Operations Management is about organizing, managing and improving the processes of transforming inputs (materials, labor, etc.) into outputs (goods and services) and distributing these outputs in the right amount and quality, to the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost. Doing so requires the effective management not only of these processes, but also of productive capacity, inventories, and information. The essential strategic issue of operations is to balance resources and capacity with demand.
Managing operations is, therefore, central to the success of any organization in manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, trade, financial services, hotel, hospitals, and so on. And excellence in designing and managing processes is a key driver of keeping cost down and revenues up, e.g. better processes result in outputs with higher quality, more timely delivery, and greater availability, all of which influence pricing and demand. Operational excellence is difficult to achieve and even more difficult to copy – which means that it is a possible source of sustainable competitive advantage and superior profitability.
This integrative elective builds broadly on the foundations previously acquired in the EMBA program. Drawing on current academic thinking and management practice, it builds a bridge between the external perspective of strategy – how to compete and win in markets – and its internal perspective – how to organize resources and information for competing and winning. We review the concept of competition, competitive analysis, competitive dynamics, and the key decisions involved in formulating a competitive strategy that gives long-term direction. We then cover in depth the formal mechanisms that executives use to drive strategy into the organization and assure everyday performance, which are organizational structure, incentives, and performance measures (accounting numbers and other performance indicators).