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    Understanding Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

    Question :

    the assessment will cover certain questions like:

    1. Give the two important areas for operation and supply management in NHS.
    2. Explain appropriate theories and techniques used by NHS.
    3. Give appropriate recommendations.
    Answer :


    Operations and management have their own importance in all business. This are the terms which are used in order to run a business in better way. The chosen company for this report is National Health Service (NHS) which is one of the public health services in UK and this health service system is operates independently in all sector and also accountable for all the services. The report critically reviews relevant operations, logistics and supply chain management theories and discuss relevant and similar example through appropriate solutions and provide recommendation in order to improve the area.

    Company Overview

    In the UK, NHS is operating independently and they are liable to the relevant government. It is basically a publicly funded national system of healthcare and is also entitled to be the biggest single payer healthcare system. It has been originated in the year 1948 and is currently operating with around 14, 00, 000 number of employees in total. Even in this country, there has been increasing policy for the national health services and it can be difficult in order to find the evidences of the effect but still in this hospital, there are many operations which needs to be perfect in order to attract wide range of customers (Beaulieu, Roy and Landry, 2018). And this are managing quality and logistics mix such as channels, networks, transportation and managing inventory as well as capacity.

    Two selected area of operations and supply chain management

    For NHS there is two area selected and this are as shown below:

    Managing Quality: In hospitals, it is the foremost requirement which needs to be take care in proper way such that the quality of services which are provided to their patients should be perfect and in well condition. For managing the quality of services for NHS is deal with the three-quality care for all such as safety, clinical effectiveness and experience of their patients. It has been analysed that managing quality is the main key aspect which needs to be manage as per the time (Dias, Rocha and Viana, 2018). Managing quality is not only a means to improve things as per the patient’s requirements but it is also concerned with the improvements in the care plan and the accuracy of the clinical record keeping, development the records of electronic and also shared the care plans. Managing quality is also concerned with restructuring and integrating the improved care pathways and the actions to support the people for their long-term conditions to manage their condition in a better way.

     Logistics mixes such as channels, networks, transportation and managing inventory as well as capacity: In NHS, another operation management and supply logistic chain management is channels and networks which needs to be in well condition. If the channels and network of the hospital is structured in well-mannered then it will be helpful for the company as well in order to draw the attention of many customers towards them. Logistics management is also focus on inventory and transportation management. For example, in NHS the inventory management is consider the old and mature field in the supply chain management. If the inventory system is best and it will let people know about the stock then it will be helpful to determine the exact goods are in stock and what needs to be managed.

    Transportation is another field of which is consider in operational management and it has been analysed that there is a remarkable growth in UK regarding the transportation facility. If the shipment model for transportation is well structured then it will be helpful for the company to maximizes their current business (Feibert, Andersen and Jacobsen, 2017). Hence, it has been analysed that developing good infrastructure related to their framework is good and a well rail truck intermodal transportation for their hazardous material are represent the current model. Moreover, for NHS, UK also developing their new and well settled transportation as well as inventory system and this also includes sea, road, air transport system. If this operation system is in well condition then it will help a company and it is also necessary to create the condition for improving the economic condition of the country and further help to increases the competitiveness of their goods to decrease the transport cost for the transportation that deals with road.

    For NHS, it is quite necessary for the company to manage the operation as well as logistic supply chain management system. Hence, it directly affects the company's overall performance directly or indirectly. For example, if the management quality of the NHS is in well-structured and transportation, inventory management system is also good then it will help a company to maximizes their profit and their patients are also satisfied with their offered services. Hence, if the company also applied different theories in order to improve the condition of their services which are offered to their patients then it will be helpful for a firm to raise the sales and improve the brand image in market (Gunasekaran and Subramanian, 2018).

    Critical review of relevant Operation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management theories

    Theories and techniques that should be applied

    Theories and techniques are actually sued in order to improve the provided services for the company. Similarly, in the case of NHS, there is a need to improve the services which are offered to their patients and this can be done in many ways such as:

    Total Quality Management: It is a tool that is actually used in many businesses such as private sector, public sector and different hospitals also. In the health and care industry, this technique is actually used in order to satisfy the customers and also to improve the quality of hospitals as well as their productivity too. But there are so many difficulties are also found by implementing the technique into the work area such as it creates problem for unique relationship hospitals which have with the physicians and also creates conflicts between the hospitals arrangements and creates difficulties in quality assurance programs (Total Quality Management, 2018). Therefore, total quality management is also considering the first quality-oriented philosophy for the health care industry. Basically, it is based upon three principles, such as continuous quality improvement, customer focus and teamwork. If this thing is in proper way then it will be helpful for NHS to improve the quality of offered services as well.

