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Process Analysis

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Analysis of operations management as applied to Xerox corporation's response to downtrends and turnarounds ...... More...
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Paper Abstract:
Analysis of operations management as applied to Xerox corporation's response to downtrends and turnarounds in recent years

Paper Introduction:
A company may have the best technology the best employees and thehighest market share in the world but if it fails to deploy the techniquesof operations management appropriately it can expect its technology to bemarginalized in the marketplace or decline in actual quality or both andits employees and market share to suffer Indeed having the highest-quality product onboard is no guarantee of marketplace success At minimum that product has to be managed properly by strategically deployedoperations that support rather than work against

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This was key to Xerox's TQM policy. Those criteria are reflected in Xerox's stated mission "to helppeople find better ways to do great work--by constantly leading in documenttechnologies, products and services that improve our customers' workprocesses and business results" (Xerox, 2 9). Indeed, having the highest-quality product onboard is no guarantee of marketplace success. That impliescommitment to communication, and Ramcharamdas contends that the projectturned Xerox into a "continuous learning organization," characterized bystrong communication patterns. Even so, it remains to be seen whether thelessons of operations management can always be learned. How that worked showedup when it almost failed because "remnants of the old Xerox culture stillsurvived." Flaws were concealed in a new-product launch so as not to delaya launch date; the effect was customer defection to competitors. She therefore refocused on customercommunication and R&D. Yet over that very same period, Xerox's management structure becameincreasingly heavy and centralized. Xerox Corporation Fact Book. ||Quality |TQM |(Ramcharamdas; Pacetta). The Xerox Corporation is known for producing machines that producedocuments on media designed for the purpose. "Xerox's Nifty Turnaround." Forbes.com 24 January 2 8. Bean, John Deere, Burroughs--as long as they worked!"(Pacetta 165). 2. MIT Sloan School of Management 9 November 2 6 .Coughlan, Paul, and David Coghlan. Initially, it grew via acquisitions of companies around theworld that had technologies Xerox could deploy, reflected by sales figures:$37 million in 196 , $268 million in 1965, $698 million in 1966, and $4.4billion in 1976 (India Center, 2 9). Better communication improvedmorale as well as sales. Don't Fire Them, Fire Them Up: A Maverick's Guide to Motivating Yourself and Your Team. ."Behind the Scenes of a Great Turnaround." Innovative Leader Series. Communication improvements ||Methodology(ies) | |enabled a continuous-learning environment that could || | |intervene in problem areas as required. When customers || |between reps and |experienced flaws, communication structures enabled an || |managers improved |investigation that recalled, then fixed and relaunched || |sales architecture |the product. That is where operations management came in. Starting in 2 ,new CEO Anne Mulcahy began another transformation and turnaround. 1. Though it charged premium prices, ithad 86% market share as of 1974. (As a side note: Critics(Rogers 324ff) highlight Xerox's misuse of PARC at this period. Retained |Stopping production|(Pacetta) ||customers |on a bad machine, | || |fixing it offline, | || |then reintroducing | || |it | || 3. Multiple management layers wereestablished, which retarded decision making, product innovation, andattention to customer service and product quality. Under what it called Leadership Through Quality, process analysis wasimplemented (Ramcharamdas 63). Xerox's attention to these concepts has been documented asimportant in turnaround efforts in the 198 s, after the company, a longtimeindustry leader, drastically slumped from that position because ofcompetition and its own mishandling of corporate growth and marketoperations. That is, "internal marketing" is required toget all employees onboard with the program (Ramcharamdas 36). Today, it is ubiquitous in the world of business and personaluse, with multiple models available to individual and institutionalcustomers. . Theexperience of Xerox Corporation illustrates that an operations-managementintervention can succeed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.Ramcharamdas, Ennala. At minimum,that product has to be managed properly by strategically deployedoperations that support rather than work against the quality. A one-year chart of its stockprice shows a downward tendency, though this may be due to economic ratherthan enterprise factors Retained from the original operations managementdeployment is the need for good communication throughout the organization.If that is true, then use good communication methods, which are a featureof operations management may be the key to Xerox's ability to come backfrom various slumps, even if it cannot avoid them. Thesewere not meant to punish sales reps but to show that the home office wouldbe available to them for support and help. This was reinforced with follow-up training and support in sales techniques with both reps and salesmanagers on an ongoing basis: "frequent trips into the field serve asinvaluable reality checks" (Pacetta 59). Xerox's operations management intervention succeeded. MGMT383 Operations Management Matrix to Support Term Paper Strategic Nature of Operations|Content Item |Response |Explanation/Justification ||Business Overview | | || Company Name |Xerox Corporation | || Industry |Document |www.xerox.com/annualreport/2 8/financial_overview.html || |reproduction | || |technology, service| || Revenue |2 7: $17,228 B; |www.xerox.com/annualreport/2 8/financial_overview.html || |2 8: $17,6 8 B | || Number of employees|57,1 employees |www.xerox.com/go/xrx/template/ 19d.jsp?view=Factbook&id=|| |worldwide |Overview ||Customer Overview | | || Target Market |Users of |www.xerox.com/annualreport/2 8/financial_overview.html;|| |document-imaging |Pacetta || |technology | || Customer Order |High-quality | ||Qualifiers |documents | || Customer Order |Ease/efficiency of | ||Winners |document technology| ||Operations | | ||Operations | | ||Competitive Priority | | || Primary |Quality |Focus on improved sales techniques (Pacetta); commitment|| | |to R&D (Mulcahy) || Secondary |Flexibility |Reorganization to meet customer needs (Pacetta; || | |Ramcharamdas) ||Key Performance | | ||Indicators | | ||Recent Performance | | ||Results | | || 1. "Xerox Creates a Continuous Learning Environment for Business Transformation." Planning Review (March-April 1994: 34-38.Rogers, Everett M. Improved sales |Better |(Pacetta) ||process |communication | || |between reps and | || |management | || 2. Benchmarking in the form of absorbing best practices not just fromcompeting copier manufacturers but from multiple sources as well, wasanother strategy: "We shopped for good ideas and didn't care where theycame from--L.L. One example was improving performance of theXerox sales force. That comes down to anintention to reduce the costs of creating and manipulating documents. Xerox tried to ignore them andpersisted with high production costs and high fees--and fielded growingcomplaints from customers about product and service quality. Result: As of1984 Xerox had a 17% market share and $28 million in profits. | | ||Process Details | | || Process flow |Horizontal rather |(Pacetta; Mulcahy) ||classification |than hierarchical |After 2 , Mulcahy retained horizontal communication || |communication |but revised it in organizational chart so that || |between sales reps |responsibilities could be clearly identified || |and manager | || Servicescape |Better |(Pacetta). Theproblem with implementing programs like TQM is that they have to overcomestagnant internal operations. Through the 196 s, Xerox "surged from strength to strength" (IndiaCenter, 2 9). Meanwhile, hierarchical management was replaced bya more action-oriented, horizontal organization plan. She feltthere had been too much focus on process, not enough on customers, and thathorizontal organization, a matrix solution, had degenerated so thatresponsibilities were not clear. However,between the mid-199 s and 2 Xerox had another slump. 4. "Action Research for Operations Management." International Journal of Operations & Production Management 22 (2 2): 22 -24 .Pacetta, Frank, with Roger Gittines. The big picture isthat it implemented Total Quality Management; however, Xerox had its ownversion. The head of sales went into the field with reps on theirsales calls so he could observe the quality of sales presentations. 2 9. A company may have the best technology, the best employees, and thehighest market share in the world, but if it fails to deploy the techniquesof operations management appropriately, it can expect its technology to bemarginalized in the marketplace or decline in actual quality (or both) andits employees and market share to suffer. ||Inventory Mgmt | | ||Methodology(ies) | | ||Scheduling | | ||Methodology(ies) | | | Figure 1. Xerox's history brought operations management to bear in severalareas, two of which are especially noteworthy and each of which overlapssomewhat with the other: benchmarking to improve quality and processanalysis. "The Nature of Technology Transfer." Science Communication (2 2): 323-341.Xerox Corporation. 3. Meanwhile, agile Japanese competitors were developing less expensive,better-quality document-imaging products. As of 2 6 and continuing forward, Xerox is deemedto be in a positive position (Ackerman). Theperformance criteria are simple: The equipment should perform consistentlyas expected and as advertised, and documents generated by the equipmentshould be of the quality expected, that is, of the highest qualitypossible. Initially, Xerox document-production technology generated photocopies, but today that technology isdeployed in varieties of computer printers and scanners as well. Breakdown of communication in R&D led to ||details |communication |concealment of a new product's flaws. Thus in line with TQM ideas, Xeroxintervened to stop production on the bad product, fixed the flaws, and onlythen redeployed it successfully, rather than try to constantly play catch-up with a poor product. Xerox Stock Price, 2 8-2 9 (as of 4/9/9: $5.46) [pic] Source: Xerox Corporation http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=1 4414&p=irol-stockChart Works CitedAckerman, Ruthie. Xeroxdocument-creating technology, originally discovered in the late 193 s, madeit to the market in the 195 s and achieved wide distribution beginning inthe 196 s. That facilitatedcommunication and executive sales support, which led to more collaborativesales and more customer satisfaction. Turnaroundwas needed. PARC wasoriginally created as a leading-edge think tank that actually put thecompany on the brink of dominating the personal-computer market in the197 s; antagonistic corporate culture suppressed PARC.) Also, Xerox did notreally try to control production and sales costs. Customers want to create documents with high-utility text and imagesthat can be generated at a reasonable price on reliable equipment.

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