Operations Management in Gruppo Guido Company

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Introduction

Gruppo Guido is a construction firm based in Italy that specializes not only in actual construction but also in project management. As far as project management is concerned, they develop, run and organize building projects for various clients. They also aid their customers to cope with doubts (especially in conservative countries) and also help in risk management. Other services include; contract drafting, schedule development, contract bidding and awarding, cost estimation of a project, ensuring safety in the site and feasibility study. Unlike many construction companies, Gruppo Guido can offer any of their services independently, for example, they can offer only budget management in a construction project. Perhaps the group is famous for its site management than any other services it offers.

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Strategic Objectives of Organisation

With many emerging construction companies, it is crucial for Gruppo Guido to come up with organizational strategies that will ensure that it remains competitive. The core objective of this organization is to be a world leader in the construction industry. To achieve this, all her operations must be economical and effective. The company also aspires to be dependable and trustworthy. This entails the company delivering its services in accordance with building standards and with the contract. Another strategic objective of the company is speed. This means that the company should be able to deliver its services on time. Consequently, this reduces the time between the order of service and its implementation. Flexibility is another strategic objective adopted by this company. This means that the company is able to change its operation quickly depending on the customer demand. This objective also calls for innovativeness since each client has his own needs.

Operation/Process

Site management is one of the services this company offers and is the most involved. Managing a site involves ensuring all the resources are present when they are needed in a construction site. Most companies do not usually perform well when it comes to managing site operations. This is because; a site manager has to deal with at least 7 different companies at the same time. There are surveyors, masonries, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, interior designers, architects, and probably lift specialists. The expertise and services of these contractors are usually needed at a specific time of the operation. Ensuring that all the duties of the various parties in the site are followed smoothly is very crucial in attaining their core strategic objective of becoming number one in the construction industry (Kaplan 2006, p 104).

All the work carried out at the site is outsourced. It is impossible for a single company to focus on all areas of construction and remain relevant. In house operations are only involved in management, budgeting, environmental and legal issues. It is up to the Gruppo Guido management team to ensure that all the necessary documents are present on site. This includes insurance papers for all the employees at the site to the signpost indicating all the parties involved in the construction (Palmisano 2006, p 130). This will help the company achieve the dependability objective. This means that no shortcuts are taken as far as legal processes in attaining permits are concerned.

At every moment on the site, materials are continuously needed; therefore the supply network must be very efficient. If the company aspires to be dependable and trustworthy, it has to contract competent firms with the best reputation. Although they might be expensive than the others, they are crucial for ensuring that all the duties are carried out smoothly in the site. Also, contracting reputable companies means hiring companies with years and years of experience. It is very common during the construction of a building, to find that the various tasks do not end in time (Kaplan 2006, p 110). Since all the tasks depend on each other, this will cause an overall delay. To prevent this and at the same time accomplish the speed strategic objective, the management team must come up with a logical time table. A logical timetable ensures that all the factors are considered (Palmisano 2006, p 134). These factors include distance from the raw material, type of equipment used by the contractor, working hours, worker’s level of expertise, break durations and employee motivation.

Deployment of technology

Use of the latest technology is very crucial in maintaining high standards and working efficiently. On a normal working day, the site manager has to make numerous choices on the method of construction. Different locations call for different technology. The type of technology chosen will influence the overall cost, speed and durability of the structure constructed. In many cases, the alternative arrangements are usually done in a careless manner which might have a catastrophic effect in case the initial method fails (Kaplan 2006, p 104). For example, if the construction involves the breaking of the rocks and transporting the debris to a damp site, the type of transportation is crucial. Transportation of these rocks can either be done by a conveyor belt or by trucks. Both methods will get the job done, but the conveyor belt will be slower and cheaper. Before any choice is made between these two methods, their relative cost should be well thought-out, their reliability too and also their availability and the logistics of setting up. Despite of all those considerations, the actual effects of choosing a particular method is difficult to know. This is attributed to the fact that there is little information during the planning stage regarding the ground conditions and the level of worker’s knowledge and familiarity with the machines (Melnyck 2004, p 210).

This goes to show how the choice of technology can adversely affect the strategic goals of the company. From the above example, it is clear that the choice of technology affects the overall cost and time taken; thereby, having a direct effect on its core objectives. In other areas, technology determines the durability and even appearance of the structure. Use of latest technology, in many cases, results to not only brilliant looking structures, but reliable ones. This will make the company more reliable and also the best in the market.

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Evaluation of the planning and control methods or approaches for managing the demand and capacity of the operation/process

There have been many ways formulated to asses the operations of a company. The method formulated by Chase is regarded to be the best since it covers both the quantitative and qualitative aspects. Gruppo Guido is allowed to operate in all the countries since it conforms to international standards. One of the crucial factors considered by all the countries is safety. This is particularly emphasized in the construction of tall buildings. It is a standard requirement that all the workers wear a protective gear and be suspended all the time (Melnyck 2004, p 212). Gruppo Guido has ensured that it not only conforms to the safety standards, but also the safety equipments are regularly checked and serviced or replaced. In fact, during the period of the year 2008, it had only two accidents with no casualties. Other standards involve the use of standard tools and materials. This is no problem to this company since it has already been licensed to work in all the countries.

Planning and control has been influenced by the past operations. This is the bottom-up viewpoint in which processes are formulated depending on the past experiences. Initially, some decisions might be made to conform to clients demand. However, after a while the decisions which initially appeared haphazard become the norm. Later, these haphazard decisions become the framework for operations strategy (Johnston 2009, p 570).

Total quality management (TQM) is important to since it reduces cost while ensuring customer satisfaction. There has never been conventional means of introducing TQM, but like many other companies, Gruppo Guido has established means of measuring its performance. The most common way used to measure its performance, is comparing the cost of construction to the time that structure will be able to generate an equal revenue. Another dependable method is use of client response. The company allows the clients to rate their performance in site management (Reijers 2005, p 284).

Improvement, Failure, and Quality

Like any other enterprise, Gruppo Guido is subjected to failure as a result of poor management, lack of preparation for unforeseen circumstances and unfamiliarity with new construction territories. As a way of combating these threats, the company is keen on hiring qualified and experienced managers. Also, the managers on site are required to report on weekly bases on the progress of the work. Planning for unexpected events can be tricky but manageable for a company that has been in existence for many years. Like many other construction problems, they are repetitive. By keeping records of what went or could go wrong, makes the company ready for any unforeseen circumstances. Finally, the company has managed to open its branches in many other countries like USA and Japan. In these offices, they have hired natives who are familiar with the building laws of their respective countries and are also familiar with construction sites

Conclusion

Overall, the company has an excellent managerial system. The system has not only been used by this company but by many construction firms. This is due to the fact that the basics of building procedures and management are the same irrespective of the project.

References

Johnston, R., 2009. Establishing and developing strategic relationships – the role for operations managers. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 29 (6), pp.564-590.

Kaplan, R., 2006. How to implement a new strategy without disrupting your organization. Harvard Business Review, 84 (3), pp.100-109.

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Melnyck, S., 2004. Metrics and performance measurement in operations management: dealing with the metrics maze. Journal of Operations Management, 22 (3), pp.209-218.

Palmisano, S., 2006. The globally integrated enterprise. Foreign Affairs, 85 (3), pp.127-136.

Reijers, H., 2005. Best practices in business process redesign: an overview and qualitative evaluation of successful redesign heuristics. Omega, 33 (4), pp.283-306.

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