The achievement of world-class status through operations requires that operations be integrated with the other functions at the corporate level.
In broad terms, an operation has two important roles it can play in strengthening the firm's overall strategy.
One option is to provide processes that give the firm a distinct advantage in the marketplace.
Operations will provide a marketing edge through distinct, unique technology developments in processes that competitors cannot match.
All world-class manufacturers have an explicit, formal manufacturing mission.
From the manufacturing mission the operations function derives its distinctive competencies (also called competitive priorities or competitive weapons).In other words, how do customers differentiate between competitors offering the same or similar products or services and how will the firm distinguish itself from these competitors?Once this is determined, the firm has to decide what resources and competitive capabilities it needs in order to compete successfully, and what will it take to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.All decisions made relative to system design, planning, control and supervision must aim at accomplishing the manufacturing mission.As such, the manufacturing mission is the principal driver of the operations function and gives it its reason for existence.Each function within the business can then derive its own strategy in support of the firm's overall business strategy (financial strategy, marketing strategy, and operations strategy).Operations strategy is the collective concrete actions chosen, mandated, or stimulated by corporate strategy.In simpler terms, the operations strategy specifies how the firm will employ its operations capabilities to support the business strategy.Operations strategy has a long-term concern for how to best determine and develop the firm's major operations resources so that there is a high degree of compatibility between these resources and the business strategy.Industries have characteristics or strategic elements that affect their ability to prosper in the marketplace (i.e., attributes, resources, competencies, or capabilities).The ones that most affect a firm's competitive abilities are called key success factors (KSFs).