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- Explain how the operations strategies are different when applied to a service company such as “Indigo Airlines” versus an aircraft manufacturing company such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). (10 Marks)
- What are the key factors that firms consider while choosing a location to operate? List five major reasons, why any Pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm should operate (locate its factory) in India. (10 Marks)
- Bhanji has spent nearly two decades working at Metro Brands, which was started by her grandfather as a stand-alone store in Colaba in 1947 and has since grown to over 500 stores across the country. She radiates enthusiasm for retail. “I’ve only ever worked here. I came here straight after my undergraduation. It’s not like a business where you don’t see an end result. You put something in the store, within a week you know how that shoe is working. You see new creations, you see new ranges,” she says.
Keeping in touch with the ground realities of retail is essential to corporate strategy. “From being purely a product brand, we have become a retail brand. When you walk into the Colaba Metro store, the collection will be different from the Linking Road store. We curate the product for each store. I want the best collection for a customer who walks into a store,” she says.
Two years ago, Bhanji and her team implemented Eli Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), a management philosophy that leads to profit improvement through greater efficiency in business processes.
“Theory of Constraints brought efficiency to our front end, helping the way we sell go from art to science. For example, 40 new designs are introduced into our system every week. After four weeks, we address how they have sold. We had thumb rules to check what happens, and decide if a design worked. It is like an art, but applying TOC helped us make it a science.”
The project came with management challenges for Bhanji, including getting on board the front line supply chain teams who had to adopt the new technology.
“TOC wasn’t so tough from a technology angle, but it was supremely difficult from our mindset angle. How do you tell someone that the computer may know some things better than you?” she says, as the legacy brand has a number of long-time employees.
- Explain the concept of “Theory of Constraints (TOC)”. (5 Marks)
- What all possible challenges Bhanji might face with the TOC? (5 Marks)