Microsoft Corporation’s Operations Management, 10 Decisions, Productivity - Panmore Institute (2023)

Microsoft Corporation’s Operations Management, 10 Decisions, Productivity - Panmore Institute (1)

Microsoft Corporation’s operations management (OM) in the 10 strategic decision areas addresses the productivity needs of the computer hardware and software business. The 10 decisions reflect the major business functional areas that require coordination to achieve optimal business performance. In the case of Microsoft, the 10 strategic decisions are intertwined with the ability to expand the business. This condition is linked to the global nature of the company’s supply chain and distribution network. As one of the biggest firms in the industry, Microsoft must continually develop relevant operations managementapproaches to address the 10 strategic decisions for maximizing performance and productivity.

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The 10 strategic decision areas of operations management (OM) are effectively covered in Microsoft’s approaches. Business productivity depends on the effectiveness of operations managers in developing solutions corresponding to these 10 decisions to support Microsoft’s computer hardware and software operations.

Microsoft’s Operations Management, 10 Decision Areas

1. Design of Goods and Services. This decision area of operations management deals with the strategies and tactics needed to develop profitable products. Microsoft Corporation initially focused on software design. However, through continuing expansion of the product mix and diversification of the business, the company’s operations managers now make broader strategic decisions. For example, their operational productivity decision-making processes now include computer hardware and software products, along with Microsoft’s cloud computing services. This condition increases the significance of operations management in designing goods and services for the company. The increasing variety of products also reflects Microsoft’s generic strategy and intensive growth strategies.

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2. Quality Management. Operations managers are concerned with satisfying customers’ expectations about product quality in this strategic decision area. Microsoft’s approaches to operations management address these operational objectives through continuous improvement and innovation. For example, the company uses feedback systems to collect usage information from customers, and integrates such information in the next iteration of computer software products. Also, Microsoft heavily invests in research and development to achieve rapid innovation that keeps the business competitive against other technology firms. These approaches optimize productivity and organizational resilience, given market dynamics. Emphasis on quality supports the aims for helping and empowering customers, as included in Microsoft’s mission statement and vision statement.

3. Process and Capacity Design. In this strategic decision area, companies focus on resources and standards applicable to production processes. In Microsoft’s case, operations management relies on extensive automation to optimize capacity and processes. For example, in computer hardware production, the company automates production capacity allocation to minimize productivity bottlenecks. On the other hand, for software production, Microsoft’s operations managers streamline process design to reduce errors and increase operational efficiency in correcting software development issues.

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4. Location Strategy. Proximity and access to resources, markets and supply chains are considered in this strategic decision area of operations management. In software development and distribution, Microsoft Corporation focuses mainly on human resource productivity within its corporate facilities. The company’s computer software products are easily distributed to target markets through the Internet. However, for hardware products like the Xbox, Microsoft must ensure nearness and accessibility to target markets around the world. For example, the company maintains business partners, such as authorized sellers. In addition, the firm adds more distribution channels by increasing the number of its Microsoft Store locations worldwide. Thus, Microsoft’s operations management approach in this strategic decision area involves a combination of virtual and physical locations to reach markets and maximize resource accessibility. These operational strategies are also reflected in the place element of Microsoft’s marketing mix.

5. Layout Design and Strategy. Operations management optimizes resources in this strategic decision area for the purpose of achieving efficient movement of human resources, information, and materials. Microsoft’s layout design integrates advanced computing technologies to facilitate such efficiency. For example, efficient movement of information is achieved through network technology, such as online computers in the workplace. On the other hand, efficient movement of materials is supported through Microsoft’s automation of production processes. Business partners are also provided with technological solutions to achieve operational efficiency and high productivity. Microsoft’s operations management also uses innovative layouts for ease of employee movement throughout its facilities.

6. Job Design and Human Resources. This decision area of operations management considers the recruitment, retention and development of human resources. Microsoft’s approach to job design emphasizes innovative thinking and a growth mindset. These characteristics support the firm’s technology innovation and product development goals. The approach also aligns with Microsoft’s organizational culture. On the other hand, to develop its human resources, the company uses training programs. For example, leadership development programs are used to identify and support leaders within Microsoft’s organization. Through these approaches, Microsoft ensures productivity and operational efficiency in its expanding computer hardware and software business.

