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Businesses survive by selling products. These products may be goods, like food or washing machines, or services, like banking. Producing these is what the business does to make money. Porter in his model identifies operations as a primary activity that produces these products and services. It is a key element in the transformation model of organisations in which inputs are transformed into outputs with added value.

We take a slightly broader view here and define operations management as "concerning all the processes of how products are made and delivered to the customer" such that it may involve part of Porter's other primary activities of inbound and outbound logistics and procurement. It involves all the parts of the business which produce and deliver the goods or services - a very wide spread. From buying raw materials to transporting the products to the customer and all that happens between, the operations system involves a wealth of different activities which are focused on delivering to the customers what they require.

For a washing machine manufacturer, it involves buying, making and storing parts, ensuring the right parts are available, assembling them into a finished machine and delivering that machine to the right customer. In a bank, it would involve the cashiers' work - exchanging payment, cashing cheques, answering queries - carrying out the transactions, managing accounts and sending statements and letters to customers.

In this unit, you will gain some insight into the scope and challenges of operations for a range of businesses and an overview of some recent developments in the field.

After participating in this course, you should be able to:

    * outline the scope of operations using different definitions
    * apply the transformational model of operations to a range of service and manufacturing industries
    * apply the concept of adding value to operations
    * describe the different activities within operations and the interaction between them
    * explain the five key features of operations
    * describe some design features in operations
    * define what quality means from a business perspective.

Course Syllabus



Section 1: What are Operations?


1.1 Definitions

1.2 Transformation for the customer

1.3 Value added


Section 2: Running Operations


2.1 The operations challenge

2.2 Activities within operations


Section 3: Design within Operations


3.1 Product design and development

3.2 System and process design

3.3 Quality and quality management


Unit Review Activity

Unit Summary


Recommended Reading

Tutor-marked Question Paper


On completion of your course, you will receive two certificates:
Certificate 1 is issued by Stonebridge Associated Colleges: Operations and Operations Management (Byte Size Skills Course) Certificate

Operations and Operations Management (Byte Size Skills Course) Certificate issued by Stonebridge Associated Colleges, to view a sample of the college’s award, please click here.
Certificate 2 is issued by ABC Awards: Level 1 Operations and Operations Management (Byte Size Skills Course) Certificate of Achievement

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards’ Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Stonebridge Associated Colleges have undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 1 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Stonebridge Associated Colleges to meet specific learners’ or employers’ requirements. ABC Awards’ endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

Who are ABC

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government[1]. They have a comprehensive portfolio of over 650 Ofqual regulated qualifications on the national Qualifications and Credit framework (QCF). It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of examination and assessment expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers.

Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers over 600 Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

Tutor Support

With this course you will have unlimited access to your own personal tutor who specialises in their field of study. It is your personal tutor's role to ensure that you receive constructive feedback and to deal with any queries you may have. You are more than welcome to telephone, fax or email your personal tutor.

You will also have access to a dedicated and friendly team of administrators and course advisors who offer sound and professional guidance and advice when you need it. This ensures that you will never feel neglected and that you will always succeed!

Requirements for Entry

There is no experience or previous qualifications required for enrolment on this course. It is available to all students, of all academic backgrounds.

Study Hours

This is only an approximate figure and is dependant upon how much time you can dedicate to your studies and how well you grasp the learning concepts in the course material. Furthermore, at the end of each lesson there is a question paper that needs to be completed and returned to your tutor. You should allow at least 1 - 2 hours of study to complete each question paper.

The approximate amount of time required to complete the course is: 20 hrs.

Additional Information

Assessment Method

After each lesson there will be a question paper, which needs to be completed and submitted to your personal tutor for marking. This method of continual assessment ensures that your personal tutor can consistently monitor your progress and provide you with assistance throughout the duration of the course.

What's Included

    * All study materials
    * Study Guide
    * Full Tutor and Admin support
    * The course fee includes the awarding body registration and certification fee (valued at up to £30.00).

Advantages of this distance learning course:
  • Home Study: you declare when you study, no need to attend class at fixed times and fixed dates. Your study hours fit around you!
  • We will post all the beautifully printed course materials to you. Everything is written in a clear and easy-to-understand format.
  • Start this course anytime of the year! No need to wait until the new academic year starts. Enroll today so soon you'll start improving your CV or re-skill for your new career.
  • Create your own study routine, learn at your own pace, complete your course as quickly or slowly as your circumstance dictate.
  • Your home learning is totally supported by experienced tutors who guide, encourage and assess your progress. You will not be alone because all our tutors are friendly and approachable.


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Questions about this course? Contact Student Support / Course Advisors

Enrol by phone: call 0845 65 22 187 quote course code 603

Enrol by post: print this postal form.

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