Operation management is one of the biggest areas of concern for contemporary organizations because inability of firm to optimize its capacity can lead to business failure. It deals with the business aspects such as effectiveness of firm to manage people and gain competitive advantage. In addition to this, it is also concerned with creating organization’s specific competencies that provide competitive edge sine it is unique. Optimizing capacity can help organization to ensure that skills and efforts of employees are directed towards achieving business objectives. In this report, in order to achieve learning outcomes, a case study of National Health Services (NHS) is considered (Berwick and et.al., 2002).
NHS is one of the leading health and social care service provider in UK which is a publically funded company. National Health Services was launched in 1948 as a result of long deal that health care services in UK should be available to all regardless of wealth. Therefore, it is a low cost service provider in United Kingdom at large level as presently it has more than 64.1 million service users in Great Britain (Dziegielewski, 2003). Moreover, it also aims to provide necessary recommendations to improve operational optimization.
It is essential for each and every organization to investigate existing and potential customers/service users, sponsors and competitors so that trends in the behavior or performance can be identified. Thus, in this section, investigation of various stakeholders of NHS has been carried out to identify trends in this regard.
Customers/service users are key stakeholder for any organization because they give reason to an enterprise for its existence. Customers/service users of National Health Services may include:
The above listed customers/service users have been identified and investigated so that capacity optimization in National Health Services can be predicted. These customers and service users are important for this health care organization because they play vital role in generating the business (Martin and et.al., 2010). A trend has been identified among UK customers of NHS that they prefer local General Practitioners (GP) and prefer a GP who is available near to them. In addition to this, it is also important to note that most of the customers are old aged people and therefore, it creates both challenges and opportunities for NHS to increase its organizational effectiveness.
NHS is a publically funded organization which is sponsored by various parties and authorities in UK. Funding in NHS is directly made from taxation in United Kingdom therefore, it will not be wrong to say that majority of sponsorship of National Health Services is done by British government. In addition to this, The Health and Social Care Act 2012 responsibility of pricing from Department of Health with shared efforts for NHS England and Monitor. Initially when, this health and social care organization was launched, the budget was £437 million but today, it has increased to £115.4 billion (McCarthy and Rose, 2010). As a sponsor is responsible for ensuring specific duties which are allocated and accepted by investors therefore, it can be said that sponsors are important stakeholders of NHS (Lymbery, 2005).
In present era, businesses cannot operate in isolation therefore; they are required to consider competitors as major stakeholders as they have interest in the organization. However, NHS is one of the leading public companies in health care settings of United Kingdom but there are many private clinics and hospital with which NHS has to compete (Healy, 2013). By investigation of such stakeholders and market situation for National Health Services, it can be stated EU is promoting healthy competition therefore; it has to face intense rivalry.
NHS is one of the low cost service providers in the world in health and social care sector because of its efficiency to optimize maximum capacity. In the above task, various stakeholders of National Health Care Services have been identified such as customers/service users, sponsors and competitors. Based on the above identification and evaluation, comparison in the needs and expectations of these stakeholders has been evaluated by comparing the same with competitors (Gritz and et.al., 2003). For customers, health care service providers are expected to provide low cost services with quality assurance. Customers of NHS also expect quality service at reasonable prices which should be accessible to same.
In this regard, it is also essential to note that NHS is successful in providing cheap services in UK’s health and social care sector as it was launched with the agenda to provide services to all regardless of their health. In addition to this, NHS has been successful in meeting the expectations of its service users regarding quality because it has adopted a unique approach to optimize capacity. However, few issues are often witnessed regarding the long queues which increases dissatisfaction among customers (Mays and Pope, 2000). But NHS has launched new service of choosing the GP by customers which is sufficient to meet expectations of existing and potential customers (Liebesman, 2012).
Ninety percent of the funding of NHS is generated from British government therefore, NHS has sufficient funding. However, due to increasing old ageing population, health care service demand is increasing therefore, NHS requires graceful sponsors to expand its business and adopt best technology to support poor people in UK. Private clinics in UK are privately funded therefore, they charge higher price. From this evaluation in respect to NHS, it will not be wrong to say that it has capability to manage operations smoothly for meeting the needs and expectations of customers (Lewis, 2001).
From the above investigation, it can be stated that National Health Services in UK has potential to expand its business and optimize the capacity. It is seen in the position of the strong holding in its area therefore, comparing to its competitors, NHS is significantly enjoying competitive advantage. However, it was found that sponsorship is required to incorporate technological changes which can increase its efficiency to resolve existing issues. In addition to this, NHS can also improve its services by adopting quality management approaches to meet expectations of customers (Sallis and et.al., 2008).
National Health Services can use Total Quality Management and Six Sigma to improve operational excellence, innovation and insure best practices. Total Quality management is a management approach in which all the members of the organization are involved in the process of improving quality of services, business practices and culture. TQM focuses on improving services and maximizing the customer satisfaction. It integrates data, strategy, processes in order to improve the quality and clear communication is maintained. The Quality levels are determined by the customers in TQM, no matter how efforts are made by the organization. Total employees of the organization are involved in the Quality management process. The inputs are taken from the external as well as internal environment and transformed into output in TQM. TQM is a integrated system which involves various processes and activities horizontally. Following are the elements involved in the Total quality Management
Six Sigma is a management tool which relies on continuous improvement and providing customer satisfaction to the employees. It is a philosophy of Management to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. Six Sigma helps in achieving skills to face the toughest problems identified in the organization. It involves control, analyze, define, measure, and improve and all these elements are coupled to use the statistical tool. It provides road maps to clearly achieve improvements in organization. Trainees involve a clear understanding of methods and statistical tool to use in the process. Following steps are taken in Six Sigma
Thus, by adopting such quality management systems can help National Health Services to achieve expected quality. In service sector, there can be various dimensions of quality including speed of delivery and consistency. Additionally, these standards can be met by NHS by using these quality systems and approaches in order to optimize capacity.
