Nottingham University Business School
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Managing Contemporary Operations: Fundamentals and Challenges

Please note that the following information may be subject to change.

Module Convenor:  Andrew Grainger

Module Content:
Contemporary operations management is introduced through the vehicle of lectures and case studies. Topics include:
• fundamentals of operations management: operations as a transformation process, the context of operation strategy, how operations add value and enable businesses to compete and/or deliver effective services, differences between services and goods and the goods-service continuum, the role of operations management (strategic, tactical, operational)
• performance measures: developing performance measures for operations and benchmarking (including customer facing)
• types of production (ETO, ATO, MTO, MTS), P:D ratios, role of inventory within operations and supply chain, process design including standardisation, order fulfilment processes and their management
• managing key operations variables: defining capacity and capability, reconciling demand and capacity, handling variety, mass customisation and postponement, service quality vs. cost trade-offs
• 'push' vs. 'pull systems', theory of constraints, JIT, including Toyota production system (TPS)
• detection and elimination of waste and the lean philosophy, practices and techniques
• quality and quality initiatives, unconditional service guarantee
• Step and continuous improvements, issues associated with implementing initiatives and change in general.
A factory visit will be organised early on in the module to provide students with some exposure to industrial operations.

Module Aims:
To give students an appreciation of the importance of operations to business success and the role of operations management. To provide them with the knowledge and understanding of how the key variables of a business inter-relate. To provide an introduction to the analytical skills needed ?to understand business operations and processes. To provide them with examples of current best practice and associated initiatives and to critique their applicability in different contexts. To recognise the challenges associated with implementing changes associated with initiatives.

Module Assessment:
2 Hour Examination (70%); Group Assignment (3,000 words) (30%)

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Nottingham University Business School

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