In many companies, Operations is viewed as the tactical execution arm of the company. In a business model of "Get Order, Ship Order," the strategic questions are all about from whom we want orders, at what prices, and for what kinds of products and services. Once we know that, Operations merely has to "ship order." For those organizations, strategic operations thinking is an ivory tower luxury with no real practical application.But in a business model of meeting the needs of the market perfectly, traditional "get order, ship order" thinking is vastly insufficient. It fosters entirely too much imperfection being tolerated as "acceptable levels of speed, delivery, and cost" while only partially meeting the needs of the market. For them, something much more aggressive and challenging is needed. So "What" is strategic operations thinking? It's stepping back to understand the needs of the market. It's giving depth to company values and mission and providing a means to implement them in the decision-making processes. It's providing a consistent framework for decision-making, moving from fire-fighting to fire prevention, and enabling long term alignment of the parts of the business. Why should you care? Because you shouldn't go home exhausted each night from battling the same problems, repeating the same discussions, and wondering out loud "there has to be a better way."About Rebecca A. MorganRebecca A. Morgan, President of Fulcrum ConsultingWorks Inc., is a manufacturing strategy consultant skilled at clarifying complex ideas, finding creative solutions to problems, and developing operational excellence. She works with manufacturers to position their operations for strategic advantage, developing predictable, repeatable, reliable and profitable delivery of brand promise to their markets.Her ability to work as effectively with off-shift workers as with owners and C-level executives and her 30+ years professional experience combine to support both strategic vision and daily execution.Morgan's experience spans Operations, Supply Chain Management, Accounting Systems, Information Systems, Strategic Planning, Consulting and Academe.