Manufacturing or Service and Inventory Management

Subject: Management
Pages: 10
Words: 2813
Reading time:
11 min
Study level: Bachelor

Introduction

The development of a digital application is a comparatively new field that has only recently been aligned with the set principles of scheduling and inventory management. Owing to the fact that the process of app development occurs primarily in the digital context and does not require a significant number of physical resources comparable to that one of manufacturing other types of services or products, it is often deemed as not requiring inventory at all (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). However, the specified assumption is not quite true. Namely, by focusing on selecting the best human resources possible for the project in question, one will be able to achieve stellar results and develop a perfectly functioning app.

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Service Process Flow Chart

The service in question will suggest assisting entrepreneurs with identifying the key steps to be taken when designing their business, as well as the main obstacles of which they must be wary, and the essential strengths that they can use to gain immediate representation in their selected area. Therefore, as Appendix A shows, the service process will be represented by five major stages. Though the specified phases are substantially generalized and simplified in the chart under analysis, they represent the essential stages of the app functioning. Beginning with with the identification of the industry and the key business goals, the app will guide its user through the process of entrepreneurship planning and assist in making key calculations (see Fig. 1 below).

Service Process Flowchart.
Figure 1. Service Process Flowchart.

Starting with the identification of the industry and the assessment of the key market forces that determine the performance of a company in it, the app will require its user to select a company size. Thus, the opportunities and threats for functioning in the target market will be detailed. Specifically, the app will demand specific data concerning the number of the staff, the amount of available resources and financial capacities.

At the next stage of the service process, the user will be asked to set the goals and key milestones for accomplishing these goals. Thus, the app will help its user to create a draft of the overall project and determine its feasibility in the identified market niche. Moreover, at the specified stage, the mission and vision of the organization will be formed, defining the further course of the company’s functioning. Overall, the stage in question will provide a template for the user to fill out in order to create a framework for the entrepreneurship and evaluate its viability against the key market forces determined at Stage One.

As soon as the framework for the business is established, the app will offer the user to introduce the data relevant to the company’s performance. Specifically, the app will be ready for the user to fill out the blanks with the profits obtained, the number of customers attracted, and other relevant information. Apart from the evaluation of the company’s performance and the identification of the milestones met, the app will provide an opportunity for process tracking. Thus, problems in the company’s performance will be identified, and adequate measures for addressing these problems will be found.

Overall, the app in question will imply determining the main area of business development, the associated threats, and the chances for a specific business to succeed in it based on the input of the key asset and advantages that the entrepreneurship in question has. Though the specified description of the app is quite generalized, it does provide a genera outlook on its functions and capabilities, particularly, in regard to the assessment of the target market environment. Most importantly, the app will split the process of establishing a business into several major steps that can be controllable and manageable. Finally, the opportunities for obtaining key financial estimate and controlling the observed changes within the market and the performance of the business should be outlined as the major advantages of the app in question.

Process Time Study

The process of developing an app might seem slightly lengthy to a side observer since, as stated above, the framework itself does not have a substantial range of inventory and is quite straightforward. However, due to the necessity to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration between experts, as well as ensure that the app functions properly, from the correctness of the source code to the efficiency in its overall performance, such as the production of a proper financial prognosis based on the budgetary input, the process of app development may turn out to be quite time-consuming. Therefore, currently, it is believed that the app will take approximately six months to be developed, with the issues such as the debugging process and testing being taken into account.

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As shown in Appendix B, the process of frontend development is going to take the longest amount of time, which is justified by the necessity to ensure that customers find the design easy to understand and simple to utilize for the management of their entrepreneurship design. Since the app will target different types of entrepreneurship, multiple options will have to be incorporated while also keeping the app simple and convenient. Therefore, the integration of responsive design and an intuitively understandable interface will be vital, which will require multiple weeks of considering different options and design choices. Furthermore, the compatibility of the sleeted design with the functions of the app will have to be checked, which will take approximately four months overall.

Similarly, the backend design will require significant time to be developed and tested, which is demanded due to the need to provide a seamless management of key processes and introduce multiple functions into the app while keeping it comparatively simple and effective. Namely, the challenges faced at the backend design stage will involve creating the code that will connect different aspects of the app functioning and allow reducing complex computations of the budget and the market financial factors to comparatively simple and basic calculations. Additionally, due to budgetary restrictions, it will be reasonable to consider making the backend system scalable in the future. However, at present, a regular back-end system should be considered as the basis for creating the application. Thus, three months are deemed to be enough for the specified stage. In turn, the frontend design will need to remain as simple as possible so that any user could apply it to any business context and build a framework for managing the company immediately.

