In the last years we have seen a lot of references to manufacturing of the future. Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Additive manufacturing, 3D Printing, Machine learning, Open Innovation, Service 4.0, Supply Chain 4.0 are frequent terms in a diversity of publications and media.
But, what is their relevance for the development and management of the processes used to produce and deliver goods and services? How will operations change?
To analyze, and search for answers, these questions in order to prepare the future we need to know, and understand, the past and the tools we have been using. This is the objective of this course.
This course provides a framework to describe and formulate an operations strategy and understand and evaluate the key decisions in operations that have a substantial impact on a firm's competitive position. Thus, the word strategy has two connotations: formulating an operational strategy (long-term plan) and making strategic (important) operational decisions. The first theme of the course will be the development of a framework.
Our framework brings together the resources and the process view of the firm. Resources and processes define, and constraint, the competencies of the firm. These competencies should be aligned with the competitive position a firm seeks over time. This will be the second theme using as example the case of focused processes and the risks of decisions to go out of focus.
Resources are the assets of the firm thus our third theme will be the managing of real assets, analyzing the decisions about capacity: type, size, timing, location. We will end by discussing offshoring and the management of global networks.
The process view will lead us to discuss how to structure operational processes with a value chain perspective. Strategic sourcing, supply management and outsourcing will be the fourth theme.
Weekly - Available soon
Total - Available soon
Articles to be defined (some will be available through moodle, others will available through internet sources).
Notes: developed by the instructor Slides of the classes.
Students are expected to read/prepare a case, or an exercise, before classes. It estimated that it will take between 1 hour and 1 and half hours to read/prepare each case.
A learning process improves when one looks back and evaluates the topics discussed in class. With that objective, every Sunday each student must email a note commenting
some of the questions discussed in the previous week. The note should be between 750 and a 1000 characters including spaces. Think of this note as written version of an oral comment the student had made in class. It is estimated that writing this note will take 30 minutes.
The evaluation of the students will be based on class participation, weekly written note, a group project and final exam.
Class participation will be evaluated considering the quality of the comments and contribution to the development of the class.
The project, in goups of 4, involves the comparison of two papers about an issue relevant to the topics of the course.
• Class participation: 5%;
• Weekly note: 15%
• Group project: 30%
• Final exam: 50%
This course provides a framework to describe and formulate an operations strategy and understand and evaluate the key decisions in operations that have a substantial impact on a firm's competitive position. Thus, the word strategy has two connotations: formulating an operational strategy (long-term plan) and making strategic (important) operational decisions.
The starting point will be the focused processes as the typical successful operations strategy. One hundred years ago Ford was the most successful automobile company by producing only one model, the model T. The success of McDonald’s was based on a very limited menu ( only 2 or 3 types of hamburgers and French fries). In Canada an hospital is very successful by performing only one type of surgery.
But organizations need to grow and face the decision how to do it? By expanding the number/type of products, or services, they offer? By keeping a limited number of products/services and expanding to other geographical areas? A second topic will be how to execute operational diversification.
As time go by firms may discover that their diversification strategy is not paying off, and face the decision of scaling down or reducing the rate of growth. How to reduce the scope of operations and what are the operational implications is the third topic.
Independent of the evolution, firms have to be profitable. In the pursuit of efficiency companies look at the possibility of outsourcing activities and focusing in their core business. A fourth topic will be outsourcing and its risks.
As time go by firms may discover that their diversification strategy is not paying off, and face the decision of scaling down or reducing the rate of growth. How to reduce the scope of operations and what are the operational implications is the fourth topic.
But, if focused processes are efficient and diversification entails risks why not organize the firm operations as a set of focused processes. Instead of producing models A and B in the same plant why not divide the plant in two? This idea of plant-within-plant will be the fifth topic.
The sixth topic will be innovation in processes and its risks, through the analysis of successes and failures.
Finally, what about the future? Operations strategy in the era of internet and globalization will be the last topic.