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7. Supply Chain Management. Operations managers address this strategic decision area by maintaining streamlined integration of the supply chain with other business activities. Microsoft Corporation’s global supply chain is monitored through computer networks. For example, personnel regularly input current supply status, which is transmitted to regional and corporate offices for monitoring. The resulting data is automatically analyzed to determine necessary changes in Microsoft’s supply chain. In addition, strategic decisions are based on real-time data representing the supply chain, distribution network, and other areas of the business. Microsoft’s operations management approach to this strategic decision area maximizes operational efficiency of the supply chain. The approach also optimizes the productivity of supply chain personnel. The resulting optimization addresses some of the opportunities and threats identified in the PESTEL/PESTLE Analysis of Microsoft Corporation.

8. Inventory Management. In this strategic decision area of operations management, inventory costs and holding are set to satisfy organizational needs, customer expectations, and supply chain capacity. Microsoft applies automation for managing its inventory for materials used in maintaining its online systems. For example, the company uses automated systems to determine when to update and upgrade its cloud computing services. The upgrades involve new materials like server components in Microsoft’s facilities. The same operations management approach is used for inventory management in computer hardware manufacturing, although Microsoft outsources production processes. The company’s operations managers apply perpetual methods, periodic methods, and serialized inventory management to maximize operational productivity in this decision area.

9. Scheduling. Intermediate and short-term scheduling to address resources and market demand is covered in this strategic decision area of operations management. In this regard, Microsoft’s objective is to use market conditions to determine the most suitable schedules. The company achieves high productivity in this decision area through decisions based on continuous market analysis. The operational significance of market analyses is their support for relevant decisions that accurately address current concerns in Microsoft’s business. For example, operations managers change intermediate schedules to suit current changes in demand for Microsoft’s Xbox units.

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10. Maintenance. Operations management maintains adequate resources and processes in this strategic decision area. Microsoft Corporation needs to maintain its software development processes, as well as production capacity to maximize revenues. In software development, the company focuses on the sufficiency of personnel, such as programmers, to maintain rapid innovation through software design and iteration. On the other hand, in terms of production capacity, Microsoft’s operations management approach maintains high productivity through inter-organizational support. For example, to support outsourced production, the company provides current data to manufacturers. Such current data indicates intermediate changes in production to ensure operational adequacy of Microsoft’s supply chain.

Microsoft Corporation’s Productivity Criteria

Microsoft’s productivity is based on personnel activity, manufacturing processes, software development processes, and equipment maintenance, among others. Operations managers consider these factors in evaluating productivity levels. The following are some measures or criteria Microsoft uses to assess and monitor productivity:

  1. Units per day (Hardware manufacturing productivity)
  2. Servers updated per day (Equipment maintenance team productivity)
  3. Units sold per day (Productivity of Microsoft Stores)
  • Liu, S., & Jiang, M. (2011).Providing Efficient Decision Support for Green Operations Management: An Integrated Perspective. INTECH.
  • Microsoft Corporation, Form 10-K.
  • Najdawi, M. K., Chung, Q. B., & Salaheldin, S. I. (2008). Expert systems for strategic planning in operations management: a framework for executive decisions.International Journal of Management and Decision Making,9(3), 310-327.
  • Schrunder, C. P., Galletly, J. E., & Bicheno, J. R. (1994). A fuzzy, knowledge‐based decision support tool for production operations management.Expert Systems,11(1), 3-11.
  • Verdaasdonk, P., & Wouters, M. (2001). A generic accounting model to support operations management decisions.Production Planning & Control,12(6), 605-620.


What management approach does Microsoft use? ›

Microsoft's approaches to operations management address these operational objectives through continuous improvement and innovation. For example, the company uses feedback systems to collect usage information from customers, and integrates such information in the next iteration of computer software products.

What are Microsoft's operations? ›

  • Microsoft Cloud.
  • Microsoft Security.
  • Dynamics 365.
  • Microsoft 365.
  • Microsoft Power Platform.
  • Microsoft Teams.
  • Microsoft Industry.
  • Small Business.

Why do Microsoft operate internationally? ›

To serve the needs of customers around the world and to improve the quality and usability of products in international markets, we localize many of our products to reflect local languages and conventions.

Which of the following is not one of the 10 strategic operations management decisions? ›

The correct answer is A.

Marketing is not one of the ten strategic operation management decisions that a business has to make.

What are examples of strategic decisions? ›

Strategic decisions are made based on of a company's mission and vision or its objectives. An example. A manager of a cat food company notices that his customers prefer higher quality and fresh food instead of cat food sold in very large quantities for a low price.