Finally, the quality assurance process will require several stages of testing and improvement. Specifically, ensuring that users can effectively input data into the app is critical to the overall impression of the app and its reception in the market. Likewise, the accuracy of the computations and the regular updates regarding crucial changes in the target market for higher precision of the calculations will be vital. Therefore, the specified aspect of the app functions must also be checked thoroughly. The textual part of the app, particularly, the information offered in the popup messages, will also have to be checked carefully so that it would not contain grammatical or spelling errors. Finally, the app will have to be tested for its use on multiple devices. The specified process will presumably take at least three months so that all loose needs could be located and managed appropriately.,

Supply Chain Utilization

Building a streamlined supply chain that will allow developing the service and delivering it directly to customers represents the key part of the specified project. Being represented by a digital app instead of a traditional product or service, the supply chain in question will require the introduction of several specific items. Namely, since the SC in question will not require the use of specific components typically incorporated into SCM, such as inventory management, the entire process will be simplified to four key stages (see Appendix C).

As shown in Appendix, the SCM for digital apps starts with the identification of key components to be included into the service. The described stage is akin to the allocation of resources for a physical project (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). At this point, the key software tools and human resources will have to be selected in order to introduce the app to the target market and advertise it to the potential customers. Specifically, apart from app developers and IT experts, the services of suppliers of key tools, namely, software vendors, will be needed (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Afterward, progressing to the second stage of app development will be possible.

The creation of the app itself will imply coordinating the performance of multiple experts involved. These will include the coding department, the UI/UX designer designers, the android developers, the iOS developers, the testing department, and the quality assurance department. Since the project in question is quite small currently, it will be reasonable to select one expert per each department. The specified choice will also allow making the SCM process much smoother, particularly, in relation to information management within the team.

Building and deployment as the third stage of the process will suggest that the service should function impeccably. The specified stage will imply tight collaboration among the experts mentioned above at all five stages of the app creation. Specifically, the wireframe will have to be designed followed by the introduction o key concepts and supported by the development of collaborative design. The latter will imply both the user interface and the score functions within the app. At the prototyping stage, the service will be tested actively, and adequate improvements and adjustments will be introduced accordingly so that the service could unction impeccably. Finally, at the user testing stage, the quality control framework will be deployed. The specified steps will be carried out based on the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze- Improve-Control) principle of the Six Sigma framework, which allows introducing a new service while also launching the course of continuous improvement within a project (see appendix D) (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Thus, problems in the app’s functioning will be spotted and amended immediately.

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Arguably, the fifth stage of the end service delivery to the target audience, the service distribution stage should be added to the SCM process. Specifically, the app will have to be introduced into Google Play and Microsoft Store, as well as the App Store for iPhone users. The specified step will allow completing the SCM framework and ensuring that the app is successfully introduced into the target market.

When addressing possible issues within the supply chain in question, one must mention the threat that unpatched software represents for app development. Since the process under analysis, namely, the creation of a digital app, hinges mostly on the use of a variety of software types, incorporating the one that has untested issues within it implies dealing with multiple errors, app lagging, and similar concerns (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Therefore, to ensure that the software to be used for the development of the app in question does not jeopardize the project, utilizing only the programs from verified sources and companies will be vital.

Capacity Plan

Implying the identification of the hardware and software needed for the development of an application, the capacity plan for the software in question will require considering not only technical, but also economic, financial, and legal aspects of the specified procedure. For instance, the first stage of the capacity planning process will demand that the Service Level Agreements (SLA) within the project have been managed properly and currently align with the set legal standards. Specifically, checking the current state of SLA with vendors and key service providers will be vital for keeping the project sustainable. Presently, the project lacks the agreement with the providers of key software, as well as contracts with suppliers, which must be addressed in the nearest future.

