September 09, 2007

Operations Management Lesson 3 Exercise

This is a good time to complete a process map of your own and comment upon the findings. If you work in an area with high levels of contact with customers, you should think about extending the analysis into a service blueprint, which will define the degrees of visibility of the process.

Following is the process map for the hardware (HW) repair of a laptop; in this service the costumer is the IBM employee;

lesson3 img1blog_lesson_3_hw_repair.ppt

When an IBM employee needs HW reparation on his laptop, first of all, he opens a telephone ticket and with this number he brings the PC to the local support office

Here the technician checks the workstation and verifies if it’s a real HW problem instead than a SW one (in case of sw problem there is a different organization unit).

In case of Hardware Issues he takes the laptop and starts analysing it; once he finds the root cause of the issue, he checks if he needs a part or not and if this part is in the local warehouse (in the negative, he has to order it).

Once the laptop is repaired, he checks it and verifies if it need more repairs. If it’s all ok he calls the employee and gives him back the laptop.

We can catalogue this process as a Jobbing process; the local service staff usually deals with high variety and low volume; each operator can accept for repair needs one or more laptop, but he can only repair one at a time, with a stack management of his work.

We can also consider the process as “short and fat”.

The cycle time is very variable, depending on the level of the malfunction found in the hardware, and more on the spare part availability in the local warehouse.


Zoe Radnor (2007); «Operation Management »;Warwick Business school

N. Slack, S. Chsmbers, R. Johnston, A. Betts; «Operation and Process Management »; Prentice Hall


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