What is the average salary of a Microsoft employee? ›

Average annual salary in Microsoft Corporation is INR 29.1 lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 13.9k Microsoft Corporation salaries received from various employees of Microsoft Corporation.

Does Microsoft fire employee? ›

Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly,” Microsoft said in an official statement. It should be noted that the layoffs account for less than 1 per cent of Microsoft's total workforce of over 1.8 lakh employees.

What type of organizational structure does Microsoft use? ›

Microsoft's organizational structure has been described as a divisional, product-type organizational structure based on functional business groups and engineering groups.

What is the goal of Microsoft Operations Framework? ›

The Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) provides guidance that enables organizations to achieve mission-critical system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability of Microsoft products and technologies.

What makes Microsoft successful? ›

Founded in 1975, they are a young company by many standards, which may be a contributing factor to their success, but part of their success has been their resilience and ability to respond to changing technologies, market demands, and business opportunities.

What are the main products of Microsoft? ›

  • Microsoft 365. Teams. Windows. ...
  • Software Software. Windows Apps. OneDrive. ...
  • PCs & Devices PCs & Devices. Computers. Shop Xbox. ...
  • Entertainment Entertainment. PC Game Pass. Xbox games. ...
  • Business Business. Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft Security. ...
  • Developer & IT Developer & IT. Azure. ...
  • Other Other. Free downloads & security. ...
  • View Sitemap.

What are 5 interesting facts about Microsoft? ›

10 Interesting Facts About Microsoft You Probably Didn't Know
  • Microsoft Was Originally Known by a Slightly Different Name. ...
  • The Original Microsoft Logo Was Created in Less Than a Day. ...
  • Windows OS Once Had a Very Different Name. ...
  • Microsoft Office Actually Debuted on the Mac. ...
  • Microsoft's Employees Are Nicknamed “Softies”
25 May 2022

How important is Microsoft in our lives today? ›

Microsoft Office has become a leading platform to drive productivity at home and in the workplace. Whether it's managing email in Outlook, or building analysis spreadsheets in Excel, Office has made carrying out many computer based tasks easier for all of us.

Why is Microsoft so important? ›

Microsoft provides tools enabling businesses to be productive and communicate effectively regardless of location. Outlook serves as the portal for e-mail, tasks, calendar and contacts. Microsoft Office Live Workspace, boasting online storage space, enables users to save, access and share documents throughout the world.

Which among the following decisions does not fall within the scope of operations management? ›

The correct answer is Financial analysis. All of the following decisions fall within the scope of operations management EXCEPT for Financial analysis.

Which of these is not one of the basic functions of the management process? ›

Management process includes all the function that are followed by a manager as a managerial action which includes planning, leading, organizing, managing and controlling. Therefore, working is not a basic function of planning.

How many strategic decisions make up the fundamentals of operations management? ›

The 10 strategic operations management decisions include: Goods and service design, quality, process and capacity design, locations selection, layout design, human resources and job design, supply-chain management, inventory, scheduling, and maintenance.

What are 3 types of decision-making? ›

Decision making can also be classified into three categories based on the level at which they occur. Strategic decisions set the course of organization. Tactical decisions are decisions about how things will get done. Finally, operational decisions are decisions that employees make each day to run the organization.

What are some examples of operational decisions? ›

These include scheduling employees or equipment use, what products to purchase from suppliers, executing a billing calculation for a patient, and determining how much inventory to keep are only some of the examples of operational decisions.

What are the four decision-making strategies? ›

There are four types of strategic decisions you can begin to apply straightaway, whether you are dealing with a familiar situation or a novel one.
  • Analytical Decision Making. ...
  • Heuristic Decision Making. ...
  • Expertise Decision Making. ...
  • Random Choice Decision Making.

Is it difficult to get a job at Microsoft? ›

Microsoft gets millions of applications annually. With an applicant pool as vast as that, competition is tough. It also has one of the hardest job interview processes in the market.

Which job has highest salary in Microsoft? ›

Highest Paying Jobs At Microsoft
RankJob TitleAverage Salary
2Senior Project Manager$143,976
3Solutions Architect$142,578
4Program Manager$140,450
10 more rows

Who pays more Google or Microsoft? ›

Of the top 3 common jobs between the two companies, Microsoft salaries averaged ₹2,88,220 higher than Google.

