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“Capacity management is an essential part of operations management. The objective is to match the level of capacity to the level of demand both in terms of quantity and capability.” Roger g. Schroder (2007) Capacity decisions are aimed at providing the right amount of capacity at the right place at the right time. Long-range capacity is determined by the size of the physical facilities owned or managed by centre point and its partners.

Capacity is sometimes augmented by extra shifts undertake by our staff or subcontracting agencies staff. Capacity planning, however, determines not only the size of facilities but also the proper number of people in operations. Staffing levels are set to meet our customers’ needs, demand and the desire to maintain a stable workforce. Available capacity is allocated to specific tasks and jobs in operations by scheduling people, equipment, and facilities. Planning and managing capacity requires balancing time-scale, looking at alternatives and executing our objectives by ensuring that we have the right resources (staff) and equipment (right tools for the job) that will produce service at a reasonable cost. (Appendix3)

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Determination of the scope of quality Management within Operations

Quality is a difficult topic to monitor as it can be very subjective and rely on personal judgement. However, the organisation has set standards/specifications such as ‘moving on’ protocols, post move on forms/letters and data base entries that are used to measure quality. While we work very closely with our partners in Social Services, there is a critical need for protocols relating to particular areas of concern. We are at present developing these protocols and are looking to set up a dedicated team to work on them. Through our officer who liaises with the housing services, we aim to feed into protocols that alleviate bed-blocking at hostels across the capital; we will feed into protocols around homelessness issue.

Understanding reasons for failure of systems also help maintain quality. Figure 2 details some of the reasons for failure that can arise in the inspection programme. Each member of the team can be trained in common methodologies, and the team can be given responsibility for achieving its own goals’ (Schroder:2007-pg:9) Explore service operation management Operations Management has been focused on addressing the needs of the housing sector. The need to specifically address the ‘Service’ component of centrepoint is paramount for future competitiveness. Service Operation includes a number of Processes and Functions.

Decisions: ‘Making decisions is an important element of operations. As all operations managers are responsible for making decisions, which makes it the key focus point in operations. At centrepoint the supported housing manager is responsible for some major decision areas associated with the delivery of service (allocation of permanent accommodation) i.e. Process, Quality, Capacity, and Inventory.

Function: Operations is one of the three major primary functions of the company along with marketing and finance. The operations function is responsible for supplying services for the business. In general, the generic term “operations” refers to the function that produces goods or services. Thus by separating operations out in this manner is not only useful for analyzing decision making and assigning responsibilities, but also to integrate the business by considering the cross-functional nature of decision making in the charity.

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Process: The operations managers plan and control the production process and its interfaces. This process view not only provides a common ground for defining the move on operations as transformation processes but is also a powerful basis for design and analysis of operations. Using the process view, we consider operations managers as managers of the conversion process in the firm. But the process view also provides important insights for the management of productive processes in functional areas outside the operations function’. (Schroder:2007-pg:4)

Evaluation of role of technology within Operations Information Technology is at the very core of the project. Telecommunications technology has been used to develop the seamless voice mail and Shelter Bed Hotline system and the Internet used to develop our regional Provider Library. Most voice mail systems are used for private business communication rather than for serving the community. Centrepoint has introduced a seamless infrastructure for assisting young homeless people. Using state- of-the-art voice mail systems, centrepoint has created a unique partnership between private, nonprofit and faith-based organizations to bring a communication tool that is easy to use to those who need it. A memorable 0800 number is used throughout London for shelter bed information.

 

Operations as such constitutes a process and is directed by the operation manager which in centrepoint’s case is the supported housing manager who is directly responsible of all activities related to the production and delivery of the service (tenants action plan monitoring, referals, nomination), as well as being responsable of other activities involved in interfacing with other part of centrepoint. Both direct responsibilities of communicating with other functions and the broad responsibilities are important to operations managers. This relates back to the idea of buffering. The broad responsibilities of operations managers involves scanning the cenvironment inwhich centrepoint operates.(PEST Analysis ; Potters five Forces)

CONCLUSION

Operations management, in short, is the use of various management processes and techniques to increase the value and worth of services produced by centrepoint in order to fulfil the requirements of both internal and external customers, at an acceptable cost. It actually manages, in a coherent and systematic manner, a complex wed of different operations, systems and processes, in the most economical and efficient ways. Hence, operation management is an integral function of any organization. In a manufacturing concern, it would be the management of the production division that produces the end products.

For service-oriented companies like ours, it is less obvious but an example would be the management of staff and organisational processes of centrepoint that provides housing services to homeless youngsters. By managing resources effectively to transform inputs into outputs, operations management strikes a balance between strategic targets, such as increasing output by 10% within 2 years, and operational capabilities. By efficiently and effectively transforming inputs into outputs that meets customers needs and wants, operations management ensures that the company strategies are met.

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