June 2, 2013
University of Phoenix
The business world is a vast and complicated industry that has many different facets to it. Even within the some type of industry, the differences are obvious. Fast food restaurants, department stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and grocery stores are types of different of businesses and they all have different operating systems. As consumers, there is the expectations that service will be granted. There is no thought about how the system operates. With all the different operating systems available, the businesses have many different ones to choose from. Observing three businesses and the way they operate shows the differences and similarities in their operations. Fast food restaurants, grocery stores and department stores are all driven by providing customer service. The employee’s goals are to provide the best service they can, but the operating system they use to do so is different in all three businesses.
There are three types of operating systems that businesses operate with. There is the small-batch production, which is “an operating system designed to make one-of-a-kind or small quantities of customized products” (Jones, 2007, p 382). Customized products are “products designed to match the needs of individual customers” (2007, p 382). The second operating system is mass production. Mass production is “an operating system based on the use of automated machines and standard operating procedures to make work routine and create a large number of standardized products. Standardized products are products that are identical” (2007, p 384). The third operating system is flexible production, which is “an advanced, computer-based system that allows mass production to achieve the benefits of small-batch production” (2007, p 385).
In McDonald’s, the operating system that the customer will see is the small-batch production. McDonald’s goal is to serve hamburgers, french fries, soda, milk shakes along with other menus items that can be provided to the customer quickly. The small-batch production is system is the one the customer will see as they are there for one purpose and that is too get food. Each order is prepared for each customer individually. What is not seen is the other operating system that is utilized in order to provide the services expected. Mass production is a system used to prepare the items needed for the restaurant to operate. The hamburgers, french fries, and food products are mass produced. The McDonald’s Corporation mass produces the food to be shipped to each individual location to then be prepared and served. Wal-Mart, a department store uses mass production as their main operating system. The Wal-Mart Corporation is based in Arkansas and the ordering of the products is done through their warehouse system. When you go to a Wal-Mart, they are all similar with the products sold and the way the purchases are transacted. Wal-Mart’s are all corporate owned, allowing them to have full control over each facility. Employees work in one area of the store. They are hired for that area and that is the only place they will work. “Mass production is highly efficient operating systems that results in lower operating costs” (2007, p 384). Wal-Mart operates on this principal which is reflected in the lower costs to the customer. Since they use the mass production operating system and purchase the products to be sold in mass, they are able to pass those