Is Microsoft laying off people 2022? ›

2022 has been quite a year. This round of layoffs comes after Microsoft slashed about 1 percent of its payroll this past July, a move that was downplayed by a CNBC headline as a "small percentage."

Why did Microsoft lay off employees? ›

The first was before its annual earnings report in July, when the company cut jobs citing structural adjustments. And since May, Microsoft has been slowing hiring due to a weakening economy. July's layoffs were across several groups, including consulting and customer and partner solutions.

How many people Microsoft laid off? ›

The cuts came across various positions, levels and geographic regions. Microsoft announced layoffs on Monday for nearly 1,000 employees worldwide, the company confirmed to ABC News.

What is Microsoft's vision statement? ›

Microsoft's corporate vision is “to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.” This vision statement shows that the company presents its computing products as tools that people and business organizations can use for their personal or organizational development.

Does Microsoft have an organizational chart? ›

Go to the Insert tab and click SmartArt. Go to the Hierarchy group and choose the org chart template you want to use. Next, you'll see a menu with shapes that represent people.

What is the organizational culture of Microsoft? ›

We are a family of individuals united by a single, shared mission. It's our ability to work together that makes our dreams believable and, ultimately, achievable. We will build on the ideas of others and collaborate across boundaries to bring the best of Microsoft to our customers as one.

What is Operation management Framework? ›

The DPSA created a web-enabled platform where all institutions will be able to share knowledge with regard to all matters on operations management. The web-enabled system was developed in order to ensure efficient and effective roll-out of the OMF.

Who governs the MOF framework? ›

The final framework topology of MOF is governed by both SBU connectors and organic ligand linkers. Depending upon the nature of the system used, infinite‐extended polymeric or discrete‐closed oligomeric structures can arise (Figure 4).

Does Microsoft use ITIL? ›

Microsoft Managed Desktop enables your organization to comply with many key aspects of such formalized ITSM models. Using ITIL as an example, this article helps you see the connections between common ITIL phases and processes and equivalent Microsoft Managed Desktop features, where applicable.

What is Microsoft the best at? ›

Microsoft is the world's largest software maker. The company, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, is best known for its software products, including Microsoft Windows operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer web browser.

How Microsoft is changing the world? ›

Microsoft, being a software company, built an operating system platform that let thousands of others innovate which, along with Moore's Law, made PCs cheaper and more valuable every year which meant more and more people could get access to them, in a vicious circle.

What do you consider to be Microsoft greatest achievement? ›

Bill Gates' greatest achievements at Microsoft
  • Forming the foundation of Microsoft. ...
  • Founding Microsoft. ...
  • Named World's Youngest Self-Made Billionaire at 31. ...
  • Microsoft 95. ...
  • Richest Man in the World at the age of 39.
10 May 2020

Why do you want join Microsoft? ›

I find the culture at Microsoft attractive — using our skills to empower every person on the planet to achieve. I am eager to use various learning opportunities and would love an opportunity to work on projects that are creating a global impact.

What is Microsoft software called? ›

Microsoft is a developer of personal computer software. It is best known for its Windows operating system, the Internet Explorer and subsequent Microsoft Edge web browsers, the Microsoft Office family of productivity software plus services, and the Visual Studio IDE.

What are Microsoft tools? ›

Microsoft Learning Tools are free tools that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability. The Microsoft Learning Tools set is natively built into the Office 365 and Microsoft Edge applications, and help improve reading, writing and comprehension.

What does Microsoft stand for? ›

Gates and Allen established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as CEO, and Allen suggested the name "Micro-Soft", short for micro-computer software.

What should I know about Microsoft? ›

Microsoft is the largest vendor of computer software in the world. It is also a leading provider of cloud computing services, video games, computer and gaming hardware, search and other online services. Microsoft's corporate headquarters is located in Redmond, Wash., and it has offices in more than 60 countries.

What was Microsoft originally called? ›

Gates and Allen started Microsoft—originally called Micro-Soft, for microprocessors and software—in order to produce software for the Altair 8800, an early personal computer.

What is the importance of Microsoft Office as a student? ›

Whichever industries your students pursue, a solid grasp of Outlook is likely to come in very handy. The ability to manage emails, calendars, and tasks will help them stay organized and productive. Support your students by helping them sharpen their technical skills in Microsoft Office.