To review and implement improvement plans NHS can conduct situational analysis to identify the external situations and the areas of improvement in order to optimize the capacity. Situational analysis will be helpful to identifying the market trends and emerging threats for the NHS (Hudson, 2002).
After conducting situational analysis enterprise would set the objectives and the objectives of the NHS will be specific and clearly communicated to employees so that it can be achieved on time. The Objective of the NHS is to optimizing the capacity by improvement and developments in the sector.
After setting the objectives strategies are formulated to achieve the objectives. Strategy formulation is done under the consideration of policies of NHS. Formulated strategies are monitored to generate better outcomes (Wham and et.al., 2010).
After formulating the strategies the effectiveness of strategies are being measured so that the corrective actions are taken for the deficiencies before it is implemented. The NHS could improve its effectiveness by analyzing the effectiveness of strategies in the mid process.
The effectiveness of strategies are analyzed and the deviations are find out to take the corrective actions. The deviations are controlled so that the effectiveness of improvement process is maintained in order to optimize capacity of National health services.
The last step of improvements and developments is to increasing the operational effectiveness and it can be done through involving more persons in the operations so that their participation increases. If the participation of the individual swill increase, it will helpful in achieving operational effective (Paterson and et.al., 2003).
The improvements and developments are implemented in NHS sector effectively so that the whole process can be improved. The improvements can be done through using various techniques such as audit, total quality management and auditing. The NHS can align the goals to the business policies in order to achieve effectiveness. The goal alignment incorporates the business activities around objectives and insures its achievement (Ferlie and Shortell, 2001). Training and developments also can be done to improve the performance of the staff and improve productivity. Survey methods are also helpful in getting feedbacks and done improvement in the specified areas. Supervisors should supervise the business process and operations of National Health Services to implement it effectively in the organization. Supervisors assess the capabilities of staff and identify the key areas to optimize capabilities. Auditing is also useful to improve the operational activities as it measures the effectiveness of each activity (Lindenauer and et.al., 2007). National Health Services can improve the qualities by adopting a Total Quality system and implementing it in the enterprise. TQM focuses on the improving quality of services and customer satisfaction in the NHS sector.
The proposed strategies are rational as the various aspects of real life situation have been covered under the process which gives a clear understanding. In the proposed strategy situational analysis is said to be conducted. This situational analysis will be helpful for general practitioners in identifying market trends and emerging issues of capacity optimization. Objectives setting is done rationally in the process so that the objectives are aligned to the business practices of National Health Services sector and achieved timely. Strategy formulation is conducted by considering various important aspects such as the impact of strategy on objective and time under strategy formulation (Grol and Grimshaw, 2003).
Strategy formulation is done rational which results into the timely completion of objectives. After formulating the strategies an important perspective is also take under account which is analyzing the effectiveness of strategies. It is helpful in taking timely corrections before implementing the strategies. Control is done to monitor the whole process as the deviations are made corrected and adjustments are made in the specified area (Dewing and et.al., 2014). After controlling the whole process the loopholes in the operational effectiveness are corrected to generate better outcomes. The adopted process is rational as each step of the process holds its own worth and if one step is ignored the process becomes failure. Following are the benefits from the proposed process.
In the proposed process the goal of national Health Services are clearly communicated and defined. The goals are aligned to the formulated strategies and business practices in order to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. This alignment results into the effectiveness of activities involved in the capacity optimization (Letchfield, 2011). If the goals are clearly communicated there will the little chances of misinterpretations and miscommunication and goals will be achieved effectively.
The process provides a quality control check on the activities and task involved in the services provided by the National Health Services. Quality control mechanism is useful in managing quality and improving the qualities of services by identifying the improvement ares. The specified areas of loopholes are selected and corrections are made. The whole Quality control process is monitored by the supervisors for effective results.
The proposed strategy insures the effective capacity planning by dividing the resources and tasks into various activities and groups. Effective capacity planning helps in maximizing the capacity and utilizing the capacity in various activities effectively (Moullin, 2002). In addition to this, it will help company to achieve operational excellence because capacity planning is directly linked with effectiveness of organization.
In this report, aspects of operation management have been reviewed for selected organization i.e. National Health Services. It is essential for every organization to achieve operational excellence in order to gain competitive advantage. The report investigates various stakeholders of NHS such as customers, sponsors and competitors. The expectations of its stakeholders have also been evaluated which reveals that NHS is capable of meeting needs and expectations of its existing and potential customers significantly. It can be concluded from this study that NHS is a low cost and publically funded organization which is efficient in optimizing capacity effectively. The study also provides that National Health Services is required to incorporate certain improvements such as adopting appropriate quality management tools such as Six Sigma and TQM.