The course seeks to help the student develop an understanding of the concepts and skills needed for the design and control of operations in both services and manufacturing organizations. Students will take a strategic and general management approach to the design of an operating system and its supporting organizational structure and infrastructure including information systems, human resource management, and financial policies. The focus is on the strategic role of operations and technology decisions as a source of competitive advantage for the firm with an emphasis on the integration of R & D/Design/Engineering, operations and marketing within the context of the business unit's strategy, and the organizational structure and skills needed to execute and manage the operating system. The overal goal is to create, achieve, and sustain operational effectiveness. The course will emphasize the analytical tools and techniques that are useful in making decisions about projection facilities and capacity, choices of technology and equipment, task and process design, organizational architecture, human resources policies, and the physical and managerial control of operations. Students will gain an understanding of the economics of operations including trade-offs between fixed and variable costs, marginal/incremental analysis to identify relevant versus sunk costs, optimization, and productivity measurements for both capital and labor. Case studies will provide opportunities for students to develop their skills in process design and choice, process mapping, critical thinking, identification of problems versus symptoms, process improvement, and capacity measurement in the context of the business strategy while the simulations will provide an opportunity to practice the management of a particular operating system. Students will also gain an understanding of how human behavior and organizational design, along with quantitative optimization, forms the theoretical underpinning of operations management.
[(BUS 510 with min. grade of C)]