Operations Transformation


In the last years we have seen a lot of references to the operations of the future.
But, what is their relevance for the development of the processes used to produce and deliver goods and services? How will operations change? How changing operations might induce, or contribute to, competitive advantages?
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 unit.
This unit 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.

At the end of the unit, the students shall:
a) Understand the relevance of the processes management in supply chain management
b) Have a knowledge of the main levers that can be used to transform operations
c) Be able to make suggestions on the implementation of changes to the processes

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Utku Serhatli


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Womack and Jones. The Rise and Fall of Mass Production, Chp 2 of The Machine that Changed the World
Womack and Jones. The Rise of Lean Production, Chp 3 of The Machine that Changed the World
Robert Hayes and David Upton, Operations Based Strategy
Charles Corbett and Luk Van Wassenhove, Trade-Offs? What Trade-Offs? Competence and Competitiveness in Manufacturing Strategy
Jan Van Mieghen and Gad Allon, Operations Strategy, 2nd edition, 2014
Ravi Anupindi et al, Managing Business Process Flows, 3rd edition, Pearson 2011
Articles to be defined
Notes developed by the instructor
Slides of the classes

Teaching method

The time for each one of the main areas will be divided in two parts: one where the concepts will be presented and second one where examples and applications will be discussed.
The students are expected to prepare for each class by executing the tasks defined. After each main topic the student will have to apply the acquired knowledge to a specific problem.

Evaluation method

The assessment of this CU is done together with the block of CUs of the same area of knowledge. This assessment has 3 moments, which together define the final grade of the curricular unit:
•Individual exam with a weighting of 50% of the total mark
•Group work with a weighting of 35% of the total grade value
•Individual reflection-action exercise carried out at the end of the curricular unit, with a weighting of 15% of the total grade. The set of individual action-reflection exercises is a journaling activity, which will constitute a learning portfolio capable of synthesising the contributions of the master for that student.

Subject matter

1. Operations 4.0 – Preparing the future by learning from the past
2. The principle of alignment – Competencies should be aligned with the competitive position a firm seeks over time
a. Operational focus
b. Horizontal diversification
3. Operations as the management of real assets: capacity, size, timing and location
4. How to structure operational processes


Programs where the course is taught: