An operation plan is an extremely useful part of doing business since it allows one to effectively manage the campaign and know how to get things done. Since we offer a broad range of educational services for schools and universities by providing them with learning platforms we need to know each our move.
For e-du Technologies we are planning to undertake the following steps of action:
- We will outsource our e-learning platform simply because it is cheaper to order and buy the given platform than to actually hire and maintain the full-time staff of professional programmers. The programmers pool will create the “deluxe” and “basic” versions of the platform. We will find programmers willing to get the job done either online or via the yellow pages. Once we find the programmers we will need to do the following:
– Know exactly what we want our platform to do and write its functionality down (Stevenson, 132).
– Present the programmers with the description of the task and enquire the price ticket for the given job as well as the due date they will be capable of meeting (Meredith, 40).
– Select among several programming companies the best based on price and on the due date that meets our expectations and planning.
- When offering our services to individual schools or universities we will engage in the following procedures and sequential steps as depicted below:
– Preparation. During this step we need to know the needs that school, colleges or universities might have with respect to a learning platform as well as the areas that we plan to cover with our platform (Gaither, 111). We need to think if it will be directed solely to a classroom study, a distance learning or perhaps it could also include some administrative module that the university/college might need to have (e.g. payroll, staffing/hiring, bookkeeping). We need to be aware of the competition and know what services and learning platforms they offer. Then we need to find out the areas that will make our product more attractive to the schools or universities. Will we focus just on low price or perhaps should we charge more while providing services superior to our competitors’. Also we might want to see what niches are unoccupied, so that our services appear unique and novel, yet at the same time very useful for chosen educational institutions (Chase, 311).
– Initial contact. During this step we will need to contact all the schools, colleges and universities that we believe might use our services/educational platform. Since we do not know what schools have such platforms and what schools want such platforms we will need to contact various schools, colleges and universities around the country. the list of schools, universities or colleges can be either found online (better) or in the city/state catalogues (aka yellow pages) (Berkun, 160). We need to maintain a list of educational institutions that we plan to contact and the list of educational institutions that we had contacted. Afterwards, we will mark whether or not these schools accept or reject our services. Ultimately, we are interested only in those schools who want our services (Heizer, 86).
– Program implementation. Once a school accepts our offer, we will discuss all the terms via the telephone. We will need to agree on the price, the date of installation and the functionality that our basic or deluxe versions of the platform provide. Once we agree on the matters over the phone, we will need to fly on-site to distribute the license to the school as well as install the program and instruct the program users. In some cases we could make use of remote access or video/audio conferencing capabilities to save time and money on commuting (Russell, 120). Once the program is up and running we will need to agree on the after-sale services and the program follow-up.
– Program support and follow-up. During this last step/stage we will engage in routine maintenance work and services. We will visit the universities on agreed dates to assure that our programs are updates and well-running (Raturi, 70). Also we need to agree on emergency support, should the program crash at some point of time. Certainly, we need to have a flexibly and comprehensive payment schedule and plan to receive over 50% of the total revenues from the continuous education/training/system support and consulting.
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Stevenson, William, Operations Management, Wiley and sons press, 2004.
Heizer, Jay, Operations Management, Prentice Hall, 2003.
Chase, Richard, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage with Student DVD, Barrons books, 2004.
Gaither, Norman, Operations Management, McGraw Hill, 2002.
Meredith, Jack, Operations Management for MBAs, 2nd Edition, Wiley and sons press, 2003.
Raturi, Amitabh, Principles of Operations Management (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac) (Swc-Management Series), Penguin books, 2003.
Russell, Roberta, Operations Management: Quality and Competitiveness in a Global Environment, NY Random House, 2004.
Berkun, Scott, The Art of Project Management, Prentice Hall, 2003.