Keywords: Information technology, manufacturing operations management, service operations management, JIT, time-based competition, quality control, setup time reduction, vendor relations
The impact of information systems technology on operations management
I discuss the enormous role that information technology (IT) is having on operations. Examples include smart catalogues and databases for simpler customer/vendor coordination, transponder-equipped vehicles that can be re-routed in real time, voice-recognition systems for greater warehouse inventory accuracy, collaborative editing of graphics documents by geographically-remote individuals, and even electronic storage/retrieval of documents to reduce volume (US Navy ships once carried 25 tons of manuals). I then review Japanese approaches to management and discuss how their Western counterparts have adopted these methods. Specifically, the role that IT is having in allowing Western manufacturers to implement JIT, time-based-competition, set-up time reduction, quality control, and vendor relations are discussed.