The case study clearly explains how process flow diagrams can be used in both manufacturing and services to show how work is carried out. The authors illustrate how process flow diagrams provide a suitably detailed map of the way work is carried out in an organisation and allow value-adding and non-value adding activities to be identified. Process flow diagrams also reveal how customer and practice have evolved in a particular work area and allow for process improvements to be identified. Process flow diagrams are a convenient tool for process auditing and process improvements.
Aimed at students on operations management courses, the reader is given a narrative explanation of the process and is given the task of logically developing an overall process flow diagram and assessing the process to see if there are opportunities for improvements. As this is a common exercise when involved in any improvement programme, this case study allows the reader to develop and practice essential skills.
In this case study Mike Simpson and Andrea Genovese promote an understanding of how the work flows through "the system" and assess alternative ways of working and create suitable performance measures. This case study also looks at customer flows and interactions with the service system.
Mike Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management on the MBA programme and Operations Management and Supply Chain Management on the MSc programmes at The University of Sheffield Management School.
Dr Andrea Genovese is a Lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Management School of the University of Sheffield. He is also a member of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre and Centre for Environment Energy and Sustainability (CEES).