Operations Strategy


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.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Utku Serhatli


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Classes 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

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, each student might be asked to email a note commenting on some of the questions discussed in the previous week (A note around 1-2 pages). 

Evaluation method

The evaluation of the students will be based on class participation, home assignments, 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 involves reading papers about an issue relevant to the topics of the course, submitting a report, and preparing a presentation.

GRADING: Class participation: 10%; Assignments: 15% Group project: 25% Final exam: 50% 

Subject matter

Operations Management vs Operations Strategy 

Resource Perspective and Market Perspective 

A preview of things to come - how does the course work? 

Content and Process 

Operations Strategy Content: Performance Objectives and Decision Areas 

Principle of Focus: operational focus increases operational efficiency Focused processes as an extreme case of a perfect fit between value proposition and operations strategy (alignment). 

Capacity Decisions 

Impact of Uncertainty and Variability 


Shouldice case study 

Zara's Operations Strategy 

Business Model Innovation 

Strategic Sourcing and Supply Management 

Vertical Integration vs horizontal Integration 

Supply Chain Contracts 

Supply Chain Simulations 

Bullwhip Effect 

Student Presentations