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Operations Management

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jinqiucai
Words 2677
Pages 11
Table of Content 1. Introduction 2 2. The Nottingham Castle 2 2.1 The layout of Nottingham Castle 2 2.2 The characteristics of the operation in terms of Input 5 2.3 The characteristics of the operation in terms of Output 5 2.4 The characteristics of the operation in terms of 4Vs 6 3. The London Zoo 7 3.1 The general introduction of London Zoo 7 3.2 Outline the characteristics of London Zoo operation on input, output and 4Vs. 8 3.3 Quality performance being affected by input, output and 4Vs 9 4. Problems and recommendations 10 5. Conclusion 10 Reference 11

1. Introduction
Every organization has its own operating system. In this report, it will compare and contrast the operation management in two places – the Nottingham Castle and the London Zoo. Firstly, it will give the general layout and process of Nottingham Castle and London Zoo. Secondly, analyse the three main aspects’ characteristic deeply: input, output and 4 Vs in Nottingham Castle, and then compare with London Zoo. In the last part, finding some problems and giving recommendations at London Zoo or Nottingham Castle, and discuss the solution. One thing needs to be mentioned: Because Museum and Art Gallery plays an important role in Nottingham Castle, it’s the core attractive place. In this report, it will be analysing those aspects based on the Museum and Art Gallery, it is the symbol of Nottingham Castle that can respond the whole operation very well in Nottingham Castle.

2. The Nottingham Castle
Nottingham Castle is located in Nottingham. It’s only 20-minute range of driving from Loughborough, near Leicestershire. It’s built by the Duke of Newcastle in 1679 and now is a vibrant museum and art gallery housing a vast collection of silver, glass, decorative items, visual arts, paintings and Nottinghamshire Archaeology and History.

2.1 The layout of Nottingham Castle
According to the Nottingham Castle, we consider the tourist attraction as a service operation, so its process refers to the service shop type. And due to every area consists of its own contents of different types of exhibitions; customers can take different routes with their own needs, the Nottingham Castle can be regarded as the functional layout. As below, it shows the general layout of Nottingham Castle:

Walk past the Robin Hood Statue (No.12), and then enter into the Castle Gatehouse (No. 1). It was the only external gate into the medieval castle, and that is the place to sell a ticket. Meandering through the colourful grounds in Main Path, and then mounting the stairway up, you’ll arrive at the Eastern Terrace and main entrance of the Ducal palace known as Nottingham Castle (No.8). Inside the Nottingham Castle, it’s the Museum and Art Gallery. It will hold exhibitions irregularly with a variety of exhibits. Finish visiting the Museum and Art Gallery, downstairs and walk along with the path, through Medieval Bridge (No.4), the exit is just in front of you. On the way back, if you turn right, you can see the Edwardian Bandstand (No.10) and Albert Ball War Memorial (No.11).

Then we moved into the core part of Nottingham Castle - Museum and Art Gallery. It has five floors: upper floor, upper ground floor, ground floor, lower floor 1 and lower floor 2. Each level separated into several areas with different theme. For example, No.4 is a changing exhibition of highlights of the Castle Collection. It also displays a few of 5,000 objects from the decorative arts collection, like ceramics, glass and metalwork collections, that display in the Study Gallery (No.5). The recommended route can be like this: Enter into the museum, turn right and No. 9 is in front of it. And then it links with South Hall (No.8). Go upstairs through the stairway, and it arrived at the Upper Floor. After finishing visiting No.2 and No.3, go downstairs to the No.4 and No.5. Then you will be back to the Ground Floor. For a period of time, it will change some showpieces in accordance with the different themes. Also in the cafe, it offered a place for customers to take a break to enjoy eating. It's located on the Ground Floor. And if you want to buy some souvenirs, there is a shop opened near the Museum Entrance.

