Designing an Operations Strategy

A business strategy gives the aims of your whole business. Each of the core functions without the business has its own functional strategy. Operations are the activities which are directly concerned with making a product, and the related long-term decisions form the operations strategy.

The operations strategy gives the link between more abstract business plans and final products. The business strategy describes general aims, while the operations strategy looks at the products and processes which will achieve these.

The operations strategy is concerned with matching what the organization is good at with what the customer wants. It answers questions like:

  • What type of products do we make?
  • How wide a range of products do we offer?
  • What types of process do we use?
  • What technology do we use?
  • How do we maintain high quality?
  • What geographical areas do we work in?
  • How can we plan capacity and get economies of scale?

Other core functions have their own strategies, these must be coordinated to contribute to the overall business strategy. An operations strategy of mass production, for example, must have an associated marketing strategy of mass sales, and a finance strategy of heavy capital investment.

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