UG Operations 01 Introduction Essay

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Department of Management

Introduction to Operations
Operations Management

What are Operations?
• ‘The basic task of operations is to take inputs in the form of resources and convert them into outputs in the form of products and services. This conversion, therefore, is at the core of operations and comprises the basic workflow throughout any organisation’ Hill T (1993) The Essence of Operations Management, Prentice Hall

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What are Operations?

‘The physical processes by which companies take in raw materials, convert them into products and then distribute them to customers (often other business customers rather than the consumer or end-user). It is a vital part of the business process and ranks highly in the responsibilities of management.’
Financial Times (1997) Mastering Management Series, FT Pitman

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A simple transformation model






Process flow



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Back office operation in a bank Kitchen unit manufacturing operation

Operations are everywhere.
Retail operation

Take-out / restaurant operation

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What is Operations Management?

Operations management is the activity of managing the resources which are devoted to the production and delivery of products and services.

How do we supply services and products to our consumers and customers?

The business function responsible for planning, coordinating, and controlling the resources needed to produce a company’s products and services EFIM30014 Lecture 1 (6)

Why Study Operations Management?

This is where the good or service comes into being – if you do not understand this part of the company, you are not being the best accountant, marketer, or whatever, that you could be.

Strategies in all functional areas must be linked/aligned to support the business strategy.

This is where companies focus a great deal of energy – because this is where most companies incur the majority of their costs. Therefore this is an area where you can have a major impact on a firm’s competitiveness.

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• Dr Xiaojun Wang


Office Location: 2C4

• Dr Mark Hall


Office Location: 3C1

• Dr Christopher Durugbo


Office Location: 2C0

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Lectures & Seminars


Dr. Xiaojun Wang, Dr Mark Hall, and Dr Chris Durugbo

Friday 12:00 - 13:00 (1st term) The Hawthorns: Brunel Room

Tuesday 11:00-12:00 (2nd term) ART COMPLX LT3

Handouts (Blackboard)


Tutors: Dr Xiaojun Wang, Dr Mark Hall, and Dr Chris Durugbo

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Text Books

Slack N, Chambers S and Johnson R (2010), Operations
Management, 6th edition, FT Prentice Hall

Slack N, Chambers, S, Johnston, R and Betts, A (2009), Operations and Process Management: Principles and Practice for Strategic
Impact, 2nd edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall

Greasley, A (2009), Operations Management, 2nd edition, John
Wiley & Sons

Johnston, R, Chambers, S, Harland, C, Harrison, A & Slack, N,
(2003), 3rd Ed, Cases in Operations Management, Harlow, Pearson

Hill, T. and Hill, A. (2009), Manufacturing Operations Strategy, 3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillan

Lysons, K. and Farrington, B. (2012) Purchasing and Supply Chain
Management, 8th edition, Prentice Hal, Pearson, Harlow

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Lecture outline – Term 1
Module introduction (XW, MH, CD)
Week 1

Outline: What’s this unit about? Aims and objectives, lectures and seminars, assessment The nature of operations management (XW)
Week 2

Outline: Introduction to OM and its role in business, OM difference between service and manufacturing, decisions that operations managers make

Operations strategy (XW)
Week 3

Outline: Operations strategy and its impact,