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Course Catalog



MBA703: Operations

Operations (Core)

Operations management can be defined as the design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's primary products and services.  This class provides an understanding of the operations management function and its relationship to other functional areas within the firm.

In this class, we will develop frameworks to analyze the strengths and weakness of a firm's operations and to develop viable alternatives in pursuing its goals and objectives.  We will examine the tradeoffs that managers face in emphasizing one goal (such as high capacity utilization) as compared to another goal (such as customer service).  We will compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies and techniques, as determined by industry and global operating environments.

Ultimately, we hope to stimulate your interest in operations management. Whether you end up in finance, marketing, operations, accounting, or any other field, you will have opportunities to consider and systematically improve the way you do things. Operations management provides tools, techniques, and strategies for making organizations work more effectively and efficiently, and can make you a better manager.

Objectives:

  • Provide an understanding of the Operations Management function, and its relationship to other functional areas within the firm.
  • Develop a framework whereby the strengths and weaknesses of a firm’s operations can be analyzed, and whereby the firm can develop viable alternatives in pursuing its goals and objectives.
  • Examine the tradeoffs that managers face in emphasizing one goal (such as high capacity utilization) as compared to another goal (such as minimum throughput time).
  • Develop competence with specific tools and techniques used by practicing Operations Management personnel.

Teaching Methods:

The case method is one of the most effective means for developing decision-making capabilities in the complex situations that characterize real-life operations problems. The philosophy behind the extensive use of cases in this course is that operations as practiced is both a matter of learning specific theories and understanding how to apply the techniques you have learned to a given situation.

The case method forces each of you to be an active participant in operations decisions, encouraging you to analyze relevant data and apply the theories and analytical techniques discussed in class. Since classes are based upon the discussion of cases, preparation in advance of each session is very important. We all have busy schedules and if we’re going to take the time to be in class, we should do it right. I promise to be well prepared for each class and I expect you to be as well.

Materials Covered:

The approach we will take in introducing the areas of Operations Management is twofold.  First, we will cover some basic theory in the areas.  Second, we will look at a variety of domestic and international cases that show applications (good and bad) of the theory.

Process Analysis; Factory Physics; Inventory Management under Uncertainty
Operations Strategy; Response Time Management
Quality Control and Lean Operations
Supply Chain Strategies

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Nur Sunar
001 Module II
M  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
59 / 60
Nur Sunar
002 Module II
M  8:00 AM-9:20 AM  Unknown 
54 / 60
Nur Sunar
003 Module II
M  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
58 / 60
Nur Sunar
004 Module II
T  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
59 / 60
Nur Sunar
005 Module II
T  8:00 AM-9:20 AM  Unknown 
57 / 60
Nur Sunar
006 Module II
T  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
54 / 60

MBA704: Value Chain Innovation

Operations (Elective)

The business world is rapidly evolving with access to information technology, automation and a global economy. Data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart connected devices, block chains and digital business models are expected to transform many industries. This course will focus on innovative value delivery models, technologies and processes across multiple industries including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and software. We will discuss the strategies adopted by established firms such as Amazon, Apple, Caterpillar, GE, IBM and 1800 Flowers.com as well as disruptors such as Uber, Xiaomi, Tesla and Rue La La as they transform the business landscape. In this course we will introduce tools and innovative business models that utilize the latest technological advances and data science, and explore their impact on the value delivery eco-system including design, procurement, production, sales, delivery and services. At the end of the course a student will have developed a strong insight into how technology, data and automation could impact business models of tomorrow and the future.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Jay Swaminathan
002 Module IV
MW  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
33 / 45 (wtlst 0)
Jay Swaminathan
001 Module IV
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
44 / 45 (wtlst 0)

MBA705: Business Modeling: Prescriptive Analytics

Operations (Elective)

