UNIT 4. Operations Management 

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UNIT 4. Operations Management

Lead in: operations management

Vocabulary: key terms

Reading: rethinking mass production; overproduction

Speaking: procurement

Grammar: Future forms

Case Study: product innovation

Translation: key terms

Writing: manufacturing process; essay

Culture: different work cultures


Lead in

Discuss the quotations [15] given. What are they about? Give a title for each quote. Find other quotations that may reflect any aspects of operations management.


1. The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the financial outcome, good or bad …. A business should be run like an aquarium, where everybody can see what’s going on — what’s going in, what’s moving around, what’s coming out. That’s the only way to make sure people understand what you’re doing, and why, and have some input into deciding where you are going. Then, when the unexpected happens, they know how to react and react quickly. (Jack Stack, “The Great Game of Business”)

2. Values should underpin Vision, which dictates Mission, which determines Strategy, which surfaces Goals that frame Objectives, which in turn drives the Tactics that tell an organization what Resources, Infrastructure and Processes are needed to support a certainty of execution… While successful leaders address all four areas, the best leaders always start with why followed very closely by who. Then, and only then, do they work on the design of what and how. (Mike Myatt)

3. The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. (Bill Gates)


These are the terms for you to learn.

A. Make sentences with them.

B. Translate them.

1. assemble- to-order 2. bulk production 3. finished goods 4. maintenance and repair
5. make on (make to order) 6. production cost 7. continuous production 8. production management
9. direct cost 10. assembly line 11. manufacturing cost 12. off-the-shelf
13. one-off production 14. production lead-time 15. piece-work 16. pilot plant
17. technological gap 18. mass production 19. product range 20. performance indicator
21. production overheads 22. throughput 23. by-product 24. safety stock
25. semi-finished product 26. workstation 27. quality control 28. work in progress (WIP)
29. productivity 30. industrial espionage 31. flow production  

2. Match terms 1- 10 with definitions a- j:


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