Operation management in several manufacturing companies in the United Kingdom is the backbone responsible for facilitating the organizations’ activities. It entails planning, coordinating, organizing, and controlling resources required to produce goods and services in a firm. It also involves managing all the employees of an organization, tools and equipment, information, technology, and all the essential resources which aid in the company’s daily events (Wolniak, 2020).
Keen coordination of systems and relevant strategies to operation management must be ensured for a company to realize its objectives. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceutical Company is a healthcare company based in the United Kingdom which deals with pharmaceutical products research and manufacturing. GSK has segments that include pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare, and vaccines, amongst other sections. Due to the extensive areas of operations, the company needs a digital transformation model which encompasses a well-securitized sophisticated operations management system.
GSK is amongst the leading pharmaceutical organizations in the United Kingdom and has many customers across the globe. Being a multinational pharmaceutical organization, GSK needs proven models to enable the company to run smoothly. VRIN (valuable, rare, inimitable, not substitutable) and VRIO (value, rarity, inimitability, organization) are amongst the effective models which can aid the company to achieve its operational strategies. VRIN framework helps in determining the strategic potential of a company (Kohtamäki, Parida, Oghazi, Gebauer, and Baines, 2019). Fundamentally, a resource-based view is an approach to viewing an organization in a strategic approach. A bundle of resources in a company is one attribute that distinguishes it from another. Therefore, critical analysis of the company’s resources is the starting point of establishing a stable internal environment within the company.
Some resources in GSK Company may have inadequate strategic relevance. For the resources to have full strategic advantages in an organization, they should encompass all the four components of VRIN as elucidated below:
- Valuable – resources should be of great value to the company for them to have a competitive advantage. For instance, GSK acquires its information from social media as feedbacks from its customers. The data is valuable when it helps the company improve in its manufacturing process of pharmaceutical products.
- Rare – resources should have a unique strategy to help GSK have a competitive advantage over other pharmaceutical organizations in the medical industry. On some occasions, a resource might be valuable, but a competitor has the same resource. In such an event, such a particular resource is of value but not rare hence, it cannot result in a competitive advantage for the company.
- Inimitable – pharmaceutical resources can be of sustained competitive importance to GSK Company if other similar organizations cannot obtain the same resources. For instance, if a resource is rare and valuable, but the competing company can easily copy it, such a resource cannot be strategic and cannot give the firm a competitive advantage in the industry.
- Non-substitutable – for GSK pharmaceutical company to have non-substitutable resources, its resources should be unique to those of the other competing companies. If two different resources can be used separately to perform the same strategic objective, such resources are strategically equal. Such resources in an organization are substitutable and cannot be the source of sustainable competitive importance.
Due to stiff competition in the business world, several firms pay and direct their full attention on how to achieve and sustain healthy competitive advantages. Project management can be one of the competitive tools if proper models are deployed. Apart from VRIN, VRIO is another competitive strategy of a firm seeking market influence (Rita, da Costa, and Geraldes, 2019). Organizations need strategies to overcome not only competition but also threats in the industry. They have to embrace market opportunities for most of them to remain relevant (AfriliyanI and Sunarko 2019). GSK Pharmaceutical Company has to deploy competitive strategies to stay relevant in the medical industry.
VRIN and VRIO play similar functions. However, VRIN has a non-substitutable aspect while VRIO puts emphasis on the organization as a strategic tool. GSK Company needs to have a well-organized management system, structures, processes, and culture for it to capitalize on the available resources and other capabilities. The organization of a company should be unique to prevent another firm from copying such a strategic technique.
Analyzing competition in the market is vital to any firm which wishes to remain relevant in the market (Malika and James, 2016). For instance, GSK Company can have an arrangement that allows the IT department to be responsible for the collection and maintenance of data. The human resource and team leaders should be trained on how to use the collected data when hiring, managing, and improving the company’s performance. Such a precise strategic plan within a firm can be of significant advantage when it comes to competition in the market.
Digital Transformation Advances
Digitalization has gained momentum in the past years due to innovation and the rapid emergence of cutting-edge technology. Digital transformation is the technical process that involves the integration of several technologies into daily business operations (Bican and Brem, 2020). Advances of digital transformation include the Internet of things, data mining, data analytics, blockchain, data warehousing, artificial intelligence, robotics, amongst other sophisticated advancements. The application of digital transformation techniques gives an organization a competitive advantage over organizations ignoring the technology.
Internet of Things
The world has evolved, and the globe has been reduced to a ‘small village’ due to globalization and the ease of information access. The Internet of things comprises three major components and interrelationships: people to fellow people, people to things/machines, and machine/things to machine/things, all having a mutual interaction via the Internet (Patel and Patel, 2016).
The Internet of things is the current revolution. Its main agenda is to connect things globally at any time and place with anyone or anything, ideally via a network. Internet of things has enabled sharing of information in a fast and effective manner. Connectivity has increased due to networking, which is a vital aspect of the business world. Companies such as GSK can access and share information via the Internet faster than before. Having accurate and reliable information via the Internet within an organization is amongst the greatest assets a firm can ever possess.