2.2 The characteristics of the operation in terms of Input
One set of inputs is transformed resources. They are usually a mixture of the three – materials, Information and Customers.
The other set of inputs is transforming resources. There are two types – Facilities and Staff. (Slack, 2010)
For Nottingham Castle, who is the Castle’s customer? The answer is the local people and out of towners. Schools and other educational groups, families visited the Castle in an organized way. They cultivate their students’ or children’s individual quality, and let them know the background in all periods. Also, overseas or domestic tourists, and people who have never visited but know of its intriguing and historical place will be attracted to come. The castle is the people’s best choice for they can not only edify sentiment, but also close to the nature, seeking for the spiritual relaxation.
In Nottingham Castle, it provides lots of information. Each exhibition area has logo and work’s introduction. Considering that some visitors might feel tired during visiting, it is equipped with some machines to explain how some exhibitions produced. In an easy-seeing place, there is a travel advisory and complaint phone. Everyday there is a specially-assigned person to collect the feedback from customers, and that helped manager to adjust the policy in time.
The scale of Nottingham Castle is small. It doesn’t need to employ so many staffs. At the entrance, there is a person who is responsible for selling tickets. Inside the exhibition area, there are one or two staffs to wander around the works in each display area in order to guarantee the works’ safety. At the cafe, it employed more staff, especially in the rush hour. To meet customer’s satisfaction, staffs required themselves strictly, and offered great service. On the whole, 30 or 40 staffs are enough.

2.3 The characteristics of the operation in terms of Output
The output is expressed in two aspects: products/goods and services. We can regard each exhibition as a product in Museum and Art Gallery of Nottingham Castle. It is tangible, and can be physically touched, even in the museum it is forbidden to touch. The exhibitions are stored in a specific place with special protection for such a long time, although the exhibitions will change regularly according to the different theme on display.
Nottingham Castle has been recognized by Visit England for its excellent customer service through the national tourist board’s Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS). Councillor David Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, said: “Nottingham Castle is a fantastic site enjoyed by local people and visitor alike. Being accredited by VAQAS gives external confirmation that customers will enjoy excellent service when they visit”. (Trimble, 2011)

2.4 The characteristics of the operation in terms of 4Vs
As we all know, operations processes have different characteristics. In order to make it easier to analyse, we thought four parameters – we called them 4Vs for short: The volume dimension; the variety of their output; the variation in the demand for their output and the degree of visibility. (Slack, 2010)
(1). Volume: For the number of visitors in daily, it has a medium fluctuation. We regularly get attendance levels between 100 and 3000. And the repeatability of the tasks people are doing is lower because each staff only needs to buy ticket or protect exhibitions or order meal for customer. The range of items on the menu is limited, maybe less than 10 choices.
(2). Variety: It provides a variety of services. For example, it has audio and video facilities that show how some of the works formed or shaped. It provides chairs in front of the screen, and that makes visitors have a rest while listening to the explanation. Staffs also walks around the Museum, if you have any question; just ask them, they’re glad to answer. Moreover, a wide range of information leaflets can be picked up on the site.
(3). Variation in demand: The exhibitions or the services that staff offered are relatively stable. The situation can be predictable in a certain period of time. But of course, in some extent, the number of tourist depends on the season. Summer is the busiest season, especially on weekends; it is possible to reach 1500 to2000 per day. As for winter, the average number is generally 200 to 300 a day.
(4). Visibility: Most exhibitions are easy to see, but forbidden to touch. The signboards are presented in each display area. And in the cafe, you can order what you want and if you need any help, just ask staff face-to-face.

3. The London Zoo
3.1 The general introduction of London Zoo
The London zoo is the world's oldest zoo. It was built in 27th. April, 1828. At first, the animals were regarded as the scientists’ object of study; until 1847, it is open to the public. Now in England, there are more than 755 animal species, including 15,104 individuals. London Zoo was managed by ZSL - Zoological Society of London. After several times of construction and refurbishment for the expanding collection, the zoo’s layout as follows:

