Airbus Company Operations Management

Introduction

The kind of strategies within an organization determines the nature of business outcome. The kind of strategy built and implemented determines the level of progress and the company’s profitability. Strategies are usually built based on various conditions which includes; the organization’s current status, the organization’s policies and ability to focus ahead based on competitive moves and business approaches. The company’s management should have action plans enabling them have competitive advantage over other related companies within aviation industry. Airbus Company should purpose to capture wider market share and stabilize its financial capability. The effects and implications of the chosen strategies should be explored based on business and marketing principles (Arthur, 1996).

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Assessing the role of systems and operations management at Airbus and its integration within the business

The system and operations management gives the Airbus company automated capability of using any integrated service directly through the center link as part of a more complex process. This enables easy analysis of designs and reduces the process of applying tools manually to the system methods hence prompt delivery of solutions is realized. Operations system has got the powers to assess the behaviors of plane shapes and analyze the level of performance of the entire system (O’Shaughnessy, 1995).

The prevailing technology makes it possible for quick advancements to be made within the industry for the benefit and satisfaction of consumers. The use of computer design software within the system management provides up-to-date means of approaching issues like modelling airframe structures. This appears to be a great boost to the company and industry at large. System and operations management leads to improvement in manufacturing and tooling capabilities. Strength could be drawn from the talented and experienced staff that provided the possibility of blending superior performance capabilities. Everyone within the management team was an experienced pilot and had flown different types of aircrafts (O’Shaughnessy, 1995).

The system management leads to recruitment of employees who are well acquainted with speed and innovation processes. This acts as big boost in the decision making process since there exists clear and timely understanding amongst the staff hence probability of approaching the market with right strategy remains high. The system makes it possible for innovation process to run for 24-hours on a daily basis with employees working in shifts together with the management team comprising of highly motivated workers working under very minimal supervision (USITC, 2001).

Strength

The company’s ability to set up an engineering centre having all the characteristic capabilities of accommodating big aircraft made it possible for them to compete favourably within the industry. Their financial capability remains one of the strongest points of the company; since it enables them obtain modern aircrafts. The presence of tooling mill made it possible for renovation and change of designs to fit the recommended tasks. The team of engineers ensured the innovation of smart devices enabling their aircrafts to accommodate wide range of engines of different models (USITC, 2001).

The company’s A380 model aircraft has the capability of serving two potential markets at the same time; this is due to the fact that the model has got capabilities of allowing both private and professional usage of the aircraft. The engineers had worked extra to ensure that the aircraft system could easily be accessed for inspection purposes ensuring low costs of operation. Acquisition of A380 aircraft increased the capacity of passenger carriage as well as flight operations (USITC, 2001).

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The speed by which it was built proved the proficiency and credibility of engineers which should present one their key points. The emergence of this aircraft brought about one of the most efficient modes of air transport. The jet was dynamic as compared to other models, hence has the capability of covering distances within less time possible. The reduction in size and weight of the aircraft made it more convenient for use as well as improving the efficiency of flight operations.

The new aircraft also brought the possibility of calculating the travelling cost per passenger ensuring affordability to all travellers. The company has the capacity of accommodating several planes annually and has built assembly points that could accommodate over thirty five planes per year. The marketing principles employed by the company also appear to be very strong, since it utilizes the new technology so well (Raghupathi and Umar, 2010).

Weaknesses

The company experienced delay in the development of heavier and more expensive aircrafts; this was below the expectations of the company. The process of bringing new airplane into the market was a challenge to Airbus Company because of the high costs involved as well as time duration for the completion of the process. The in-flight calculations revealed that the jumbo aircraft had small empennage at first and also the design made it difficult for some operations to take place. The use of manual equipments made it difficult for the company to make appropriate designs at the first attempt. They had to undergo several attempts before settling on right designs; this proves quite time consuming and made it difficult for Airbus to compete with companies having modern computerized systems. There was need for the company to adopt computerized industry concept which was a prerequisite to overall development of aviation industry (Campbell and Alexander, 2000).

Explanation on how the Airbus information systems and operations management should be updated to support and improve their business efficiency

The application of information technology within Airbus provides the stage of using modern automated systems for the purposes of improving internal performance. These systems have the capability of improving the complex nature of inter-enterprise environment. Implementation of soft systems methodology (SSM) enables possible designing of excellent integrated aircraft systems. Rich pictures used in services oriented architecture developed frameworks, could be used to substitute workers from the two countries and overall services shared in common, this would help in reducing unnecessary conflicts amongst the employees and the management of Airbus entities within these countries (Raghupathi and Umar, 2010).

