Operation Strategies to Achieve a Competitive Advantage. Essay

Executive Summary
Businesses apply different forms of operation strategies, which incorporate collective activities adopted in the production of a good or provision of a service. Operation strategies support the business's approach to achieve its strategic objectives, which are required to be coordinated with other business function strategies. An effective operation strategy will provide a business a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This response will outline relevant business case studies, to explain how a business can obtain its competitive advantage through global sourcing, economies of scale, inventory management and outsourcing.

  * Global sourcing
Global sourcing is a strategy that can be adopted by operations management in order to sustain a competitive advantage. It refers to the practice of sourcing goods and services from the national boundaries. Global sourcing can be used as a strategy for two main reasons, inputs needed may not be available domestically and to achieve a competitive advantage. Businesses implement global sourcing to examine the decisions, whether they should purchase, produce the inputs or use a combination of these options. This decision is influenced by factors, such as nature of the product, quality and price. For example, Qantas has employed cabin staff from Asia and pilots from New Zealand due to lower wage costs. Also, they have announced their intentions to establish low-cost carriers based in Asia to reduce production costs. Initially there are challenges that arise from the application of global sourcing. These include increasing complexity of overall operations and business having less control over the quality and reliability of the inputs.

  * Economies of Scale
Economies of scale is one strategy used to combat the changes in the international business environment so as to sustain a competitive advantage. Economies of scale involves producing on a larger scale, and developing cost advantages. By...