Operations Management


Operations management is the major functional field in business management since its function is to deliver products or services to customers, assuring a match between supply and demand. The task of operations management is to design, managing, and improving the organizational processes needed to deliver products and services. Managing operations means:

Assuring that the customer gets the book the next day, as promised in the order made at Amazon.UK;

Assuring that Flextronics Italy delivers on time the iPhone 8 I ordered at Apple.pt. This means that a factory somewhere in the world has assembled it, after receiving the needed component;

Reducing the waiting time at the security checking area of Lisbon airport what entails balancing the number of scans and the number of security agents with the expected number of travelers;

Assuring that flight TP 432 from Lisbon to Paris departs at scheduling time (14:55) and not 1 hour and 30 minutes late as back in June. This means assuring that: (i) at the gate is stationed an A320, (ii) there is a crew assigned to that flight, (iii) the plane has been refueled;

Develop priority rules to attend patients at the emergency room of a hospital;

Define the daily production of tomato concentrate at Compal. This entails balancing the physical constraints of equipment and personnel with demand. This might also entail decisions about using the machined to produce a concentrate of other vegetables;

Scheduling the use of the operating room of a hospital; Define where to locate inventory to avoid shortages 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Utku Serhatli


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Recommended text:

Cachon, Gerard and Terwiesch, Christian, Matching Supply and Demand, 3rd edition, McGrawHill, 2013


Ravi Anupindi et al, Managing Business Process Flows, 3rd edition, Pearson 2011

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.

Teaching method

The weekly classes are to be conducted in two parts. The first part of the session will focus more on the presentation of tools and frameworks. The second part will focus more on the application of the concepts and analyses to different types of organizations and the decisions they face. The sessions will mostly be conducted on powerpoint slides. To complement, we will use case studies, educational videos/documentaries, business simulation games and group discussions. A learning process improves when one comes prepared to the class and when one looks back and evaluates the topics discussed in class. With that objective in mind, every student is expected to do the necessary readings before the sessions and solve selected problems after the sessions. These problems may be quantitative or qualitative. 


Evaluation method

The evaluation of the students will be based on class participation, weekly problems, group case reports, and final exam.

Class participation will be evaluated considering the quality of the comments and contribution to the development of the class.

GRADING: Class participation: 10%; Homework: 20%; Case report: 20%; Final exam: 50% 

Subject matter

The effective management operations requires specialized analytical tools and a global perspective. This course covers a mix of topics with an emphasis on strategic frameworks and some quantitative methods. In class, fundamental operations concepts and models will be introduced in order to analyze tradeoffs in designing and managing processes. Students will apply the ideas and analytical tools to a diversity of industries and situations.