Afterward, the level of current IT capacity must be measured. Specifically, introducing performance monitoring tools is highly recommended. Apart from deploying quality control frameworks such as the Six Sigma, the use of digital tools for capacity monitoring and management will be vital since the specified tools will crate the support system for managing quality and determining flaws within the service (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Furthermore, the assessment of the current bandwidth and the number of transactions needed to run the simulation of the app will have to be performed. Likewise, the correct use of SSL among customers for connecting to WebLogic Servers will have to be tested to make sure that the app runs properly (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Consequently, the end product will remain functional, and the app will perform as intended, processing data and providing the output that the users will find important for structuring and designing heir future ventures.

Once the levels of capacity are defined, the needs of the project will be outlined. Specifically, the necessity to ensure flawless performance of the app, as well as facilitate constant updates so that it could continue functioning perfectly, should be prioritized. Another vital aspect of the project concerns the assessment of consolidation opportunities. Specifically, the current consolidation capacity of the project must be assessed so that the options for the future management of the increasing workload (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Indeed, with the rise in the number and range of users, the app will require a more effective tool for managing the existing resources. By introducing the principles of consolidation into the process of app capacity measurement, one will minimize the costs for app development significantly (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Therefore, the proposed capacity plan will have to include opportunities for consolidating key processes within the nearest future.

Finally, based on the performed capacity analysis, necessary actions will be taken. Specifically, the app will require an enhanced infrastructure capacity by consolidating some of the key processes currently included into the SCM. Specifically, one could recommend consolidating the process of backend and frontend data consolidation so that the time taken for the project to be completed could be reduced. Moreover, the focus on consolidation will allow for more effective interdisciplinary cooperation within the team. As a result, the functioning of the app is bound to be seamless, which suggests that the services that it will provide are going to be impeccable.

Inventory Management Strategy

As emphasized above, the process of app development suggests a rather scarce inventory due to the lack of physical assets that the specified type of project requires. Nevertheless, an effective inventory management strategy can be designed so that the necessary resources could be allocated properly. Specifically, given the fact that the software to be used in the project and the human resources that will constitute the core of the team represent the most valuable assets, the IM strategy must prioritize the needs of the staff and ensure that the software is used to its maximum capacity.

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To address the needs of the staff members and create a proper workplace environment where they will be able to collaborate and deliver the expected results within the allotted time, the Just-in-Time (JIT) framework will be used. Thus, the set deadlines will be met successfully since the JIT strategy will lead to cementing the cycle of improvement within the inventory management framework similarly to how the DMAIC tool will introduce continuous improvement into the project in general (see Appendix E) (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Thus, the JIT framework must be seen as an inseparable part of the IM process.

Finally, to ensure that the inventory in question is managed properly, one must incorporate the SCRUM technique as a part of the agile project management framework. The SCRUM approach will allow keeping all of the team members updated on the changes occurring within the PM framework and the issues that they need to consider when implementing their tasks (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018). Involving iterative and incremental principles in developing software, the SCRUM approach will guarantee that the resulting service will allow optimizing the key processers.

Conclusion

By building a team of experts that will constitute the core of the team for developing, testing, and launching the app, one will create a product that will be widely enjoyed and unanimously appreciated among target audiences. Specifically, the app will be easy to use and crucial in arranging the key goals and steps for creating a business venture. By following the critical stages of app development and connecting them to the established principles of inventory management, particularly, the arrangement of the human resources, one will be able to create a viable and efficient app service that will be unanimously enjoyed and actively used by entrepreneurs worldwide.

Overall, it is recommended that the DMAIC framework, the SCRUM technique, and the JIT approach should be deployed to ensure that the available inventory is managed appropriately. Thus, the delivery of the specified service to the end customer is expected to be impeccable. Furthermore, the proposed strategy will create opportunities for the introduction of incremental improvement and innovation into the app design, thus, keeping it competitive and relevant in the ever-changing global economy.

Reference

Warburton, R., & Kanabar, V. (2018). The art and science of project management (3rd ed.). Lulu.com.

Appendix A: Service Provider Flowchart

Service Provider Flowchart

Appendix B: Process Time Study

Activities January February March April May June
Design Specs X
App UI/UX and Graphic Design X X
Backend Development X X X
Frontend Development X X X X
QA X X X

Appendix C: Supply Chain for an App Development

Supply Chain for an App Development

Appendix D: DMAIC for the App Development Stage (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018)

DMAIC for the App Development Stage

Appendix E: JIT for Inventory Management (Warburton & Kanabar, 2018)

JIT for Inventory Management