Notes On Global Operations

Submitted By 1146345502
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Pages: 12

As of December 5, 2013


Global Operations January‐February 2014

Section 1: MW 14:00‐15:20
Section 2: MW 15:30‐16:50
Section 3: MW 8:00‐9:20
Section 4: MW 9:30‐10:50 All classes meet in 340 Hariri Building

Kasra Ferdows
541 Hariri Building
Phone: (202) 687‐3814

Office hours by appointment
You can find me in office most Mondays and Wednesdays between 11:15 and 12:15.
Feel free to drop in even if you haven’t made an appointment.

Please note that this syllabus is subject to change
See Blackboard for the latest version

OPIM‐560: Global Operations, January‐February 2014


Introduction Operations is a core function in every organization—not only the obvious ones like Wal‐Mart,
Amazon, Toyota, FedEx, Intel, Disney, Ritz Carlton, United Airlines or Exxon Mobile, but also others like American Express, Mayo Clinic, Red Cross, World Food Organization, Department of
Homeland Security, Doctors Without Borders, FDA, EPA, or FEMA. The largest portion of assets and employees in most organizations are engaged in this function. How it is managed affects not only other functions, but the success of the entity. Knowledge about operations is therefore essential for an MBA. Let’s start by discarding a few myths. Myth 1: Operations decisions are “tactical.”
A myriad of day‐to‐day decisions are routinely made in operations, but these decisions affects every function—marketing and sales, research and development, human resources, finance, and other functions. Therefore, these decisions should be directly linked to the strategy of the organization. You don’t need to look hard to find examples where operational capabilities have crucially hindered, supported, or led the firm’s business strategy. Myth 2: The focus in managing operations is essentially on cutting costs.
Reducing wastes and costs are of course important in every organization but so are improving product and service quality, speed and reliability of delivery, ability to offer customized products or services, and developing and introducing new products or services quickly. A core capability for continuous process innovation is often the most enduring source of competitive advantage. Myth 3: Operations management tools and models are most relevant for manufacturing companies. Many of the models and tools in the discipline of operations management started in manufacturing companies, but they are equally applicable to organizations that produce services. In fact, because of a late start, service companies stand to benefit more from applying these concepts and tools. For example, Federal Government is a big customer for large consulting companies around Washington (the likes of Booz Allen and
Deloitte), and much of what these consultants do for the Government is improving processes and operations. Myth 4:
Operations management decisions are essentially “technical,” hence, the province of functional specialists.
As an MBA, no matter where you end up‐‐in private equity, investment banking, brand management, non‐profit organization, construction industry, retail, etc.—it is essential that you understand how operations decisions are made and affect the company or the entity. More importantly, you must initiate, guide, and facilitate them. These decisions are critical to the success and survival of the organization. Moreover, the accelerated pace of globalization is adding to the complexity of managing the operations in many organizations. Managing global supply chains has become more critical year

OPIM‐560: Global Operations, January‐February 2014


after year not only for big multinationals, but also for a wide range of other constituents like transportation and logistics companies,