Operations Management

Gain fundamental insights to world of Operations Management from award winning Professor Gad Allon
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  • Lectures 30
  • Length 6.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 1/2012 English

Course Description

A Faculty Project Course - Best Professors Teaching the World

This course provides a general introduction to operations management. This course aims to (1) familiarize you with the major operational problems and issues that confront managers, and (2) provide you with language, concepts, insights and tools to deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations.

This course should be of particular interest to people aspiring a career in designing and managing business processes, either directly (V.P. of Ops, COO) or indirectly (e.g. management consulting). The course should also be of interest to people who manage interfaces between operations and other business functions such as finance, marketing, managerial accounting and human resources. Finally, a working knowledge of operations, which typically employs the greatest number of employees and requires the largest investment in assets, is indispensable for general managers and entrepreneurs.

We will see how different business strategies require different business processes, and vice versa, how different operational capabilities allow and support different strategies to gain competitive advantage. A process view of operations will be used to analyze different key operational dimensions such as capacity management, flow time management, supply chain management, and quality management. We will also discuss developments such as lean operations, just-in-time operations, and time-based competition.

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Section 1: Operations Strategy: What Makes for Good Operations
Introduction to Operations Management
What's an Improvement
Strategic Framework For Operational Decisions
Applying the Framework to Southwest vs American Airlines
Lecture Slides
12 pages
Section 2: Managing Processes

What's a process? What are the advantages of the process view of operations?


Where should you target improvement? What metrics matter? What are the most important metrics we need to measure for almost every process?


Are flow Time, inventory and throughput related?


What are the main drivers of Flow Time? How do you measure Theoretical Flow Time and how do you improve it?


What determines the maximal throughput? How can improve capacity? What's a bottleneck?

Chapter 2 Slides
44 pages
Section 3: Section 3: Lean Operations
Introduction to Lean Operations
Lean Tool: Quality at the Source
Lean Tool: Batch Size Reduction
Lean Tool: Pull rather than Push
Lean Tool: Cellular Layout
Continuous Improvement and Summary
Chapter 3 Slides
65 pages
Section 4: Managing Service Operations
How should we model a service as a process? What are the main metrics?
Why do queues form? What are the main drivers of waiting times?
Queueing theory: What's the role of utilization and uncertainty?
How do firms improve their customers' waiting time?
Section 4 Slides
86 pages
Section 5: Supply Chain Management and Wrap Up
Supply Chain Management
Key Challenges
Hedging Against Risk
Wrap Up
Section 5 Slides
27 pages

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Instructor Biography

Professor Gad Allon, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Gad Allon is a professor of managerial economics and decision science at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He received his PhD in Management Science from Columbia Business School in New York and holds a Bachelor and a Master degree from the Israeli Institute of Technology.

His research interests include operations management in general, and service operations and operations strategy in particular. Recently, Professor Allon has been studying dual sourcing models. He has also been studying models of information sharing among firms and customers both in service and retail settings. Professor Allon won the 2011 “Wickham Skinner Early-Career Research Award” of the Production and Operations Management Society. Professor Allon regularly consults firms both on service strategy and operations strategy.

Professor Allon teaches the core operations management and elective on operations strategy at the Kellogg school of management. Gad also teaches executive courses on the "Science of Lean Six-Sigma Operations", Supply Chain Strategy and Leading Strategic Change. Professor Allon won the 2009 Outstanding Professor of the Year Award at Kellogg, and was recently named among the “World’s Top 40 B-School professors under the age of 40.”

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