2.13. Process Management in the Organization
A transformation process in operations management is one that would convert an input to the organization by adding value to them based on requirement of the consumer and then provides the output. In the case of the BOSE Corporation, the transformation process involves steps of manufacturing, research and development integration, innovation management, technology application among others. The end success product is thus created. Research on the process management of Bose seems to indicate that it more aligned towards integrated processes. The five key things to consider in process management are the process choice, the vertical integration efforts taken by the company, the resource flexibility, the customer involvement and finally the capital intensity. “Bose Corporation-a maker of high-end audio products-provides an example of process linkages that leverage IT capability to restructure business relationships. During the past five years, it has pioneered in an advanced version of just in time manufacturing” (Bettley et al., 2005, p. 155).
3.1 Process choice
Process choice is a significant aspect when it comes to process management. In process choice, project, job shop, batch flow, line flow and continuous flow are the main divisions. In this, a project process has a very high degree customization and hence is used mostly for low volume but high end customization style of projects. The Job shop process is the more traditional job process where orders are being manufactured in high quantities. While customization is also high the volume of manufacturing will be higher and hence the focus is mostly on the volume. In the case of Bose, the process choice would be a combination of project and job shop. The process is more suited for high end technology products where customizations to suite the requirements of Bose customers are also factored in.
3.2 Vertical Integration
Bose is an international corporation and has vertical integration to have benefits throughout the supply chain. Vertical integration is necessary for businesses that want to ensure that more of its processes and services or materials in the transformation context are handled by the company itself. Vertical integration will reduce outsources and challenges to quality. In addition, vertical integration will also ensure that the company can make rapid change decisions. They don’t have to wait on discussions with suppliers, distribution management etc. Two types of vertical integration are possible which are the backward integration and forward integration. In the former the integration, processes are focused more on the source or supply end integrations towards manufacturing. In the latter, the integration is more focused on the distribution from the manufacturing end towards the end retailers. Big companies such as Bose have relied on vertical integration in the past to expand their market share domestically and in the international market. Vertical integration ensures that the firm has better advantages in foreign markets and it does not have to rely on local supplier and distributor strength all the time. In-house work as done in the case of vertical integration furthermore improves quality. Bose products are now known for their quality and people trust the product better because of the reputation that they have built. This would not have been possible if Bose had not taken advantage of vertical integration. Vertical integration ensures that even in the context of high volume production, specialization and efficiency is achieved. This must have helped Bose in its international expansions.