Essay on Manufacturing and Service Operations

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Wesleyan University
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Business functions responsible for managing the vital aspects of a business entity are known as business operations or processes. However, the most critical business function responsible for managing the processes for creating goods and delivering services is known as the operations management (OM). However, the OM is not only responsible for managing the processes of creating products and services but also the management of people, information, technology, and equipment. Process management is the core function of every serious company. In this chapter, we are going to study the operations or process management of one manufacturing Company and compare it with that of another service company. For this study, I have chosen the Coca-Cola Company and The Bank of America.

Coca-Cola Company

Manufacturing process

Coca-Cola Company is the world's leading producer of soft drinks. The key ingredient for the drink is a combination of a beverage concentrate and a liquid sweetener. The two ingredients are combined to form syrup. It is this syrup concentrate that is provided to the various franchises of the company (Pendegrast, 2013). However, the secret ingredient remains unknown to the public up to date. The work of franchisees is to mix the syrup concentrate with purified water and sugar. The syrup solution containing sugar then mixes with incoming carbon dioxide in the carbonator. Carbon dioxide gives the drink its fizzy characteristic. The heated mixture is then passed to the coolers where it is cooled. The parent company specifies the equipment used in the production process. The flowchart below shows the manufacturing process map for soft drinks production.

Inspectors from the quality control team have the duty to analyze the finished drink to ensure that all quality standards are met. A sample is taken for analysis at the end of each production line. The parent company must provide the most up-to-date technology for the manufacturing process to its licensed franchisees as well as the latest computer technology. The authorized bottlers use the rapid filling technique in filling the cans and bottles. The boxes are provided with sealing tops. After that, the seals are thoroughly inspected at the end of each production line to ensure that there are no leaks or gaps present. A unique code is stamped on the cans and bottles to assist in tracing back the cans to the point and time of production. The boxes are also provided with date codes to ensure freshness of the product. The canners and bottlers use an electronic eye known as a fill height detector' to ensure maintenance of the right quantity of product in the cans. A machine known as a case former creates the casing used in storing the boxes to protect them from damage. The housing containing the cans are then distributed to retailers for sales. The empty cans are stored in a warehouse while awaiting collection.

Barclays Bank

Service processes

The bank has its headquarters in London. It is a limited company whose primary objective is to provide financial and banking services to its customers. Barclays bank provides customer service in fields such as wealth management, mortgages, credit cards, and wholesale, retail, and investment banking. The bank serves over 48 million people globally in fifty countries. The company has 4750 branches in more than fifty countries. The bank gets credit for best customer services. However, the bank is set upon four pillars that have ensured its success over the years. The four pillars include Africa, investment banking, personal and corporate services, as well as the famous Barclaycard.

Also, Barclays boasts in having some of the best digital banking services in the world. These services enable a customer to manage his or her account the way he or she wants. The bank also has a Relationship Service that allows their clients to utilize the most of the company's international banking (Githui, 2006). It also offers a broad range of investment products. Also, with Barclays International Banking, a customer can access a variety of fixed and variable rate mortgages provided in the UK. A client is in a position to get advice from mortgage expatriates and advisers. The flowchart below shows the service processes of Barclays bank.

Servicing and Manufacturing Similarities

Zhou et a. (2009) documents that some manufacturing supply chain elements can fit the service supply chains. For instance, a service firm such as Carglass is in need of procuring physical goods. Research shows that many aspects of procurement processes are very similar to those of manufacturing settings. For example, the technique of total cost of ownership (TCO) used in manufacturing can be applied in service settings.

Also, there exist commonalities on the operational and strategic level of both manufacturing and service settings. The primary role of a manufacturing entity is to convert physical raw materials into finished and tangible goods. A tangible good is one that can be physically felt and can be described in monetary terms and physical dimensions. For example, the raw syrup concentrate is converted into a soft drink that is later consumed. Also, the primary role of the service industry is to provide a product though in most cases the product is often intangible and cannot be described in dimensional terms. However, the product can be described in monetary terms. For example, hospitals provide medical services, that is, the treatment which is the single service.

Also, the management of both sectors' supply chains share similarities at various levels. This commonality is justified by the existence of physical elements along the supply chain of a service industry. Also, physical coordination along the supply chain of a service is necessary for efficient servicing. Many issues affecting the supply chain of a manufacturing sector are similar to those affecting the supply chain of a service industry.

Servicing and Manufacturing Differences

Firstly, manufacturing processes involve converting raw materials into finished products that are both visible and tangible whereas service processes transform inputs into outputs though intangible (Slack, 2015). For example, the service provided by the bank is not physical, but rather conscience relate. Soft drinks produced by a beverage manufacturing industry are visible and can be seen by the consumer.

Secondly, in manufacturing processes, there is a separation between the production and consumption processes while in service operations both production and consumption of the service is. This is to mean that the production of the service occurs at the same time consumption takes place. For example, clinics offer treatment to patients at the same time they struggle to recover from the illness.

Also, in manufacturing operations, it is easy to measure productivity as the processes are tangible whereas in service operations productivity is difficult to measure because the processes are intangible.

Conclusion The study indicates the availability of customer-introduced variability in the service operations, that is, Barclays bank. For example, there is the aspect of arrival variability whereby most customers do not require the service at the same but are in a position to make an appointment at a convenient time. Also, there is an element of customer-introduced variability in manufacturing operations (Ragu-Nathan, 2006). For example, there is an aspect of request variability whereby customers' tastes and requirements differ, and a manufacturer needs to have a flexible processing system (Lovelock, 2002). This ensures a variety of products. For example, Coca-Cola products differ in tastes, e.g., coke and Fanta. Finally, an in-depth understanding of both manufacturing and service environments is of importance to my career as it has enabled me to develop insight on the duties of an operation manager and how to tactically develop process maps for industrial and company operations.


Githui, J. K. (2006). Challenges for Strategy Implementation in Barclays Bank Kenya Limited (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nairobi.).

Li, S., Ragu-Nathan, B., Ragu-Nathan, T. S., & Rao, S. S. (2006). The impact of supply chain management practices on competitive advantage and organizational performance. Omega, 34(2), 107-124.

Lovelock, C. H., & Wright, L. (2002). Principles of service marketing and management. Prentice Hall.

Pendergrast, M. (2013). For god, country, and coca-cola. Basic Books

Slack, N. (2015). Operations strategy. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Zhou, M., Park, T., & Yi, J. (2009). Commonalities and differences between service and manufacturing supply chains: Combining operations management studies with supply chain management. California Journal of Operations Management, 7(1), 136.

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