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Operations Management Concentration – Explained

Cite this article as:"Operations Management Concentration – Explained," in The Business Professor, updated December 6, 2019, last accessed July 7, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/operations-management-concentration/.


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Operations management concerns the mechanism by which businesses deliver their value proposition to customers clients or end-users. Operations generally includes several specific functional areas. Subsets of operations management include: supply chain management, logistics, project management, risk management, etc.

The operations concentration in a business school examines organizational processes using readily available and practical analytical tools. It is suited for students who are interested in managing the operations of complex, computer-integrated firms, such as manufacturing companies, multi-branch banking, retail chains, international assembly plants, and distribution centers. It is also a very practical concentration for consultants.

Common Courses

  • Operations Management – This course provides an overview of Operations Management. This course covers such critical topics as: Operations Management and the Organization, Operations Strategy, Decision-Making in Operations Management, Product and Service Management, Supply Chain Management, Inventory Management, Forecasting, Operations Scheduling, Management of Quality, Facilities Planning and Management.
  • Management Science – Introduces operation research and management sciences (OR/MS) techniques for supporting business management decisions. Specific mathematical programming and probabilistic topics include linear programming, integer programming, goal programming, network flow models, decision analysis, game theory, queuing models, and Monte Carlo simulation.
  • Quality Management – Provides an understanding of the multifaceted nature of quality management by emphasizing topics such as quality philosophies, total quality management, design quality, process quality, and managing quality in information systems development. Discusses ISO 9000 and Capability Maturity Model.
  • Operations Strategy – This course provides a unifying framework for analyzing strategic issues in manufacturing and service operations. Students analyze the relationships between manufacturing and service companies and their suppliers, customers, and competitors. The course covers strategic decisions in technology, facilities, vertical integration, human resources, and other areas, and also explores means of competition such as cost, quality, and innovativeness.
  • Project Management – This course provides professionals with the essential skills based on the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK Guide) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), Inc, including: The five phases of a project; Project management life cycles; Organizational structure and its influence on projects; Time and cost estimates; Project budgets and calendar-based schedules; Risks and a risk management plan; Project monitoring and control; Procurement planning; Quality planning and control; Project integration with business requirements; Project reporting
  • Strategic Sourcing & Procurement – This course focuses on the value of strategic sourcing and the analytical procurement process. These two major topics are important competencies that every supply chain organization needs to master in order to increase procurement performance and enhance its competitive position in its respective industry. Participants will learn about effective sourcing strategies, including single sourcing, multi-sourcing, and outsourcing, and how to implement a sourcing strategy to ensure a successful procurement process and add value to the supply chain.
  • Process Analysis – This course ntroduces concepts and tools used in designing, modeling, analyzing, and improving business processes. Various business process analysis and simulation methods, such as process mapping/flowcharting, process flow and capacity analysis, service process design, theory of constraints, process modeling and simulation, and business process reengineering are discussed. Introduces methods and analytical tools such as queue theory and computer simulation used to design, model, analyze, and improve business processes. Discusses methods such as process mapping/diagramming, service process design, process modeling, and business process reengineering.
  • Process Control – Understand the key differences between quality control and process control. Learn how to detect variability within a process by measuring and controlling the process. Learn how to reduce variability in a process by improving product and/or process design, inputs, or process execution. Understand how to apply Statistical Process Control to the task of improving processes.
  • Forecasting & Inventory Management – This course seeks to teach you to generate more accurate forecasts, set appropriate inventory levels, and monitor and improve forecasting and inventory management over time. Explore the impact of inflated inventory levels, diagnose process constraints, and leverage techniques to improve inventory performance.
  • Supply Chain Management – This course explores the Design, development, and management of supply chain systems, including production and inventory management, distribution channels, and information systems that support them. Emphasizes impact of e-business on companies and industries, including Internet’s impact on the way goods and services flow through value chain from providers to customers.
  • Manufacturing Systems – This course provides ways to analyze manufacturing systems in terms of material flow and storage, information flow, capacities, and times and durations of events. Fundamental topics include probability, inventory and queuing models, optimization, and linear and dynamic systems. Factory planning and scheduling topics include flow planning, bottleneck characterization, buffer and batch-size analysis, and dynamic behavior of production systems.
  • Government Contracting – This course provides an in-depth knowledge and analysis of the Government Contracting industry, and Business to Government (B2G) relationships. It will discuss Procurement and Supply Chain processes in the government regulatory environment, and how they are executed in practice by government organizations, with a focus on US Federal Government contracting policies, processes and procedures. It is designed for students potentially pursuing careers in government organizations or businesses that serve government clients. Topics will include Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Federal Budgeting, Market Analysis, Category Management, Small Business Utilization, National Security implications, Innovation and Research Funding.

Operations Certifications

Common Jobs

  • Operations Manager – The operations manager is focused on optimizing general corporate infrastructure by monitoring and changing the work environment, vendor selection, supply chain management, real estate, and budgets.
  • Materials Manager – Stores a product through all phases from production to finished goods, shipping between departments, transportation to distribution centers, warehouses, and customers. Materials mangers must ensure that the firm has the right item, at the right time, for the right price. This holds for both good and services. For services, the emphasis is on ordering, receiving, storing and distributing any resources required to perform the service. Jobs include: traffic manager, warehouse manager, logistics manager, materials manager.
  • Purchasing Manager – Buys the goods and services, raw materials, and supplies required by the firm for its operation. They coordinate the quantity, quality, price, and timing delivery appropriate for the firm’s needs. Every firm makes certain purchases each day. Basically every sector deals with purchasing: public and private. Purchasing people spend on average, half of the income of the firm for which they work. Jobs include expediter, buyer, purchasing agent, purchasing manager.
  • Industrial Production Manager – Coordinates the activities of production departments of manufacturing firms. They are responsible for the production scheduling, staffing, quality control, equipment operation and maintenance, inventory control, and coordinating the unit’s activities with that of the other departments. Jobs include: line supervisor, manufacturing manager, production planner, production manager.
  • Operations Research Analyst – Decides on the best allocation of resources within an organization or system. Resources include time, money, people, space, and raw materials. They might also compare competing research projects to determine what one performs best on time, results, and cost given a fixed set of resources and recommend what project to keep and what project to drop. Jobs include: industrial engineer, systems analyst, office manager, forecaster.
  • Quality Assurance Manager – Works on the prevention of product deficiencies through prevention, detection, and correction. They ensure that production goals and quality are met. They might sample, inspect, and test operations and set standards. With the advent of the Malcolm Baldridge Award many of these managers are part of a firm’s total quality management strategic initiatives. Jobs include: quality assurance manager, inspector, technician.
  • Facilities Coordinator – Designs the physical environment of a company. Work on building design, furniture, and associated equipment.
  • Logistics Manager – Responsible for supply chain management in a key area of the corporation. Focused on efficiency and accuracy in receiving and shipping goods. Highly process focused.

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