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Syllabus

Course Description: This course aims to (1) direct your attention to fundamental problems and issues confronting all operations managers, (2) provide you with language, concepts, and insights which will help you to deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations, and (3) further develop your ability to use analytical approaches and tools to understand and handle various managerial situations. Because the course deals with the management of “processes”, it applies to both for- profit and non-profit organizations, to both service and manufacturing organizations, and to virtually any functional area or industry.

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Course Overview: This course should be of particular interest to people aspiring to a career in designing and managing business processes, either directly (e. G… V. P. , COO, CEO etc. ) or indirectly (e. G. , management consulting). However, this material also has great value to all parties who need to manage the interfaces between operations and other business functions such as finance, marketing, managerial accounting and human resources.

Finally, a greater appreciation of the operations function, which typically employs the greatest number of employees and requires the largest Intuitively, this course is arranged around 5 key questions: 1 . What is the best type of process to deliver my product? 2. How do I figure out how much I can make or deliver? 3. What is the significance of variability in managing my processes? . What tools do I have to respond to variability in my processes? 5. How do I combine ideas and pull tools together to form a good response to variability in realistic settings?

Case 1: Written Manufacturing – This case deals with a medium sized firm with a network of plants. Plants are configured to focus on a process type bib shop, batch flow, continuous flow). Products move through the plant based on their position in their product life cycle. Consideration of the case motivates students to wrestle with a variety of questions including: What is the right match between life cycle stage and Lana strategy? What other decisions are most consistent with the strategy for the plant’s roll in the system? Is it reasonable to measure performance in the same way across plants with differing missions?

How are the qualitative aspects of the production strategy reflected in the managerial approach to plant management? Case 2: Shoulders Hospital – This case deals with a streamlined process in a focused facility in the health-care industry. While such settings are notoriously difficult to manage due to high levels of variability along multiple dimensions, this firm very levelly focuses its service delivery strategy to minimize the negative impacts of that variability. The resulting service delivery process presents a rather straight forward example to be analyzed.

This system is used to introduce several fundamental aspects of process analysis. The pertinent questions raised include, what is the bottleneck of this process and how do we find it? How does the bottleneck relate to the capacity of the system? How can we measure and predict the impact of increasing the capacity of the bottleneck? Case 3: Executive Shirts – This case deals with a production process that involves mom level of customization. Several complexities are added including a more explicit treatment of multiple server systems, setup times, batch sizing, and labor costs.

Case 4: Curtis Swan (A) – this case involves having students select production batch sizes given setup costs, and demand levels which are product specific for a firm that makes a family of products. This is a classic example of the search for an Economic Order Quantity in a slightly complex environment. Case 5: Flanders of Springfield – this case deals with a retailer selecting order sizes before demand is realized. It is a classic demonstration of the value of finding a “Newsreader” solution to the problem of demand uncertainty.

Simulation Exercise: Managing a Service Contract at Littered Labs – this group exercise is a “simulation game” played by student groups. The object of the game is to manage a production setting in which there is evolving demand, and high promising longer lead times (which sacrifices per order price), buying additional capacity (which is a significant capital expense), and by holding inventory (which involves a carrying cost). The object of the game is to give students a chance to apply sessions of the course including inventory management, capacity analysis, and queuing theory to handle a more realistic scenario that plays out in real time.

Attendance Policy Class participation: Since substantial amount of the course is based on learning though cases, students are expected to be well prepared and ready to take part in the case discussions. When students are prepared, the class discussion and the learning process are greatly enhanced. Preparation involves not only thorough analysis, but also developing a personal position on the issues raised in the cases ND readings. Unless you have thought about and adopted a personal position, it is very hard to learn from others’ contributions in the class.

Assignments Homework assignments will be provided via Blackboard for this course. Each HOW will include questions on the material covered in the class and on the case to be discussed on the due dates. These assignments are to be completed independently, without the aid of other people. You may not copy the assignment or portions of the assignment of other students, and you may not collaborate with others in writing the individual assignment. The submissions should not be discussed with others prior to the due date.

Simulation Exercise: This session deals with a competitive simulation exercise. Student groups will compete by managing a virtual production environment. Winning the game will require the application of principals introduced in earlier sessions including process analysis, queuing theory, and inventory analysis. Introductory material about the game will be provided via Blackboard prior to the date of game play. Evaluation and Grading Important notes about grading policy: The grade for good performance in a course will be a B+/B. The grade of A- will only be awarded for excellent performance.

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