    In the hospital sector, this term is also related to patient care and to the services which are offered to their customers or a patient. If the quoted company uses this model into their working area then it will be helpful to develop the long-term relationship with their external and internal suppliers and also involve the staff who actually work in the prescribe system. In addition to this, the model of TQM is also help to achieve the long-term improvement practices into their working area. In addition to this, total quality management also help to measure the service intangibility and performance heterogeneity as well as customer producer inseparability (Longaray and et.al., 2018).

    Implementing new and advance technology in hospitals: in NHS, it is quite necessary for implementing new techniques as well as techniques in order to improve the operation work in a company. Moreover, new and advance hospitals management software are also helpful to the hospitals, patients or workers. Recently a new managements software is also introducing such as Med- E- Nave that provides all solution related to finance, clinical or operational activity. This software system also helpful to operational theatre activities in order to provide best result. In order to improve the system of inventory management, NHS should apply all new and advance technology in their working place so that it will be helpful for them to get instant and reliable solution of the problems. Another alternative solution is labelling process which help NHS to put all the medicine in proper way so that it will help them to determine the exact medicine in a right place. By providing proper training session to their new staff members will also helpful to use those technologies into their working area. If NHS introduce new inventory system into the working area (Mahindroo, Samalia and Verma, 2018). Then there is necessary from the company to train the employees in order to operate the system into work area.

    This further includes the managing or tracking where the medical equipment needs to used or how to get them. Actually, many workers are not aware to the use of this inventory management system and even they are also not aware to common practices at that time there is a need to use those new technique into the working area. Hence, providing training session to those employees will be helpful in order to maintaining accountability for the company's inventory. In addition to this, transportation as well as channel of distribution needs to be improved as per the time and this can be achieved by NHS by using that new software into the working area because it will help them to save time as well as cost of the patient as well as workers too. Hence, a good inventory system or practices is not only help hospitals to decrease the cost of operations but also helpful to improve the operations. Even by providing proper training session to their staff members further help to reduce the overall cost which is incurred during the process. 

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    Analytic discussion with relevant and similar example(s) and applying appropriate solutions of Operations Management

    Potential area of improvements

    In hospital sector, there are so many areas which needs to be properly reviewed because it helps to raise the satisfaction level and directly affect the overall profitability of the company. Therefore, there is a need to critical review the potential area of improvements and these are as follows:

    • Safety and security need to be improved as per the passes of time. Hence the technology platform can also track all the routine work through the mobile device, and to provide safety as well as security through this is the foremost need of their customers. But the areas need to be improved by using all the latest and advance technologies into the working area (Radnor and et.al., 2015). Therefore, NHS also begun to use an automated approach to regulatory compliances so that it will help to save the time as well as provide better environment for the treatment.
    • As the inventory system of the company is also not up to the mark and it can be overcome by using radio- frequency identification that further help to maintain the accurate inventory of the medical equipment and also to track them easily. To use all the advance and latest technology into the working are will be helpful to determine the exact position of the company (Rais and et.al., 2018).
    • The software needs to be used because the company is not still used latest data in order to get faster result, there is a need to upgrade the system and adopt new and latest technologies in a working area so that it will be helpful for the company to save the cost as well as time for the workers as well as patients too.

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    By summing up above report it has been concluded that operation as well as logistics chain have their own importance in the hospital sector. Report concluded that there is a need to improve the quality of offered products as well as services to NHS and this can be done through applying total quality management services to it. Further report also concluded that there are some more areas which needs to improved such as information system, inventory system which needs to be improved as per the passes of time because it will further enhance the profit for the company.

    As NHS is one of the most leading hospital which provide best services to their patients but still the company is not uses all latest technologies into their working place and it further decrease the profit as well as did not help to retain their customers. Therefore, it is necessary to use some strategy in order to overcome the aforesaid problems and recommend NHS by considering the triple bottom line, as mentioned below:

    • Incorporation of economic factors- Adopting the new and advanced technology into the working area will be helpful for NHS in order to minimizes the time as well as cost (Volland and et.al., 2017). Proper and emergency services need to be provided in accurate time so that it will be helpful for many patients to utilize those services into the working area.
    • Incorporation of environmental factors- It is also to be recommended to NHS that, they should use Total Quality Management in order to improve the condition of their services. This will further help to raise the quality of offered products and it directly affect the company's brand image as well as attract wide range of customers towards them.
    • Incorporation of social factors- In addition to this, it is also recommended to NHS to train their staff members and also hire the professionals so that this will be helpful for the system in order to achieve all defined goals and objectives. Hence, the adoption of new system will further be helpful for the company so that it attracts wide range of customers towards them. To overcome the problem of understaffing, company needs to introduce the new system and by recruiting the capable employees will be helpful to use the new system into the working area.

    All above three dimensions are expected to lead into sustainable business practices in NHS as a mean of raising both its productivity as well as profitability to a great extent.  

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