Soft Systems methodology (SSM) offers various methods which could be applied in the design process which enables involved parties to easily evaluate different system models concerning identified problem in a corporate way where by opinion from every member is considered. The different analyzed models should be used for the purposes of structuring other means of approaching emerging problems. Soft system methodology assists in the context of advanced problems like the delay tactics of obtaining new aircraft models. This methodology provides necessary intervention processes in cases where decision makers within Airbus plans to rush through poorly designed solutions towards problems. The graph below indicates the nature of system performance in relation to robust requirements (Raghupathi and Umar, 2010).

The first stage enables the various stakeholders to consider value of the system and possibility of the system fitting well into operations standards of the company. The second stage allows for evaluating different services which are relevant to operations. Then third stage follows after approval when the services and the acquired items are articulated within the system after which they are adopted in the fourth stage. The major customers and beneficiaries of Airbus services are travelers and system manufacturing companies which deal with computerized systems (Gilmore and Pine, 2000).

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Operations linked to service oriented architecture also prove of greater benefit. The actors comprises of the aviation staff from Germany and France, they act as the agents responsible for various services enabling the transformation of passenger oriented services. In the world view, airbus main concern is to deliver quality flight services at reduced costs enabling comfort of passengers. Airbus systems are owned by the stakeholders who commands better part of the accountability process. In terms of environmental constraints designers should consider regulatory principles as well as security not forgetting privacy issues. The overall CATWOE is a continuous process which calls for frequent modifications for efficient services (Raghupathi and Umar, 2010).

The prime role of Airbus is to help customers obtain updated services that are safe and profitable to the company. This could be achieved by installation of SSM which supports their working system hence providing their customers with efficient customer care services. The various customer needs could be met through installation of what is known as Air+ by Airbus, this provides customers with variety of choices on the kind of services and products they require.

This technology improves on the availability of aircraft hence helping the company reduce on operating costs. This package contains services such as Flight hour services which could help in providing even faster access to designed parts and spare parts. The technology at the same time makes it easy for customers to link to the services of Airbus partners and choose services which meet their personal business objectives (Matanovich et al., 1999). The graph below shows the nature of fault density which could occur as a result of time delay.

Evaluation on the role of Soft Systems Methodology in analyzing and defining the business requirements of Airbus

The aviation industry has got extremely high start-up and operation costs. Airbus Aircraft Company should explicitly utilize their technological know-how and the experiences of the few staff members. The company should basically base their sales on stable brand name based on viable technology which proves difficult for other companies to penetrate the industry (USITC, 2001). Consumers’ demand for top service designs and aircrafts requiring easy maintenance should be reinforced. Airbus should also focus on professionally flown aircrafts which requires lots of issues ensuring needed comfort to passengers.

The plane design should focus on seat designs, availability of luggage area and other sanitary requirements and also the presence of entertainment system. There is also need to include pressurized cabin to make the plane all weather, besides all these the overall design should look attractive to the consumers. There are numerous substitute aircrafts within the industry which are readily available for sale. This calls for Airbus airline to put extra effort in order to convince customers of the superiority of their airframe designs. The use of the computer increases the possibility of switching individual units keeping other things constant (Northrop, 1999, pp 149-156).

The project requires full participation and attention of the manager; therefore concern should be drawn on the manner of differentiating between technical and management duties. This is an important principle which should be considered to avoid confusion, wastage of resources and enable timely completion of projects. The project plan being used should be checked daily in order to establish if at all the project is moving as per the written plan. This makes it easier for the necessary adjustments to be made and establish their impact (Maynard, 1998).

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This also calls for open, clear and direct communication concerning the progress of each individual team within the Company. This would ensure proper adjustments on the process system hence enhancing delivery. Management of the various forms of failures could be achieved through belief on the success of all the projects within Airbus Company. The non-project events should be well planned since they have great impact on the various management schedules. These events may include; meetings, vacations and other non-related projects (Maynard, 1998).

Implementation of various modern technology calls for the management’s ability to recall and put into practise knowledge theoretically learned in class. The project manager should be convinced that he/she has the right knowledge that can be applied in various sections including budget control. The procurement process should be known by the management for accountability purposes (Morash and Clinton, 1998). An open channel for feedback should be created for team members that help the manager in collecting diverse views and critically analyse every aspect and phase of the project.

