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Course Catalog



MBA703: Operations

Operations Management (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
MWF  8:00 AM-9:20 AM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
Nur Sunar
002 Module II
MWF  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
Vinayak Deshpande
003 Module II
MWF  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
Vinayak Deshpande
004 Module II
MWF  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  McColl  2250
0 / 75

MBA705: Operations Management Models

Operations Management (Elective)

The purpose of this course is to provide exposure to a number of different modeling techniques that are used in Operations Management, developing your skill both in building models and interpreting the output of these decision tools.  Although the emphasis of this course is on operations, the tools that we will discuss have practical applications in a wide variety of functional areas, including marketing, finance and human resource management.  The objective is not to create expert mathematicians; we will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of these techniques only as needed.  Rather, the emphasis is on assessing the applicability of these tools in practical situations.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Wendell Gilland
001 Module III
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
0 / 45
Wendell Gilland
002 Module III
MW  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  Unknown 
0 / 45

MBA706: Data Analytics: Tools and Opportunities

Operations Management (Elective)

NOTE:  This class is only open to Second Year students.

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. Emphasizing fundamental data analysis concepts such as visualization, data quality, and model validation, the course will expose students to key methodological tools including linear regression, classification, clustering, and tree-based models through hands-on work with data and software. Through case discussions, students will critically evaluate strategic opportunities and management challenges that arise with data-driven business models. Grading will be based on several problem sets, a case writeup, and a capstone final project.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Seyed Emadi
001 Module III
TR  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
0 / 45
Seyed Emadi
002 Module III
TR  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  Unknown 
0 / 45

MBA708: Service Operations Management

Operations Management (Elective)

The service sector is responsible for approximately 75% of the gross domestic product, and 80% of the jobs in the United States. Given the ever-increasing role of services in the American as well as world economies, it is important for a manager to understand both how services differ from manufacturing operations and how traditional operations management techniques can be applied to services. Service providers face high demand variability with significant number of customer contacts but without the ability to “store” service in advance of demand.  How can a company achieve operational competitiveness in this context? What are the tools to analyze service operations? In this course we will examine different answers to these questions. Among the topics covered are: demand management, capacity management, management of service quality, design of service delivery systems and processes and the evaluation of service productivity. The course will examine settings in healthcare, financial services, retail environments, and transportation services among others. We shall illustrate conceptual and analytical frameworks through lectures, case studies, and in-class discussion.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Ali Parlakturk
001 Module II
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  McColl  2350
17 / 43 (wtlst 0)
Ali Parlakturk
002 Module II
MW  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  McColl  2350
14 / 43 (wtlst 0)

MBA708A: Retail Operations

Operations Management (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.

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 consumer behavior, demand forecasting, logistics and distribution, store execution, international retailing, internet-based retailing, performance assessment, and impact on financial performance. Case studies cover major US retailers such as Home-Depot, Amazon.com, Borders 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
Saravanan Kesavan
001 Module II
MW  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  McColl  2000
36 / 43 (wtlst 0)
Saravanan Kesavan
002 Module II
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  McColl  2000
41 / 43 (wtlst 0)

MBA709A: Global Operations Strategy

Operations Management (Elective)

This course examines how consultants and managers can help organizations to use their operations to build a competitive advantage. In today’s increasingly global and competitive environment the operational choices a firm makes are a critical part of its strategy and eventual success or failure – whether or not the company owns or outsources its actual operations. Operations are not just a source of cost, or even a value-add to the core part of the business, but rather they can and should be a primary competitive weapon. This course seeks to answer three related questions:

  1. How do you evaluate an operations strategy?
  2. How can an organization improve its operations?
  3. How can an organization invent new operations?

This class will be highly interactive consisting of active case discussions each day that will be supplemented with short lectures when appropriate. We will examine companies around the world and across different industries (e.g., manufacturing, healthcare services, banking, software services, etc.) An organization’s operation strategy is distinct, but not independent of, its other strategic choices. Therefore, this course will build not only on the core operations course, but also on the work you have completed in other areas such as strategy and organizational behavior.