The explosion in availability of data has enabled organizations to collect wealth of information for their business operations. Recent advances in methods such as machine learning has enabled organizations to use this data for making better “predictions” about the future, which can then be used to inform business decisions. In contrast to predictive analytics, the focus of this course is on using this data directly to make better “prescriptions”, i.e. business decisions. The purpose of this course is to provide exposure to a number of different modeling techniques that are used for business decision-making, developing your skill in both building models and interpreting the output of these decision tools. Although many of the examples used in this course are from the operations function, the tools that we will discuss have practical applications in a wide variety of functional areas, including marketing, finance and human resource management. A sample of specific tools/concepts covered in this course are

•    Linear and Non-Linear Optimization
•    Discrete Event Simulation
•    Business Models (Regression Optimization or Simulation Optimization) for Decision-Making

The emphasis of this course is on assessing the applicability of these tools in practical situations for making business decisions.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Vinayak Deshpande
002 Module III
MW  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
45 / 50 (wtlst 0)
Vinayak Deshpande
001 Module III
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
48 / 50 (wtlst 0)

MBA706: Data Analytics: Tools and Opportunities

Operations (Elective)

Pick up a recent issue of any business periodical and you are likely to find a testimonial extolling the virtues of Business Analytics, the practice of applying data and rigorous modeling to derive business insights and drive business planning. Business Analytics and its relatives Big Data, Data Mining, Business Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics represent capabilities that are increasingly sought by firms in a variety of industries. “Data Analytics” prepares students to lead analytics-driven organizations in the big data era by giving students advanced machine learning and data analytics tools. Emphasizing fundamental data analysis concepts such as data quality, advanced and non-parametric predictive analytics and machine learning tools such as neural networks, deep learning, artificial intelligence, advanced classification, principal component analysis, recommendation analytics, unstructured data and text analytics, the course will expose students to key methodological tools and concepts through hands-on work with data and software. Through case discussions in different areas such as health care analytics, retail and financial analytics, students will critically evaluate strategic opportunities and management challenges that arise with data-driven business models. Grading will be based on several problem sets, case write-ups, and a capstone final project.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Seyed Emadi
002 Module IV
TR  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
37 / 54 (wtlst 0)
Seyed Emadi
001 Module IV
TR  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
40 / 54 (wtlst 0)

MBA706A: Thinking and Communicating with Data

Operations (Elective)

Many analytics projects succeed or fail not because of the choice of software or algorithm, but rather due to factors like formulation, data understanding, and communication. This course will teach students to be good stewards of data analysis, think critically with data, design visually accessible data displays, tell compelling data-driven stories, and avoid analytics traps set—intentionally or unintentionally—by others. This course will teach students to:
  • Design effective and attractive data visualizations
  • Construct data visualizations and dashboards using the software package Tableau
  • Tell compelling stories with data
  • Engage audiences in data-driven presentations through plain language strategies
  • Identify and avoid common pitfalls and decision biases that plague data-driven analyses and presentations
  • Consider the ethical implications of collecting and presenting data

Class sessions will feature lecture discussions, case analyses, software instruction, and student presentation and feedback workshops.  The course will feature several hands-on assignments where students will build their own data visualizations and critique the analyses of others.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Patricia Harms
Adam Mersereau
001V Module I
TR  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
36 / 36 (wtlst 2)
Patricia Harms
Adam Mersereau
002V Module I
TR  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
37 / 37 (wtlst 0)

MBA708A: Retail Operations

Operations (Elective)

Retailing is not only a link in the supply chain, but also an important industry to study for a number of reasons. This industry, more than any other, is at the forefront of business changes since it directly connects with the consumer and generates demand for the rest of the economy. It is an intensely dynamic industry, with continuous changes in marketing channels, technology, and sourcing. It has gone through remarkable developments through history, and has often been an incubator for new business concepts. Currently, retailing is leading economic growth and transformation in emerging markets around the world, both through global sourcing and global marketing. In the US, retailing comprises 40% of the economy, and is the largest employer.

