent events in Japan will not have as many serious consequences for the global economy as it was predicted by press in different editions.

In general, summing up, we can say that the events in Japan have not become the detonator of the crisis, but they also contributed to the development of crisis processes. In particular, they demanded more of the monetary authorities to tighten control over the markets, the control, which by definition can not be universal, especially in situations where the stability of these markets quickly falls.

Continuing the observation of economic problems connected with different disasters in Japan it is necessary to pay our attention on the fact that, of course, Japanese problems could not greatly impact on global economic, but some companies making a business in Japan have been greatly affected by existed problems nowadays. Let us examine Sony Corporation, for example. It is a well-known fact that modern Sony Corporation is a giant organism. It is large in size and complex in its structure corporation that operates in almost all countries of the world and manages by an international team of managers. It becomes obvious that Sony Corporation is not only a multinational conglomerate corporation, but it is also considered to be one of the world’s largest media conglomerate, and having own plants in Japan, Sony Corporation lost a big sum of money and even could loose a part of its reputation after the disaster. Basing on the last events we see that nine plants of Sony Corp. (25 in Japan) were damaged and only three of them were repaired, the rest of plants are still closed because of lack of components (www.amptevents.com). The coverage in press shows that Sony Corp. may postpone a release of new version of portable game console PlayStation Portable NGP (Next Generation Portable).

Release of the new PSP from Sony in Asia, Europe and the U.S. was planned for the holiday shopping season at the end of the year, but due to encountered problems console will be available only in one region, commented the president of Sony Computer Entertainment in America. Thus, analysts fear that the delay in release of PSP could weaken the company’s position in the market of portable game consoles, because of the fact that recently chief rival company Nintendo has released in the U.S., Japan and Europe, its own portable console 3DS.

In conclusion, we can state that Sony Corp. should repair own plants, reorganize existed ones and look for new ways of development and strategic perspectives to get back to full capacity in the nearest future.

Question 2:

Improving the efficiency of business in any industry is impossible without timely communication and optimal sequence of operations for the entire production chain of the company – from customers to warehouses, distribution centers, production units and suppliers. Thus, we are going to talk about a supply chain with an aim to foresee its future.

Supply chain – is a sequence of processes and information to deliver products or services from suppliers through manufacturing and distribution directly to consumers. (Nagurney, 2006). Determination of the supply chain is a key notion in logistics and it is necessary to say that supply chains can be divided into external and internal. Internal supply chain consists of different sub-companies, starting with supply (procurement) and ending with subsection customer service. Also internal supply chain includes operations associated with purchase of reserves, transportation, storage, use in the manufacture, and delivery to customers. External supply chain, in its turn, is a network of organizations that are involved in recycling of materials, raw materials and gathering and processing of information about products and services in addition with the consumption of products and services (Boone & Ganeshan, 2002).

Thinking about the future of supply chain management we can say that it should consists of several steps. The first step is optimization of modern supply chain management that supposes the improvement of enterprise efficiency; there should be implemented automation of planning and management of material and information flows. This becomes more evident with the extensive use of the integration properties of communications systems, using Internet and Web-based technologies. The next step is improvement of the system of continuous registration of results that promotes rapid introduction of changes in both the construction and the realization of the production processes and product distribution. And for the conclusion it is necessary to say that employees involved in the new logistics (information logistics), moved on to activities to broaden the scope of logistics, including its non-traditional elements, further integration with other functional structures of firms and the adoption of management philosophy, which deals with a single integrity of strategic planning, corporate and marketing strategy.

Works cited:

Boone, T. & Ganeshan, R. New Directions in Supply-Chain Management: Technology, Strategy, and Implementation. AMACOM, 2002.
Japan Earthquake – Related Industry News Update. Compiled by Advanced MP Technology, April, 2011. Available at http://www.amptevents.com/Japan_Earthquake-Related_Industry_News_update.pdf
Nagurney, A. Supply Chain Network Economics: Dynamics of Prices, Flows, and Profits. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2006.