Operations refers to the design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver a firm’s primary products and services. It integrates all aspects of the product and service lifecycle, from product and process design, procurement, planning, and production, to logistics, distribution, and returns. From start to finish, this execution process makes a direct, significant impact on a firm’s competitive advantages and financial performance.

Courses in the operations area equip students with a solid understanding of core operations concepts and decisions, rigorous analytical thinking and skills, and a creative mindset so they can deal with all of the complex issues of a supply chain. Moreover, courses incorporate new elements such as sustainability, risk management, and innovation, making them especially relevant to today’s increasingly interdependent and competitive global economy.

For students interested in specific business settings, the area also provides courses that explain the operations function in those industries, such as Operations in Health Care.

How courses are counted

Students must note the following policy for how courses are counted. A student may count a maximum of one class in fulfilling more than one purpose—that is, toward any combination of major, minor, and primary or secondary concentration. For example, only one economics class could count toward both a finance major and an economics minor; any additional economics class would count toward the finance major OR the economics minor, but not both. Similarly, one management class could count toward both a primary concentration in management and a minor in sustainable business, but any subsequent management class would not count toward both.  Any exceptions to these rules will be posted within the specific area major, minor, or concentration requirements.  

OPBU 3438. Operations and Production Management. (3 Credits)

The operations function within an organization is responsible for managing the process flow that an organization has to use to produce a product, deliver a service, or both. Operations managers are responsible for the design, the daily operation, and the improvement of these processes. This course provides an introduction to the field of operations management: to understand the key decisions and to see how these decisions directly impact an organization's competitiveness and market performance.

Prerequisites: MGBU 2142 or HPCB 4703 or ECON 2142.

OPBU 3442. ST: Health Care Operations Mgt. (3 Credits)

Health Care Operations Management is a discipline that integrates scientific principles of operations management to determine the most effective and efficient methods to support patient care delivery. The biggest challenge in health care is to provide high quality care while at the same time keeping cost down. As such, all health care sectors must be driven by process management, quality improvement, information technology, knowledge management, and resource alignment. This course addresses the challenge in many ways, from the design of patient flow to streamlined process, from resource management to supply chain management, from quality control to patient safety, from forecasting to capacity planning, from continuous improvement to project management.

Attributes: 0CST, PRQU.

OPBU 3449. ST: Process Mgt & Six Sigma. (3 Credits)

This course focuses on process management and how to improve organizational processes by using a body of knowledge known as Six Sigma. A process is the unity of multiple activities that transform required inputs into desired outputs. Poorly-designed processes produce defective goods and services that lead to customer dissatisfaction and a higher level of internal and external failure cost. Therefore, continually improving process performance is critical to organizations' survival and success. Class lectures, discussions, and case studies in the course cover the methods and tools used for a Six Sigma project, such as project selection, process mapping and analysis, data collection, statistical data analysis, root-cause analysis, and creative thinking for both continual and breakthrough improvements.

OPBU 3451. ST: Team Dynamics. (3 Credits)

This course is designed to help students understand team dynamics, be a more productive team member, build teams, lead teams, and address team challenges. Through a combination of lectures and team-based activities, students will learn about concepts such as team design, team performance, team identity, decision making, conflict in teams, creativity, leadership, and diversity in teams.

Attributes: 0CMG, 0PMA.

OPBU 3453. ST: Business Dynamics. (3 Credits)

The course introduces the modeling process that world-class firms use for improving collegial learning and performance. Role-playing games and simulation models and cases challenge participants' critical thinking about business transformations. Using the iThink and Vensim software, course participants capture their perceptions of decision situations in very-user-friendly models, and generate new insight into how business enterprises adapt to the new transnational realities, through the co-alignment of competitive and collective tactics.

OPBU 3454. ST: Sustainable Supply Chain. (3 Credits)

Supply chain management is vital for companies to compete in the global economy. Traditional thinking of cost minimization and lead-time reduction, however, can lead to logistics designs with significant environmental costs. Sustainable supply chain practices aim to respond to the market demand for eco-friendly products and processes while fulfilling corporate social responsibility. This course introduces concepts and models for supply chain design and performance measurement. Sample case studies include carbon dioxide emission reduction through improved supply chain management and the mechanism of the carbon market.

Attribute: PRQU.

OPBU 4507. Project Management. (3 Credits)

This course provides the project management skills needed to develop information and communications systems on time and within budget. It concentrates on methods and issues of organizing, planning and controlling projects, and the use of computer-based project management tools.

Attribute: 0CST.

OPBU 4999. Independent Study. (1 to 3 Credits)

Independent Study.