Operations and Supply Chain Management

At a glance

To optimise the speed and efficiency of your business, the first thing to examine is your operations. This course will provide you with a general introduction to operations and supply chain management.

Operations management is the management of business processes, that is, the recurring activities of a firm. Along with finance and marketing, operations is one of the three primary functions of a firm. Taken together, operations and supply chain management make sure products and services are delivered efficiently and effectively to the customer.

This course is led by Ann Vereecke and Robert Boute.

Approach to learning

To familiarise you with the major operational problems and issues that confront managers, and to provide you with the language, concepts, insights and tools to deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations and supply chain management.

While most people think of factories when they think of “operations”, delivering customer value through operations is broader and more general. Every organisation in every industry uses operations-based principles to plan, control or improve their business processes. Operations is therefore not limited to manufacturing goods, but also encompasses the creation and delivery of services, in a hospital, a restaurant, or an insurance environment for example. As such, the course applies to both for-profit and non-profit organisations, to both service and manufacturing organisations, and to virtually any functional area or industry. It can be studied at the level of the individual plant or facility, or at the level of the supply chain.

“Operations is about organizing everyday work. In this course we’ll take the perspective of the CEO who wants to create value by improving the way of working.” ”

Robert Boute, co-author of the Operations and Supply Chain Management course

Operations and Supply Chain Management programme content

During the Operations and Supply Chain Management course you will examine:

  • The language of operations and supply chain management and operations-based principles
  • A process view of operations, from sourcing over production to distribution, and how this effects various key operational dimensions such as flow management, supply change management, and quality management
  • Process analysis and major operational problems:
    • bottleneck and critical path analysis
    • variability, queuing and service design
  • Process improvement: operational excellence including Lean Operations and Six Sigma
  • Inventory management in the supply chain, including cycle stock and safety stock
  • Supply chain management best practices
  • International operations strategy frameworks and the plant network
  • How different operational capabilities allow and support different strategies to gain competitive advantage

Knowledge into action

Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the operations language, concepts, frameworks and tools
  • Analyse how operations and supply chain management contribute to the company’s strategy
  • Assess the impact of operations decision on other functional areas, such as finance, marketing, managerial accounting and human resource, and visa versa
  • Identify and analyse operational problems and issues that confront managers
  • Understand and assess the applicability of operational excellence practices like Lean Operations and Six Sigma
  • Apply operations and chain supply language and concepts to operational problems
  • Understand and apply the basic concepts of inventory management and assess the impact of inventory policies on (financial) performance
  • Assess the impact of supply chain decisions on performance to improve the end-to-end supply chain
  • Understand how global plant networks support company’s strategy, apply key operations strategy frameworks to this and evaluate the role of plants in a global operations network
  • Evaluate an existing process (the internal process as well as the end-to-end supply chain) and formulate improved processes

Accreditations & rankings

  • Association of MBAs
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Financial Times