Operations management is an essential aspect in most businesses that companies have to utilize in order to remain successful and competitive in the market. Operations management stipulates what kind of business processes and approaches a company utilizes in production, management of quality, projects, inventory control, social responsibility, as well as, in controlling operating costs. This paper is going to be about a different number of these operations management aspects as utilized in Disney Company. To accomplish this task, the paper is going to give a brief overview of what the company does, and what its main business areas are, it is also going to focus on a number of business approaches the company uses to run the company, in addition to predicting the company’s future.
Operations management is the discipline in management that deals with the effective management of activities and resources that companies use to produce and deliver the services and goods of any company. Therefore, operations management professionals manage the materials, people, information resources and equipment that a company requires to come up with goods and services and to deliver them. They also manage and design the business activities and processes that are used to produce those services and goods. As it is going to be seen, operations management is one business aspect that cannot be ignored in the creation of successful businesses and companies (Fisk, Grove& John, 2009). The paper will see how Disney has utilized different aspects of operations management to manage such activities and business processes like quality, social responsibility, cost, inventory and project control, as well as, production of services.
To comprehensively analyze how effectively Disney has utilized different approaches in operations management, one particular approach is going to be useful. The paper will take the approach or form of an analysis, by analyzing the different ways in which the company is run, and through the analysis if the different challenges and successes of the company. It is also going to be through this analysis that the paper will look the future of Disney, and what is expected in the future in regards to Disney. As its going to be seen, the paper will address four main points. These will include a brief overview or summary of the company operations, the business approaches used by the company, how the company has fared in the areas of social responsibility and management, and lastly, the future of the company. These points will be addressed in relation to the main issue of the paper; operations management. It is essential to note that this is an extremely critical topic for all types of business managers, who should particularly find this topic to be of interest, because it is only through the utilization of the appropriate operations management approaches that a business or company can emerge successful in the market.
Disney is one of the most known names in the entertainment industry, for its provision of assorted entertainment for both children and adults; with internationally known theme parks, resorts, business franchise, and animation studios the company has nearly dominated the whole industry. Walt Disney resorts and parks is one of the many segments of the company that is comprised of a number of holiday resorts and theme parks, in addition to a wide variety of leisure enterprises that are family oriented. This is one of the four main segments of the business. The other three segments of Disney Company include media networks, consumer products and studio entertainment. The segment that deals with theme parks and resorts was started in the year 1971 as one of the many attractions of the company when Magic Kingdom, a resort of the company in Florida, was opened to add to the company’s theme park Disneyland which is located in California. In 2009, it was estimated that the company owned the most visited theme parks in the world, having more than 119 million visitors (The Walt Disney Company, n.d).
Since the Walt Disney Company was founded in the year 1923, it has managed to stay on top of the competitive entertainment industry. Perhaps the company and its affiliated company has managed to achieve this though its unrelentingfaithfulness to the commitment they have to create for their customers entertainment experiences that are based on a long- time tradition of quality creative entertainment. The company has for long emphasized its commitment to providing its customers with quality entertainment experiences, whether it is through its media networks or through its resorts and theme parks. The quality of the services the company provides for its customers is exceptionally high, evidenced by the large following the company has in customers. ‘Give the public everything you can give them’, is the edict the company operates with (The Walt Disney Company, n.d). It is from this simple statement that every employee in Disney strives to exceed the expectations of the customers. The company has relied on the values and traditions of pursuit of quality for more than eighty years, something that has ensured it a top position in the industry and immense success in business.The company utilizes assorted tools for each and every task. However, the integration matrix is one tool that the company has found useful in combining the use of delivery systems and quality standards and development of strategic plans for the creation and monitoring id the production and delivery of experiences to customers that are seamless(Editorial, 2011).
Among the critical decisions Disney company makes about service employees, none is as crucial as spurring them to perform their roles with excellence. This complex issue usually occurs in numerous service organizations, not only in Disney Company, where numerous employee positions can be poorly compensated, unappealing and unappreciated. Against this backdrop, it becomes easy for employees to fall short of giving their responsibilities the kind of attention that the company requires. All workers have a chance to perform or exercise discretionally effort in fulfilling any role, or task and they in most cases fail to give it their all. Discretionary effort can be defined as the difference between the maximum effort one can apply in performing a task and the least effort needed to simply get by(Fisk, Grove& John, 2009).
The critical challenge most organizations face in this aspect, therefore, is in regards to keeping their workers motivated enough to operate at the maximum end of the scale of discretionary effort. This, however, has been notably one of the areas that Disney has addressed adequately in that the company has managed to keep its employees well motivated for maximum productivity. One approach the company has utilized is the internal marketing approach which mainly focuses on treating employees as internal customers of the organization, responding to their wants and needs, and promoting the company, as well as, its policies to the workers. This approach sees workers as customers who can just be attracted to the company as they can be alienated depending on how well the company treats and markets them. As a result, Disney has emerged productive because of keeping its workers well motivated(Disney, n.d).