It can be divided into several areas, such as the crawler exhibition hall, the bird garden, aquaria, Wildlife Park and so on. Among them, the apes & monkey, big cats, elephants & penguins are the most popular areas. Visitors can choose route wherever they want to go, only with one ticket. You don’t need to worried about what to eat inside the zoo, caused it has oasis cafe and shop inside.
3.2 Outline the characteristics of London Zoo operation on input, output and 4Vs.
According to the case “London zoo”, written by Adrian Watt and Stuart Chambers, for customer, London Zoo has three general categories of customers - school and educational groups, large parties and coach trips, and individuals﹑couples or family groups (Case Study, London Zoo, Section 6). On the other aspect, in total the zoo directly employs 161 staff. And during peak periods, the London Zoo department asked some temporary staff to help. (Case Study, London Zoo, Section 5).
The staffs have an abundance of knowledge with high quality. There are lots of telescope which can be adjusted the angle and distance, so that audience can observe animals’ behaviour much more clearly. The exhibition like insectariums, it offers the working principle with the intuitive chart, having a magnifying glass and manual.
The following 4Vs summarized the information about London Zoo. And in order to make it easier to compare and contrast with Nottingham Castle, it will illustrate the result with figure later. Firstly, for volume, it regularly gets attendance levels of between 4000 and 6000. Also the repetition is high. That is just the opposite from the Nottingham Castle; secondly, for variety, ‘London Zoo’s visitors have three general categories as it mentioned before. Each category requires different services from the zoo during visiting. And it offered different facilities or equipments to serve customers. So it has a high variety of routes and times to be offered; thirdly, for variation, London Zoo has a huge fluctuation in passengers flow volume. The decision to visit London Zoo was largely based on the request of the children, and was strongly influenced by the weather on the day. By the way, if it had a big activity with special slogan or theme, it would stimulate more customers. The busiest day they have had in the last few years was on a special “Save Our Zoo” day when visitor numbers reached a peak at 18,000; yet our lowest budgeted attendance figure is far Christmas Eve with just 48 people. So the variation in demand in London Zoo is much higher than the Nottingham Castle; fourthly, for visibility, in London Zoo, it offered detailed information in each signboard. In order to make the audience have a high sense of participate, some of the area set an interesting question board with buttons. Press it and you can hear animal calling. Sometimes, it opened an educational program. It provides an opportunity for audience to joint in it. Compare this aspect, both of them are high.
As below, Figure1 illustrates the different positions on the dimensions of the London Zoo and Nottingham Castle.

3.3 Quality performance being affected by input, output and 4Vs
After comparing the two places’ characteristics in those aspects, it will discuss how these factors affect the quality performance. We define quality as “consistent conformance to customers’ expectations”. Customers compared their expectations of the product or service with their perception of how it performed. If the product or service experience was better than expected (Expectations < Perceptions), then the customer is satisfied and perceived quality to be high. With the formula: Perceived Quality = Customers’ Perceptions to the service – Customers’ Expectations of the Service. (Slack, 2010)
According to 4Vs, as it can be seen, no matter how high the Volume is, managers would probably make appropriate changes in “Variety” and “Visibility” to meet the requirement of customers in order to achieve higher quality performance. If manager offers the highest variety of services, of course, when a customer comes, they will enjoy visiting and feel satisfied with the service, for its service exceeded their expectation. As high-visibility operation requires staff with good contact skills with customer face-to-face. In this way, the received variety is high, customer perception is also high enough, and thus gives rise to high quality.

4. Problems and recommendations
During the visit in the Nottingham Castle, some potential problems appeared: (1) The publicity of exhibition is not enough. A management organization needs to find a suitable pipeline to advertise substantially. (2) In the cafe, the option of food is insufficient. It should give customers more choices, thus one of the ways to stimulate more customers. (3) Inside the exhibition, it can give each customer small equipment, input the information of each works with different language one by one. Every time you arrive to this item, you can click the corresponding number, like Windsor Castle.
In case studies, it mentioned that London Zoo laid two main problems: They do not really know what the public thinks of the quality of the service they provided; and society’s attitude to animals always changed. They have become far more careful about issues such as animals’ rights and welfare, and conversation. If manager couldn't grasp the customers’ attitude, the Customer’s Perception will become lower than their Expectations that make the perceived quality lower. But to be true, on a long run/view, this problem couldn’t be solved easily.
5. Conclusion
After the explanation and comparison of two places – the Nottingham Castle and the London Zoo, it is clear that the organization can choose different operation methods to manage the place. Each operation management method has its own advantages and disadvantages, but both based on the demand of customers, and hope to offer the best service for them. In conclusion, if an organization can find the ways to solve the problems that may appear during operating, the attendance level of the place may increase due to the high-quality staff, advanced facilities and high-quality services, and the operation of the whole organization may achieve at the high management level.

(Words: 2460)
Reference
1. David Trimble, “Stamp of approval for Nottingham Castle”. [viewed 27/10/2011]. Available from: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/pressarchive/index.aspx?articleid=13234 2. Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers, Robert Johnston, 2010. Layout and flow. “Operation Management”. 6th Edition. pp.182. 3. Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers, Robert Johnston, 2010. Operations Management. “Operation Management”. 6th Edition. pp.12-13. pp.19-20 4. Nigel Slack, Stuart Chambers, Robert Johnston, 2010. Quality Management. “Operation Management”. 6th Edition. pp.498-499

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