Operations Management / Supply Chain Management

Module 01: Operations Productivity and Strategy in a Global Environment

As Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) said to Jerry McGuire (Tom Cruise) in the movie Jerry McGuire – “Show me the money!”

This is the message that investors send to the companies they invest in and this is the message that company executives send to their supply chain management function.

The supply chain management function exists to meet customer service requirements and at the same time improve profitability, productivity and asset management.  If this occurs, shareholder value (Return on Invested Capital) will increase, the company’s stock price will increase and the long-term future of the organization will be sustainable.  So, now do I have your attention?

The extended supply chain encompasses such diverse functions as R&D, Purchasing, Planning, Manufacturing, Marketing & Sales, Finances, Customer Support, Warehousing, Transportation, etc. Supply chain management is the management of all the activities involved in the sourcing, making, and distribution of all products and services. It involves not only product and material flows but also information and cash flows.

Thus, supply chain management includes all aspects of the product life cycle – from “cradle to grave”.  Supply chain management includes both forward logistics (providing products & services to customers) and reverse logistics (returning products, service agreements, recycling, etc.). It also includes cash flows, typically from customers to retailers to distributors and from distributors to producers and from producers to suppliers and their suppliers.  Last, it also includes information flows in both directions.

In our constantly changing global economy, the supply chain touches a very diverse set of international customers and suppliers.  Taken together, this all makes for an exciting and challenging career for supply chain professionals like you.  As I like to say it – “the world is surely in your hands.”

This course is designed to provide a strong, foundation knowledge of key supply chain management processes.  The chosen text provides an excellent reference for course concepts that will serve students of the class now and in their future positions.

Heizer and Render; Pearson, Operations Management, 12th Ed.


Heizer and Render; Pearson, Operations Management, 12th Ed.

The text primarily focuses on the concepts relevant to Operations Management in general.  These concepts are equally relevant for manufacturing and service based businesses.   The authors present “Operations Management” as encompassing all activities in the flow of materials and / or services from the supplier to the consumer.   A comprehensive understanding of the key concepts and techniques available is essential to structuring and implementing the supply chain material and inventory planning systems used by a firm.

The text and all the other components of this course (additional reading, interactive presentations, discussion boards and assignments) are designed to support this understanding.