Other than keeping its employees happy, Disney is also dedicated to keeping the surrounding community and the environment happy, as well. The company seeks to create an environmental policy that is positive for the company, and for the future generations. To achieve this, Disney is committed to minimizing its overall effects on the environment while activating and encouraging behavior that is environmentally responsive on the part of its employees, business associates, guests and the rest of the world. Specifically, the company aims to conserve energy, water and ecosystems; to reduce waste and to encourage the public consciousness in the support of sustaining of the environment; and to reduce the green house emissions. Also, Disney seeks to come up with, understand and measure the indirect, as well as, direct effects of its operations and establish realistic and innovative solutions for mitigating those effects. Additionally, the company complies with, and at times surpasses the requirements, regulations and laws of environmental policies. Since days in memorial, the environment and conservation have been crucial themes in the offerings of the company, from television programming to motion pictures to the company’s resorts and parks through its corporate responsibility programs and goals(Media Decoder, 2009).
Continuous improvement of the employees and production processes in Disney is another element of the company worth noting. Part of what works for employee engagement is regarding them as the driving forces behind improving the organization. This is what is commonly referred to as continuous improvement. This kind of improvement puts emphasis on developing a better guest experience, or simply coming up with ways to reduce cost without affecting the processes and activities of the organization. A great example of how this can be done is something that happened at Magic Kingdom. A while back, when guests with children entered the resort they had to head to the train station where they could rent a stroller for their children. This presented them with a challenge in one main way. The strollers could not be founded and therefore could not be left anywhere without causing inconveniences in case guests wanted to experience a number of attractions (The Walt Disney Company, n.d). The company was presented with a challenge, and it almost came to buying new strollers that could be founded and easy to manage. But this would be extremely expensive. The company, however, came up with a better solution, they partnered with the railway station and came up with a plan whereby guests could leave their rented strollers at one station and pick up another one at the next station. There would be a supply of strollers at each station(The Walt Disney Company, n.d). This created better guest satisfaction and experience without necessarily increasing costs. This is an essential example of how significant continuous improvement is to organizations. It is also an example of how the company carefully manages its operational costs and inventory to keep them at the minimum level possible(Buttonwood, 2011).
It is appropriate to argue that the company has been extremely successful in project management and in social responsibility. As it has already been seen, the company has continuously sought ways through which it can remain a responsible corporate member of the society through the conservation and sustainability of the environment. In the case of project management, the company has also been extremely successful, what with the numerous projects that the company has undertaken in and become successful. For example, the company other than dealing in resorts and theme parks and other entertainment enterprises, it has also been extremely successful in such areas as media networks, studio entertainment and consumer products; producing internationally recognized movies, television programs, toys and other consumer products (The Walt Disney Company, n.d).
With all this success, it is only fair to predict that company will continue to beam in its success as a result of these remarkable business processes and approaches. The company is expecting to expand its business internationally, with a new resort underway in Shangai that should be running by the end of 2014 (The Walt Disney Company, n.d). In addition, other resorts and parks like the ones in Paris and Hong Kong have room for future development and expansions. It is highly likely that with its current success rate, Disney will continue to hold its position in the entertainment industry if not to improve it.
The purpose of this paper was mainly to look at the different ways in which Disney has utilized different aspects of operations management to manage such activities and business processes like quality, social responsibility, cost, inventory and project control, as well as, production of services. It is clear from the analysis that has been done above that the company has performed excellently in the entertainment industry, and that this success has been as a result of utilization of the appropriate business processes and approaches such as employee motivation, observance of quality products and services, the utilization of continuous improvement process, limited production costs and the respect that the company has for the environment and the community at large.
Buttonwood. (2011). Slow finance. A new approach to fund management. The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/21533430
Disney. (n.d). Disney approach to quality service. Disney’s approach series. Retrieved from http://wdwinv.com/difiles/Quality%20Service%203.5%20day.pdf
Editorial. (2011). Chiquita and Walt Disney World Resort announce multi-year alliance to offer fresh, healthy Chiquita and fresh express products to Disney guests. New York Times. Retrieved from http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/stocks/news/press_release.asp?docTag=2011072 91307PR_NEWS_USPRX____CL44088&feedID=600&press_symbol=80700&scp=1&s q=walt %20disney%20quality%20&st=Search
Fisk, R., Grove, S. J. & John, J. (2009). Interactive services marketing. New York: Cengage Learning Inc.
Media Decoder. (2009). Disney’s green initiative takes another step. New York Times. Retrieved from http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/disneys-green-initiative-takes- another- step/?scp=4&sq=disney%20company%20corporate%20responsibility&st=Search
The Walt Disney Company. (n.d). The Walt Disney company and affiliated companies- company overview. Disney. Retrieved from http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/overview.html
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