Value added approached to operations management in the consulting engineering industry
The study examined project performance (PP), operations management performance (OMP) and operational personnel’s interpretation of the value added (VA) concept with the focus falling on a consulting engineering company (service oriented organization). The primary objective of this research study was to assess these study elements and to determine whether a relationship exists between these elements in a consulting engineering company in South Africa. A literature review was conducted to gain insight into these three study elements and to identify and discuss the different underlying elements and concepts. Afterwards an empirical study was conducted by using the knowledge gained from the literature review to develop a generic company and operations management value chain for a consulting engineering company as well as a questionnaire that could measure different aspects of these three main study elements. This questionnaire was distributed throughout a selected consulting engineering company in South Africa. The data collected from the empirical study was statistically analysed and conclusions were drawn from the findings. The results on project performance indicated that overall project performance is of good quality, but that management is neglecting the company’s financial side. The assessment of operations management indicated an average performance and that management focuses on executing a project in an efficient and professional manner, but are neglecting important elements that may affect project performance. The assessment of the third study element, value added perceptions of operational personnel, indicated that operational personnel perceive that most value added to the company is created through the operations management department and that other departments are less important than the operations management department. Examining the relationship off these three main study elements, it was concluded that the perceptions on strategic planning in a consulting engineering company do affect to some extent operations management performance elements, and that operations management performance elements do affect to some extent project performance elements. It is the researcher’s opinion that these results do not fully prove any relationship between these main study elements and therefore further studies are required.