The management should spare some time for analyzing various teams and enlighten on company’s progress. This would lead to more generation of information that might be of help in future. The Company should focus on operations-driven activities which guarantee goal achievement. These activities included means through which Jumbo aircrafts could be improved, reinforcement of customer service relations and the processes undertaken on resource management. The process of selecting employees should be basically based on experience and educational background (Barney, 1986).

Analysis of the people, technology and organizational issues involved in improving the operations at Airbus

In producing and supplying most products and services there are usually a number of activities which need to be performed within the chain of manufacture, distribution and marketing. For example, the production of airframe involves design and development activities, the production and sourcing of raw materials, components and other factor inputs; the combining of these to produce the aircraft incorporates involvement of management and employees. Issues dealing with sales, marketing and offering of available services in line with the aircraft in operation are made successful through teamwork (Day, 1999).

Teamwork within Airbus should be given priority over individual needs for the purpose of strengthening the interactions and relationship amongst employees from French and Germany. Incorporating teamwork ensures that individuals sharing same passion work towards attainment of a given objective leading to solution of specific problem. Success of team work depends on the different types of individual skills which bring about consensus building and good communication network. These must be accompanied by clearly understood goals which must be in agreement with the structure of individual’s current principles of operation (Amit and Schoemaker, 1993).

Teamwork is an important component within the Airbus environment this is because it presents the best way of evaluating performance based on individual confidence. Its application is important to Airbus since it provides employees from both Germany and France with the opportunity of learning from one another hence improving on their points of weaknesses. Better results are realized when teamwork is applied since employees are taught on ways of functioning in a practical social environment.

Incorporation of team building and communication programs are good strategies which could help employees within the company work as a team, hence driving towards common goal (Lester, 1998). The good relation amongst employees and between Airbus and other business partners favored the Company in terms of cash flow. This contributes towards easy marshalling of resources and installation of efficient communication and operation system that makes it easier for the management to carry out their activities with lots of ease (Andrews, 1980).

Airbus should stop functioning at only one level of the chain of design, manufacture and distribution and marketing of distribution. The company should expand its range of activities to include other activities in the chain of design, manufacture, and marketing which involves what is known as vertical integration. This method should be applied by Airbus as a major strategic option for expanding their activities, performances and ultimately their profits (Mintzberg and Quinn, 1996). The company should consider backward vertical integration which enables them to move into activities more concerned with the inputs into the company’s current business, meaning moving further back in the value chain.

For example, they can decide to adopt most of the operations related to their business industry. Forward vertical integration, enables Airbus Company to move further up the value chain towards the final customer at the end of the chain. This means that the company could start owning the manufacturing processes of their own computerized technology. Many companies within the aviation industry have become fully vertically integrated by moving both backwards and forwards in the value chain (Besanko et al, 1996).

Backward vertical integration ensures consistency and quality of services which provides major reason for this process. On the other hand, forward integration is often done to ensure control over channels of distribution including access to customers. Great care should be taken with both forward and backward vertical integration as both could at times present high risk levels (Kaplinsky, 2000). Vertical integration would assist in taking Airbus into areas of business and operations with which they have little or no experience. This enables them to acquire various skills and resources from available companies lacking financial back-up. On the other hand, vertical integration can add considerably to profits and particularly, as already mentioned helps to ensure control where for example consistency and reliability are required (Brandenburger and Stuart, 1996).

Another aspect to consider for Airbus company when applying vertical integration is the extent to which such integration may attract the attention of concerned organizations, for example, the Office of Fair Trading who are concerned about any possible ethical breach within the market as a result of vertical integration (Northrop, 1999). Despite the risks of vertical integration, the company can expect this type of strategy to remain popular and perhaps provide it over to the entire aviation industry.

Application of proactive integration relates to communication in that it involves exchange of information from one source to another. For information to reach the desired target, modern communication channels have to be utilized within Airbus Company. Conveying information concerning programs could be done either through writing or speaking. Proactive integration involves interaction between the management and the employees from French and German origin which forma the team (Anand and Khanna, 2000).

Conclusion

The management team should have the capability of matching the organization’s structure to its strategies which allows for efficient execution of the Company’s capabilities and competencies. It is necessary for a firm to have a strong resource base which helps in enhancing its capabilities to deliver quality services to consumers as well as competing favorably within the market.

Reference List

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Raghupathi, W. & Umar, A., 2010. Integrated Digital Health Systems Design: Towards a Service-Oriented Soft Systems Methodology. NY: Fordham University.

USITC (U.S. International Trade Commission), 2001. Competitive Assessment of the U.S. Large Civil Aircraft Aero structures Industry. Publication, 3433 (6).

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