PROCESS TECHNOLOGY Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Process technology:

Process technology is an equipment, hardware, and device, which is used to produce and/or ship the products/services. Without process technology, goods would be available in limited range, along with unreliable quality and high cost. This is why it has huge importance in operation department. Nevertheless, it has huge impact on the cost, delivery time, and quality of the products. Moreover, it expedites the conversion of inputs into operations.

Operations managers are responsible to manage such technology, in order to understand its functionality and proper usage.

Types of technologies

1)     Material processing technologies:

The process, through which products are manufactured and shaped, has become fast and reliable due to technology advancement. The below mentioned are some technologies that have changed the operations of processing/manufacturing companies.

  1. Computer numerically controlled machine tools (CNC):This is a tool, which uses a computer to perform various operations such as metal cutting and shaping. The programmed instructions activate the machine for performing any due task.
  2.  Robots:It performs functions such as loading and unloading of materials. Moreover, assembling and handling of tasks is also performed by specialized robots with the program controlled arm.
  3.  Automated guided vehicle: This technology is widely used in different businesses such as in hospitals to carry samples, in libraries to move books and in workstations to move materials. The instructions are given to these vehicles through buried cables in operations department which are connected with central computer.
  4.  Flexible manufacturing system:It is the integration of many technologies, which reduces the human intervention during the production process. The loading/unloading, CNC workstations, and other technologies combine to make this FMS.
  5. Computer integrated manufacturing: It synchronizes the whole process of producing a product/or its part. This is an expensive technology and requires efficient communication between the different parts of this technology.

2)     Information processing technology:

Information technology is a type of technology, which assists operations in terms of gathering, organizing, storing and sharing information. Following are some technologies used in operations department.

  1. Network information technology: It connects two or more computers and forms a network in order to facilitate the communication between them. It allows decentralized computers to be connected with the each other through wired or wireless network.
  2. The Internet, Intranets and Extranets:The internet provides us the platform to use World Wide Web. But intranet is a private network which facilitates the communication within the members of the organization. On the other hand,extranet allows the communication between the organizations. Such as communication between supplier and customer, that would be controlled through extranet network.
  3. E-Business and m-Business: E-business technology is used to improve the functionality of existing business or capitalize the opportunities of new businesses. This technology is mostly used for the businesses that have marked their online presence. The m-business technology facilitates the transactions over the mobile phone.
  4. Decision support system and expert systems: The DSS provides information that is useful for assisting managerial decision making. On the other hand,expert systems solves the problem through using programed knowledge base inside the system. These systems reduce the time of decision making and makes problem looks easier.
  5.  Automatic identification technologies: In 1973, the bar code was developed to identify the products through using bar code scanner. This technology is widely adopted by super stores as it speeds ups their process of identifying goods at the sales counters and helps them to manage their inventory record.

3)     Customer processing technology:

The customer processing technology helps to reduce the cost of the company as well as human efforts. It is mostly used in the service business such as in airline e-ticketing, check in, and entertainment stuff. There are some types of this technology which are described below.........................

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