Operations management

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The Mission of the Board is to provide, develop and support education, library and youth services in the Western Area to the highest standards in order to enable the community to fulfil its potential thereby enriching the quality of life and contributing to social and economic development”. The Board was established in 1973 under the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1972. It is one of 5 Education and Library Boards in Northern Ireland. The constitution of the Board is laid down in the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986.

The Western Education and Library Board is the local education authority and library authority for its area The Board’s Administrative Headquarters is located in the county town of Omagh, with district offices in Derry and Enniskillen. In such a large area with a widely dispersed rural population, we have an efficient transport service with a fleet of school buses which is among the largest of those belonging to local Education authorities in the UK.

Within the public education system, the Board has statutory responsibility for primary and secondary education within its area. The Board must also have regard for the need for pre-school education. The Board is also responsible for the provision of a youth service and library services to schools and the public. The area has a population of over 282,055. There are over 63,581 pupils attending schools and over 106,070 registered library users. (Source: Corporate Plan 2000-2003)I will now summarise the external environmental influences on the Transport MIS Project by carrying out a PEST analysis. The acronym stands for the Political, Economic, Social and Technological issues that could affect the strategic development of a business as sited by: 1/Kotler (2001).

Political The Public Administration Review. Reviewing the structure of public administration and making recommendations for future delivery of public services. E.g. if the recommendation was for 1 ELB the viability for the WELB transport project would have to be reviewed. Changes to School Transport Policy – e.g. if DE changed the statutory walking distance from 3 miles to 1 mile then there would be a higher percentage of buses and drivers needed. This would require a higher volume system to handle the increased amount of data.

Report by the Post Primary Review Body (The Burns Report). If Collegiates are established with some post-primary’s specializing in certain curriculum areas and dropping others, this could result in pupils who are currently within walking distance to their nearest school will now have to be transported to the nearest school within their collegiate that provides their educational requirements. This would also require a higher volume system to handle the increased amount of data.

Economical Rising fuel costs e.g. taxation of fuel, rising labour costs for drivers, rising vehicle/parts costs. If DE needs to spend more money on the service then this could take priority over the funding for the implementation of the system. Social Falling trend in school enrolments. This would require a lower volume system to handle the decreased amount of data. Pupil/parent expectations of the service e.g. if parents insist on improved safety through the use of seatbelts. Then the system would need to have greater control to ensure that no pupils are transported without seatbelts. Increased awareness of parents of environmental concerns e.g. due to benefits from reduced car emissions and road congestion a higher level of parents may request that their children be transported by bus.

Technological Rising public expectations could lead to a need for 24/7 access for parents and pupils to information in the Transport Service via the internet. The introduction of Geographical Information Systems will provide a graphical representation of the service leading to a more efficient service in locating home addresses. Conclusion The impact of a number of these external influences could be that a higher volume system would be needed to handle the increased amount of data. if the external economic costs rise then the DE may spend more money on the service and this could take priority over the funding for the implementation of the system.

4 Analysis – The Micro Environment – (SWOT) I will now carry out a SWOT analysis. This is a very useful tool as it will help me identify the strengths, weaknesses in the internal environment and the opportunities and threats in the external environment. 2/Hodder & Stoughton defined SWOT Analysis as : Performing a SWOT analysis involves the generation and recording of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats concerning a task, individual, department, or organization. It is customary for the analysis to take account of internal resources and capabilities (strengths and weakness) and factors external to the organization (opportunities and threats).

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