Retailing is also academically interesting as a laboratory to learn and test concepts that may apply to other businesses. Performance in retailing can be measured and various types of sophisticated data can be collected easier than in other industries. Managers in retailing receive much more rapid feedback on their decisions than in other industries. Retailers can change their strategies and product mix in relatively short periods of time. Finally, low entry and exit barriers magnify risks and rewards in this industry, so that we find firms with stellar growth as well as those with a history of bankruptcies.

This course will examine various new developments in retailing and the application of operations management principles to these developments. The topics covered in the course include omnichannel retailing, logistics and distribution, consumer behavior, demand forecasting, retail staffing, store execution, internet-based retailing, assortment and price optimization, data analytics in retail operations, and international retailing. Case studies cover major US retailers such as Home Depot, Belk, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.

This course is highly recommended for students interested in careers in:
•    Retailing and supply chain management
•    Businesses like banking, consulting, and information technology that provide services to retail firms
•    Manufacturing companies that sell their products through retail firms

Even if you don’t expect to work for a retailer, this course can be useful to you in two ways. First, because retailers are such dominant players in many supply chains today, it is important that the processes they follow be understood by manufacturers and distributors, or by the consultants and bankers that service retailers and their suppliers. Second, the problems retailers face (e.g., making data accessible, interpreting large amounts of data, reducing lead-times, eliciting the best efforts from employees, etc.), are shared by firms in many other industries. It’s easier to understand these issues through case studies in retailing because we all experience the industry as consumers and can readily relate to chronic problems such as stock outs and markdowns.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Sajad Modaresi
001V Module II
MW  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
19 / 42 (wtlst 0)
Sajad Modaresi
002V Module II
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
19 / 42 (wtlst 0)

MBA709: Digital Operations

Operations (Elective)

A number of forces are shaping the business landscape today. The Great recession of 2007-2009 affected the fortunes of countless people and companies. Globalization and offshoring shifted the way companies structured their supply chains. Demographic changes are also causing significant changes in the way products and services are consumed. But if there is one change that trumps all the above in terms of impact on business, it is Technology. Technology impacts businesses more because they remove constraints and create exciting new opportunities for companies. With the change in technology, it has become necessary for companies to change their outlook on everything from hiring, capability development, and underlying processes. In other words, the entire business model may need to be changed. In this course, we will examine the capabilities, processes, and technologies to cost-effectively meet customer demand.

This course will examine various new developments in technologies spanning across multiple industries and the application of operations management principles to these developments. The topics covered in the course include ecommerce, network effects, demand forecasting, logistics and distribution, last mile delivery, labor issues in an on-demand economy, and software development through crowdsourcing. Case studies cover large companies as well as startups.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Saravanan Kesavan
001V Module II
TR  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
43 / 45 (wtlst 0)
Saravanan Kesavan
002V Module II
TR  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
37 / 45 (wtlst 0)

MBA710: Project Management

Operations (Elective)

Most MBA graduates will spend a significant portion of their career taking part in and leading projects. The use of projects in organizations is only increasing. In many areas, ranging from consulting and investment banking to product development and service delivery, organizations deliver their primary output through projects. In other organizations projects are used to implement strategic decisions. Also, projects provide an opportunity for high-potential individuals to hone and prove their capability prior to taking on the responsibility of managing a larger business. While every project has its unique components, in many ways projects in organizations are quite similar. It is these commonalities that permit us to explore project management generally. In this course we will examine a range of contexts – e.g., outsourcing, product development, geographic expansion, construction, merger integration – to help students become familiar with the tools and concepts of project management. The objective of this course is to prepare students so that they have the ability to effectively take part in and lead projects. The goal is to equip individuals across any career concentration, rather than extend the expertise of project-management specialists. Therefore, this class will be highly interactive consisting of active case discussions each day that will be supplemented with short lectures when appropriate. We will cover both quantitative and qualitative aspects of project management.
InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Mike Beeler
002 Module IV
MW  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
42 / 47 (wtlst 0)
Mike Beeler
001 Module IV
MW  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
Virtual Only
40 / 45 (wtlst 0)

MBA713: Sustainable Operations

Operations (Elective)

Sustainable enterprise is a way of doing business that makes profits through means that reduce harm to society and the environment. The Brundtland commission defines “sustainable development” as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. There are many dimensions of sustainability which are often captured through triads such as the “three E’s” (Economics, Environment and Equity) or the “three P’s” (Profit, Planet and People).