Big Data Mining
Big Data is information that increases exponentially in complexity and size at a never-ending and alarming speed. Organizations having absolute data technology find it hard to react appropriately to such massive data increment within a short duration. As a result of large volumes of unstructured and complex data, data mining has been adopted to enable analysts of various companies to find, process, and effectively avail data (Bayer, Aksogan, Celik, and Kondiloglu 2017). The management team in a company only relies on the final processed information for the decision-making-processes. The Internet and other sources of information might provide irrelevant information to an organization. Software such as Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) is used to analyze the collected raw data into processed information. The Big Data mining process ensures the data collected has been refining to the management team’s required relevant standard.
A data warehouse is a well-structured repository of data that is used primarily during the decision-making process. The storage is created by integrating relevant information into a single magnificent pool of information for easy accessibility by the decision-making department (Jaroli and Masson, 2017). Online Analytical Processing Server (OLAP) depends on a multidimensional data framework for its functioning. OLAP allows analysts, managers, and other authorized personnel to get insight and access to the information fast and conveniently (Jaroli and Masson, 2017). After data has been mined, it is processed by data analysts using appropriate data analytic tools before they are stored in the data warehouse for future use.
A blockchain is a distributed database of precise records or a public ledger containing all transactions performed and shared among the parties involved. Verification of transactions/information in the blockchain is important, and participants have to reach a consensus. After mutual agreement, the information is entered into the system, and it is difficult for the information to be erased and lost. Companies using analog ways of storing sensible information may undergo losses when the information is corrupted or stolen (Crosby, Pattanayak, Verma, and Kalyanaraman, 2016). Blockchain technology is a non-controversial approach, and it has worked impeccably over the years for both financial and non-financial departments.
For instance, Bitcoin is a good example of blockchain technology globally. Bitcoin acts as a medium for the transaction for multibillion-dollar projects in a global market anonymously without any government control (Crosby et al., 2016). Blockchain technology is of great use since it revolutionizes the current digital market by allowing a distributed agreement where every online business transaction can be easily verified.
Artificial intelligence is a wide division of computer science, which entails building intelligent machines capable of doing tasks that typically need human intelligence. It has multiple applications, although it has advanced more in machine learning. The technology of building robots has been embraced positively because of its numerous merits. Robots save time and enhance safety in most companies by performing heavy tasks which could be tiresome to human beings (Winfield and Jirotka 2018). However, there is a genuine concern due to the rapid increment of artificial intelligence technology since job opportunities are being reduced. Robots take the place of human beings rendering most employees jobless. Nevertheless, artificial intelligence is considered the best technology in most industries because of uncountable benefits to investors.
Digital Technology Proposal
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceutical Company is a renowned company with a variety of pharmaceutical products. It is recommended for the company to adopt artificial intelligence. This will make it a multidimensional company manufacturing and processing various pharmaceutical products. Intelligent machines will be able to help in the manufacturing processing within the production department. Robots can lift and transport heavy raw materials from one point to another quickly, faster, and effectively as compared to human beings. Intelligent machines will reduce the cost of labor and time taken during the manufacturing process by a significant margin (Winfield and Jirotka, 2018). Programmed smart devices do not need careful supervision to perform duties effectively. As a result, management operations will be easy, and other processes within GSK Company will be optimized.
Key performance indicators are the attributes in the company’s plan which indicate what the organization wants to achieve within a specific time period. In current times, companies work in highly competitive environments as a result of globalization. Such competitive environments are faced by tremendous natural, social, economic, political, and technological challenges which call for performance indicators to assess how a company is fairing (Cruz Villazón et al., 2020). Performance metrics are essential in any organization, even though they vary from one organization to another.
Key performance indicators relevant to GSK Company are categorized as follows:
Financial performance indicators are metrics an organization can use to monitor and measure its financial position within a specific time. Financial indicators include but are not limited to sales volumes, profitability, efficiency, amongst other metrics (Cruz Villazón et al., 2020). For instance, GSK can set a profit increment target of 8% after one fiscal year. The company will be able to measure its financial performance best on the target after the duration to evaluate if it has achieved it.
Strategic performance indicators major mostly on trends and monitoring the progress of an organization or business entity. Strategic indicators cannot be measured on a daily basis, and therefore, it is vital to assess the indicators overtime to reach sound management and operational decisions. The business environment has become competitive, and it is unpredictable to determine what will happen in a short while (Malika and James, 2016). GSK should take and scrutinize its strategic performance indicators before making any substantial decision. Decisions that are made in haste can sabotage the competitive advantages of GSK over its competitors.
