The phrase “enterprise operation” may sound business-oriented, but every enterprise (from a manufacturer to a school to a battalion) has some manner of operations.


The operations function is “that part of an organization devoted to the production or delivery of goods and services,” wrote Andrew Greasley in “Operations Management in Business.”


An enterprise may have an operations manager, even a chief operating officer or COO. Others involved in operations include logistics managers, customer service managers, quality managers and product designers, among others. In a non-business enterprise, such as a university or hospital, those positions could include professors and surgeons.


Jae Shim and Joel Siegel in “Operations Management” described five broad sections of operations management in production. These are decision-making tools and methods; demand forecasting; planning systems; designing systems; and operations and control of the system.


Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich in “Essentials of Management” describe an operations system as consisting of three stages: input; transformation; and output, involving some end customer. This model is applicable to any type of organization.


The input at a bicycle plant includes the plant, equipment, workers, and raw materials. The transformation is assembly of bicycles. Output is a finished bicycle.

In a university, the input is an unknowledgeable student, the transformation is the education, and the output is an educated student, with new skills and credentials.