Examination Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, grade: 78/100, The University of Surrey (Surrey University), course: Production and Operations Management MBA P/T, language: English, abstract: Operations strategy can be defined as the strategic decisions and tactics which set the role, objectives and activities of a firm. It derives from the firm's capabilities, resources and processes, seeking to deliver competitive advantage to winning customers through meeting their needs. Competitive factors that are significant in winning customers' business are order winners. Improvements of these factors will likely result in gaining more business to the firm. In order for a firm to have a competitive advantage, it must understand and provide products and services whose factors create order winners for its customers. As a precursor, factors which customers have a certain minimum expected level from are defined as order qualifiers that firms should conform to. Therefore business decisions should be thought of in terms of order winning and order qualifying criteria, designed to win customers and drive business growth to the firm. A firm can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. This could be delivering great value to customers or creating comparable value at a lower cost, or both. Such differentiation arises from both the choice of performance objectives activities and how they are performed, or deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value or perform similar operational activities better than rivals. Operations managers should decide on which of the sub-dimensions of these five performance objectives (Figure 1) they wish to excel at, and how they are going to configure the operation to do so. Figure 1: The Multiple Dimensions of the Five Operations Performance Objectives The goal of this paper is to investigate and compare operations strategies of two manufacturing-based and two service-based companies. The paper takes an integrated evaluation approach of each firm's prioritised performance objectives from a requirements and operations capability point of view, as well as focusing on line of fit strategy and tactics to achieve competitive advantage through examining their process design, capabilities management and resources management.