This class is appropriate for individuals going into consulting as well as operating or general management roles. The study of how operations can drive a firm’s overall success (or failure) and how operations interacts with other functional areas are important lessons for all MBA students.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Bradley Staats
001 Module III
MW  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
0 / 45
Bradley Staats
002 Module III
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  Unknown 
0 / 45

MBA710: Project Management

Operations Management (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
Paul Rowe
001 Module I
MW  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  McColl  2000
26 / 43 (wtlst 0)
Paul Rowe
002 Module I
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  McColl  2000
37 / 43 (wtlst 0)

MBA711: Supply Chain Management

Operations Management (Elective)

Course Objectives
A supply chain is comprised of all the parties involved in fulfilling a customer request. The integrated management of this network is a critical determinant of success in today’s competitive environment. Companies like Amazon, Dell, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, and Wal-mart are proof that excellence in supply chain management is a must for financial strength and industry leadership.
            
With increasing competition around the globe, supply chain management is both a challenge and an opportunity for companies. Hence a strong understanding of supply chain management concepts and the ability to recommend improvements should be in the toolbox of all managers. The objective of this course is to introduce you to the key concepts and techniques that will allow you to analyze, manage and improve supply chain processes for different industries and markets. At completion of this course, you will have the skills to assess supply chain performance and make recommendations to increase supply chain competitiveness.

Content
The topics we will cover in this course can be roughly grouped into four modules:

  • Module I: Supply Chain Network Design and Matching Supply with Demand (e.g., supply chain network optimization, multi-item inventory management, capacity portfolio planning under demand uncertainty)
  • Module II: Managing Decentralized Supply Chain (e.g., supply chain contracting, supplier selection, auction)
  • Module III: Global Supply Chain Management (e.g., strategic sourcing, offshoring, TLC, currency risk)
  • Module IV: Emerging Issues in Supply Chain Management (e.g., sustainability, RFID, supply disruptions)

Approach
Each topic will be discussed using a combination of models, case-discussions, and readings.  The anticipated mix for the course is roughly 60% quantitative and 40% qualitative. In a typical week we will cover one major case in-depth, supplemented by mini-lectures, presentations and qualitative discussions of other examples. We will use a data-driven approach where tools and analysis will start with realistic data. We will also play games to give students simulated hands-on experience.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Lauren Lu
001 Module I
MW  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  McColl  2350
39 / 43 (wtlst 0)
Lauren Lu
002 Module I
MW  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  McColl  2350
26 / 43 (wtlst 0)

MBA713: Sustainable Operations

Operations Management (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     

 

1)              Provide an understanding of the link between the sustainability goals and the operation function of a firm.

2)              Develop an understanding of Environmental dynamics and give an overview of Environmental legislation and its impact on the Operations function.

3)              Show profit and sustainability opportunities that exist by radically rethinking products/services sold by a firm through “Servicization”.

4)              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).

5)              Make the connection between principles of lean manufacturing and sustainability.

6)              Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies and techniques in closed-loop operations such as remanufacturing, recycling and reuse.

7)              Understand sustainability issues in Transportation, Distribution and Logistics function of a firm.

8)              Show how Supply Chain/Logistics preparedness of an organization can help achieve humanitarian aid goals.

9)              Highlight challenges that arise in addressing sustainability issues in a global supply-chain involving developing countries.

10)          Provide an opportunity to analyze a sustainability issue in greater depth through a course project.

InstructorsSectionTermsMeeting InfoEnrollments
Vinayak Deshpande
001 Module IV
MW  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  Unknown 
0 / 45

MBA714: Business Statistics and Analytics

Operations Management (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
Adam Mersereau
001 Module I
TR  8:00 AM-9:20 AM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
Adam Mersereau
002 Module I
TR  9:30 AM-10:50 AM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
Adam Mersereau
003 Module I
TR  11:00 AM-12:20 PM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
Adam Mersereau
004 Module I
TR  2:00 PM-3:20 PM  McColl  2250
0 / 75
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