Operations management is the design and management of the processes that transform inputs into finished goods or services. Operations is one of the primary functions of a firm similar to Finance or Marketing. This course provides a foundation for understanding the operations of a firm by exploring a simple question: How companies actually do things?
The course will focus on operations and management of technology in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, retailing, transportation, etc.
Students will be introduced to essential operations management concepts, analytical tools and frameworks through a variety of learning formats including case studies, video clips, interactive problem solving, group exercises, simulations and directed reading.
At the end of the course, students will be conversant in the language of business operations, and they will be able to use both quantitative and qualitative tools to analyse basic operational issues. They will understand the “physics” of material, work and information flows within companies, and they will learn how the design and management of a firm’s processes interact to determine a firm’s cost structure and its ability to compete effectively in terms of non-cost measures such as quality, variety and speed. Students will also develop a process based view of managing information and technology.
- Operations Strategy
- Process Analysis
- Capacity and Inventory Management
- Lean Operations and Quality
- Supply Chain Management
- New Product Development
- Technological Innovation
Final exam: 40%
Group Project: 45%
Case reports: 15%
A combination of lecture notes, case studies, videos, and articles will be used. There is also one required ‘novel’ for this course:
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, by E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox, North River Press, Third Revised Edition, 2004. This is a business novel set at a manufacturing plant. It is a pleasurable read which teaches some important operations management concepts along the way. We will refer to it periodically throughout the term and there will be some coursework based on it.