This course introduces you to concepts and techniques related to matching supply with demand in manufacturing and service operations. The goals are to make you conversant in the language of operations management; provide you with quantitative and qualitative tools to analyze basic operations issues; and allow you to see the role of operations management in the overall strategy of the firm. The course covers topics in process and capacity analysis, inventory management, demand uncertainty, supply chain management, and service operations. In each module, you are introduced to tools for analyzing operations problems and methods of managing that aspect of operations. You will prepare cases for class discussion, analyze cases and problem sets, participate in simulations/exercises, and take midterm and final exams. Our objective is to create as much interaction with operations issues as possible, allowing you to examine how they affect an organization’s overall performance.
The course meets twice a week in 2-hour classes, for the first seven weeks of the Spring semester. In addition, there is an optional 80-minute discussion section each Friday with a GSI.
The course will use readings and cases that are made available electronically or through a course reader. If you want additional background, you may consult the textbook Matching Supply and Demand: An Introduction to Operations Management by Gerard Cachon and Christian Terwiesch.
Waiver Exam Overview
If you have a background in industrial engineering or very strong analytical experience in manufacturing or operations management, you should consider taking the waiver exam. If you have questions about the logistics of taking the waiver exam, please direct them to the MBA Program Office (not the instructor).
Here are a robust set of sample exam questions to help you assess your ability and as a study guide. You should be familiar with process and capacity analysis, service operations (including queueing phenomena), inventory control, demand uncertainty, and supply chain management.
In addition, here is a recent course syllabus from Spring 2020. Please note that this syllabus is not current so you should not refer to it, except in preparation for the waiver exam.
Lastly, the Cachon and Terwiesch textbook (available online to rent or purchase) provides a good review of basic operations principles. The syllabus’ “Course Outline” table’s right hand column provides references to sections of the Cachon and Terwiesch text that are relevant; the text also includes practice problems (with solutions in the back of the book). You are welcome to read through these sections and work through the associated practice problems. Many other operations management textbooks would serve equally well as a study guide.
You will have a total of 180 minutes (3 hours) to complete the exam. This time limit will begin as soon as you start the exam, and will continue even if you navigate away from the page.
You will have only one attempt to complete the exam, and once you have begun the exam, you are not able to stop and start again later.
Students are required to observe the honor code at all times. This is an individual assignment, so you may not work with others, and you cannot share any notes/files you make during the exam with anyone, including other current or future students.
You are allowed to use a calculator and reference notes and textbooks during the exam.
A Standard Normal Table and Equation Sheet will be provided on the exam site for students to reference during the exam.
Besides bCourses, no other programs may be open on your computer while taking the exam. Accessing the Internet or any other data or voice network during the exam is prohibited and violates the honor code.