Operations management can be defined as the design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's primary products and services. The Operations function of a firm focuses on adding value through the transformation process of converting inputs to outputs. The transformation processes can be physical (manufacturing), locational (transportation), exchange (retailing), storage (warehousing), informational (telecom), and many more.

In this course, we will explore the link between Sustainability and the Operations function of a firm. In particular, we will focus on the following activities encompassing the Operations function of a firm: 1) Product and Process design; 2) Manufacturing; 3) Transportation, Logistics and Distribution, 4) Closed-loop/ After-sales operations such as recycling, remanufacturing and reuse, and 5) Supply Chain Management. Particular attention will also be directed to issues related to impact on people and the planet, through topics such as Humanitarian logistics, and Supply chain management in developing countries.

COURSE OBJECTIVES    

  • Provide an understanding of the link between the sustainability goals and the operation function of a firm.
  • Develop an understanding of Environmental dynamics and give an overview of Environmental legislation and its impact on the Operations function.
  • Show profit and sustainability opportunities that exist by radically rethinking products/services sold by a firm through “Servicization”.
  • Examine the tradeoffs that managers’ face while developing new products in emphasizing one goal (e.g., reduced product cost) as compared to another goal (such as reduced environmental impact).
  • Make the connection between principles of lean manufacturing and sustainability.
  • Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies and techniques in closed-loop operations such as remanufacturing, recycling and reuse.
  • Understand sustainability issues in Transportation, Distribution and Logistics function of a firm.
  • Show how Supply Chain/Logistics preparedness of an organization can help achieve humanitarian aid goals.
  • Highlight challenges that arise in addressing sustainability issues in a global supply-chain involving developing countries.
  • Provide an opportunity to analyze a sustainability issue in greater depth through a course project.
InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Vinayak Deshpande
001 Module III
FS  9:00 AM-5:00 PM  Unknown 
Virtual Only; Meets 2/5-2/6 and 2/26-2/27
40 / 45 (wtlst 0)

MBA714: Business Statistics and Analytics

Operations (Core)

Scientific approaches to decision making are pervasive across a wide breadth of industries and functional areas. It is increasingly expected that business leaders be knowledgeable about the opportunities for data-driven decision-making and the inherent challenges and tradeoffs, and also proficient with manipulating and analyzing data themselves. This is a core course in business statistics covering data analysis, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, and multiple regression. The primary goal of the course is for students both to learn basic statistical techniques and to acquire proficiency with the “art” of applying these techniques to practical managerial decision problems. A secondary goal is to increase students’ familiarity with the use of Microsoft Excel for data analysis. These skills will be expected of students in future core and elective courses as well by many future MBA employers.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Ali Parlakturk
001 Module I
W  8:00 AM-9:20 AM  Unknown 
During first week of class, meets on Thursday, 9/10
58 / 60
Ali Parlakturk
002 Module I
W  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
During first week of class, meets on Thursday, 9/10
52 / 60
Ali Parlakturk
003 Module I
W  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
During first week of class, meets on Thursday, 9/10
60 / 60
Ali Parlakturk
004 Module I
R  8:00 AM-9:20 AM  Unknown 
During first week of class, meets on Friday, 9/11
58 / 60
Ali Parlakturk
005 Module I
R  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
During first week of class, meets on Friday, 9/11
61 / 60
Ali Parlakturk
006 Module I
R  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
During first week of class, meets on Friday, 9/11
53 / 62
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