What are the benefits of Microsoft Office to you as a student? ›

Benefits of Office 365 For Students

It allows students the ability to create, edit, manage and even collaborate on the popular Microsoft Office products through a browser-based interface, rather than relying on locally installed software. Office 365 includes many other services that we will be investigating over time.

Why Microsoft Office skills are valuable for the workplace? ›

From project management to office coordination, having a better grip on Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint will have a positive impact on your organization. This includes lesser-known formulas, shortcuts, and capabilities that can help you save your employer time and money.

Is Microsoft Word hard to learn? ›

It's easy to get started with Microsoft Word. In this guide we'll cover both basic and advanced features. With Microsoft Word, you'll be creating useful business documents in no time. Also, many other file formats can be converted to MS Word (.

Is Microsoft a good company to work for? ›

An organization's culture is often reflected in its mission statement and leadership, evident in how managers treat employees and the benefits offered. According to a new report from the company review site Comparably, Microsoft is the No. 1 global company with the best workplace culture.

What is the importance of Microsoft Word in business? ›

Creating Documents and Forms

You can create any business document, including presentations, proposals, company reports, plans, and budgets. Word's design features are simple and easy to use so that you can build a library of key forms such as memos, agendas, invoices, and statements.

What are strategic decisions in operations management? ›

Strategic decisions are the decisions that are concerned with whole environment in which the firm operates, the entire resources and the people who form the company and the interface between the two.

How many strategic decisions make up the fundamentals of operations management? ›

The 10 strategic operations management decisions include: Goods and service design, quality, process and capacity design, locations selection, layout design, human resources and job design, supply-chain management, inventory, scheduling, and maintenance.

What are the two types of decisions made in operations management? ›

Five Decision Areas

Stevenson (see Table 1-4, page 10) defines operations decisions as falling into one of two categories: design decisions or operation decisions. However, one can analyze the operations function using 5 major decision responsibilities: process, capacity, inventory, work force, and quality.

What is operational decision example? ›

These include scheduling employees or equipment use, what products to purchase from suppliers, executing a billing calculation for a patient, and determining how much inventory to keep are only some of the examples of operational decisions.

What type of decisions are operational decisions? ›

Operational decisions are short-term decisions that are made generally weekly, daily, or hourly, focusing mainly on the details of operations, day-to-day resource allocation, details of inventory control, and delivery routing, to ensure the efficiency of operations and an optimized flow of products along the biomass- ...

What are the 4 types of operation management? ›

Every business operates along four basic focus dimensions: finance, customers, internal processes, and learning and innovation. These theoretical divisions of operations management come from the research of Robert S. Kaplan and David P.

What are the 3 types of operations management? ›

Operations management includes three levels: strategic, tactical, and operational.

What are 3 types of decision making? ›

Decision making can also be classified into three categories based on the level at which they occur. Strategic decisions set the course of organization. Tactical decisions are decisions about how things will get done. Finally, operational decisions are decisions that employees make each day to run the organization.

What is Om strategy How can operations management help a company achieve competitive advantages? ›

Operations management involves planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling all the resources needed to produce a company's goods and services. Understanding your target market and customer segments, and how to make them happy, drives operating decisions for effectiveness and efficiency.

Why operations management OM decisions are strategic decisions? ›

Strategic and tactical operations decisions determine how well the organization can accomplish its goals. They also provide opportunities for the organization to achieve unique competitive advantages that attract and keep customers.

What are the major tasks of an operation manager name at least 5 considering operations in your organization? ›

Their direct responsibilities include managing both the operations process, embracing design, planning, control, performance improvement, and operations strategy.

What are the 4 types of decision making? ›

The four categories of decision making
  • 1] Making routine choices and judgments. When you go shopping in a supermarket or a department store, you typically pick from the products before you. ...
  • 2] Influencing outcomes. ...
  • 3] Placing competitive bets. ...
  • 4] Making strategic decisions. ...
  • The constraint of decision making research.

What is the correct order of the 6 step decision making process? ›

Chin up, gather information, weigh all the options at hand, count on expert advice, experience, and rationality are the 6 steps towards effective decision making.

What types of models are most useful for operations management decision making? ›

Decision-Making Models
  • Rational decision-making model.
  • Bounded rationality decision-making model. And that sets us up to talk about the bounded rationality model. ...
  • Vroom-Yetton Decision-Making Model. There's no one ideal process for making decisions. ...
  • Intuitive decision-making model.


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