They say that the only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability. That’s also true in business. If there is one thing all business owners would agree upon, it’s that the market is unpredictable, regardless of the type of business. What’s hot one day will soon be yesterday’s worn-out trend. Things that go well one week can be a complete disappointment the next.

What can set successful companies apart from those that fail is how well they deal with the ebb and flow of business. Staying on top of inventory, planning hiring in a timely manner, ensuring that the right technology and the proper equipment is in place — those are all part of what is known as capacity. If the person in charge does not plan these things wisely, the business’s performance may suffer.

Thanks to a process known as capacity planning, business owners can handle these types of issues in a structured way based on research, experience and knowledge from industry experts. Indeed, many online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs spend at least some time explaining the fundamentals of capacity planning. In fact, all seven online MBA programs offered by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) include a course devoted to operations management, which includes the study of capacity planning.

Long-term Vs. Short-term Capacity Planning

Effective capacity planning depends on several factors, such as production technology, staffing, operational structure and legal regulations. In general, capacity planning can be broken down into two types: short- and long-term.

Short term capacity planning covers things like efficient scheduling, hiring and cross-training, all of which serve to increase production. Capacity managers consider issues like the importance of cross-training and how much overtime to approve so that they can meet customer demand while still maximizing profits.

Long-term issues involve anything having to do with a company’s production facilities. Where will new plants be located? Are the existing facilities near enough to transportation? How much preventive maintenance is required for optimal performance of equipment and technology? Can the plant be reorganized for greater efficiency?

How on Online MBA Can Help With Capacity Techniques

Techniques for dealing with increased or decreased need for capacity are complex and varied. TAMU-CC’s online MBA coursework prepares graduates to make important decisions related to capacity planning and other operational issues.

These decisions incorporate various techniques and procedures that help organizations plan for and adapt to changing business environments or conditions. For instance, many firms will incorporate one of the four procedures geared toward planning capacity — capacity planning using overall factors (CPOF), capacity requirements planning (CRP), resource profiles and capacity bills.

An online MBA program that covers operations management and capacity planning doesn’t merely prepare graduates for specialized careers in this vital area. Capacity planning is a fundamental component of business administration. As such, the study of capacity processes supports the success of MBA graduates in numerous leadership roles across industries.

Learn more about TAMU-CC’s online MBA programs.