The operational indicator is nearly a real-time assessment, and therefore, it can be evaluated within short time intervals. As opposed to strategic indicators, operational tools can be measured on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis to ascertain how the business is performing within such a short time. For instance, while using intelligent machines to assess the amount of time saved during the manufacturing process, hours taken to manufacture some pharmaceutical products using robots can be measured hourly (Winfield and Jirotka, 2018). For GSK to overcome its competitors in the medicine industry, it should be vigilant on operational indicators such as time taken to manufacture or transport a product. Time is a critical aspect of the business world. Thus, the operational team should be dedicated during operational processes to meet targets (sales volume, which is also an operational indicator) on time.
Safety Performance Indicator
Safety is a crucial indicator in any organization, and it is related to the operating system in a firm. It is applicable to both employees within the company and customers consuming the company’s products and services. When a company has minimal physical injuries and fewer complaints from its customers on products and services, then it is safe (Winfield and Jirotka, 2018). GSK can maintain its safety measures by using intelligent machines to perform some tasks which might be detrimental to the company’s workers. Robots reduce human injuries because they can lift heavy loads enhancing safety in the company. Improved safety will enable GSK to be on top of other similar companies which are concerned with the safety measures of its employees and customers.
Core Functions of Organization
New products and services are integral facets of most companies, and they act as competitive strategies. Most of the time, the development of the new product is initiated to satisfy existing and potential customers’ needs. The development of a new product is challenging, but computers help firms introduce and manage the development stages of a new product with the current technology. All kinds of resources ranging from time, capital, labor, technology, skills, and knowledge need to be integrated to develop a new product (Kazimierska and Grębosz-Krawczyk, 2017). The type of information and information system needed when developing a new product will depend on sophistication degree and production process, ethical issues, and relations, amongst other factors.
A lot of time can be taken from the feasibility phase to the manufacturing phase when GSK is developing a new product. In any case, there is a need to increase the number of employees who will handle the new product, and the company will incur extra expenses for the product to be developed. New skills and technology might be needed in some instances, and it calls for a new technical and management team to superintend the development stages. All the required resources have to be integrated appropriately for the new product to be manufactured. The company’s project leader approves the road map of the project, and the person is responsible until the last development stage (Owunwanne, 2016).
Innovation and the development of new products will enable GSK to achieve its transformation objectives. New products maintain the existing customers’ trust and can cultivate and introduce new customers to the company.
Marketing of new products of GSK might be challenging if proper coordination and flow of resources are not established. The pharmaceutical products are manufactured in the company’s factory, but the product’s brand is created and installed in mind. All business setups require a unique identity for marketing purposes. Being amongst the leading pharmaceutical organizations in the United Kingdom with a vast pool of customers, GSK Company requires inbound marketing, one of the best digital marketing approaches (Patrutiu-Baltes, 2016). Inbound marketing targets the audience carefully with a unique form of communication through high-quality platforms and materials.
The company has to implement a flawless flow of recourses (capital, labor, technology, skills, and knowledge) to sustain digital marketing to reach a massive number of customers (Patrutiu-Baltes, 2016). Product development processes, marketing, and other operations in the company have to function in harmony using the available resources to maximize the output and achieve the desired transformation.
Operations Designing and Coordination
Description of value chain varies from one organization to another depending on their structure. However, inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and marketing, and service delivery are basic components of a value chain, depending on Porter’s description (Kumar and Rajeev 2016). Digital designing and coordinating of all the operations across the value chain can be achieved as follows:
- Inbound logistics – artificial intelligence, such as the use of robots, can optimize workflow at the receiving department and distributing the raw material and other inputs internally. Also, creating friendly user interfaces with suppliers is of importance to digitalize supply processes.
- Operations – operations are the essential transformation activities that convert inputs into outputs. Several operating systems such as user interfaces, can be deployed to digitalize to improve operations in the company. A friendly interface between the company and customers develops a friendly environment upon which transactions are conducted.
- Outbound logistics – GSK Company can deploy the use of faster and digitalized delivery channels to deliver its products and services worldwide. In case of emergencies, aircraft can be used during delivery processes.
- Sales and Marketing – Sales and marketing techniques are the crucial aspects of an organization since they build the brand of the company. The company has to persuade potential customers to buy it rather than from its competitors. Appropriate use of social media platforms can increase sales of the company. GSK can use Customer Relationship Management software to build a close rapport with both existing and potential customers.
- Service- after-sales services maintain the appropriate relationship and the value of product and services after the customer has purchased it. An electronic “Thank you and welcome again” message to appreciate the customer acts as a motivation factor to bring the customer back again. Digitalized door-to-door delivery is also a welcoming gesture to customers.
Digital transformation is a game-changer in the business world because of its benefits. GSK Pharmaceutical Company needs to adopt digital transformation for the company to develop new opportunities. These advancements will enable the company to develop new products and services, create a new and larger pool of customers, and eventually penetrate the market with much ease. Digital transformation will enable the company to gain a competitive advantage in the United Kingdom and global market. Businesses using sophisticated digital transformation models have a high chance of realizing their goals and objectives in the long run.
However, the transformation process is demanding since it requires a customer-oriented mind, new skills, and advanced value chains. Nevertheless, the transformation process is a current issue that needs to be embraced and implemented for businesses’ success.
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