QBUS 300 Operations Management Course Guide

Course Description

Operations involves the use of labor and management (people) and also facilities and equipment (capital) to change material (e.g., steel and plastics) into finished goods (e.g., farm tractors) or to provide services (e.g., health care). The operations function is central to the success of every organization whether a service company or a manufacturing company. Service operations refers to the operation of service organizations such as banks, retail stores, dental offices, government offices, universities, investment firms, etc. Manufacturing operations refers to the operation of manufacturing companies whether producing simple products such as chewing gum or complex products such as a military jet.

Operations management is decision making involving the design, planning, and control of the many factors that affect operations. Operations managers apply ideas and knowledge to enhance quality, improve customer service, increase productivity, manage supply chains, reduce costs, and improve flexibility to meet rapidly changing customer needs. As business has become more global and competitive, the role of operations in firms has been elevated and it now occupies an important strategic role.

This course will introduce students to basic definitions and concepts in operations. Topics such as decision making, project management, forecasting, total quality management, control chart techniques, queuing theory, inventory theory and supply chains will be covered. Students will be required to solve cases and/or problem sets, some of which require the use of computer software. Students will form teams and be required to either write research papers using academic literature for source material or go into area businesses to study operations issues by talking and working with managers. These team assignments will afford students the opportunity to refine their communication skills and work at improving their verbal and writing communication skills.

Specific, Assessable Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

1. Discuss the role and importance of the operations function in organizations.

2. Explain the effects of the evolution of total quality management, supply chain management,
and manufacturing control systems in global business.

3. Recognize and apply basic appropriate analytical techniques related to decision making in
quality control, forecasting, project management, and waiting lines.

4. Recognize and apply basic appropriate analytical techniques related to decision making in
supply chains, inventory theory, and inventory control systems.

5. Individually write an effective paper that demonstrates their ability to analyze a
journal article.

6. Demonstrate efficient team activity in a project based on Learning Curve applications.

Course Outline

Strategy and Quality
Operations Strategy
Quality Management
Statistical Process Control

Planning and Controlling
Project Management
Waiting Lines
Management of Supply Chains and Inventory
Supply Chains & Electronic Commerce
Independent Demand Inventory Models
Just-in-Time Systems

Recommended Teaching Methodology

This course will be structured in such a way as to facilitate the use of different methods of instruction. Readings, lectures, group discussions, library and electronic media research, case analyses, and “hands-on” projects will be used throughout the course. Work will be done individually and in small groups.

The readings will come from the required textbook(s) as well as additional material to be provided by the instructor. Lectures and group discussions will enable the instructor and students to expand on the material presented in the readings.

Case analyses and any hands-on projects requiring teams of students to visit area firms will require the student to apply his or her knowledge and critical thinking skills to real operations situations. Some assignments will require students to use computer spreadsheets.

Recommended Assessment Measures

The following assessment measures will be used. They correspond to each of the stated learning outcomes for the course.

1. Test questions, article summaries, and essays will be used to assess Learning Objectives 1 and 2.
2. Test questions and homework assignments will be used to assess Learning Objectives 3 and 4.
3. Individually written papers will be used to access Learning Objective 5.
4. To assess Learning Objective 6, randomly chosen teams will build a Lego structure during an in-class project and calculate learning rates. Students will then be asked to take the results generated by the activity to determine how their Learning Curve might affect production costs for this item. The efficiency of the team in assembling the structure will be assessed by independent School of Business evaluators.

Statement of Expectations

This course is required for all business majors. It is generally considered a somewhat demanding course at many institutions and it is expected to be similarly demanding at Siena as well. The goal is for students to learn a lot, work hard, and enjoy the experience. Students are expected to attend class and to study regularly. It is expected that faculty teaching the course will be available to help students.

The knowledge that students are expected to gain from this course is important. It can impact their career and the competitiveness of the organization that looks to them for a contribution. Much of the learning that takes place will not occur in the classroom. It occurs when students are working on the material outside of class – as they read, think, analyze, apply the concepts to real problems, and work in teams. The amount that students learn and the level of skill that each develops will be directly proportional to the amount of effort put forth in preparing for class.

The classes should be considered as opportunities to discuss and apply the material, and to develop communication and leadership skills. They are also opportunities for the professor to provide insight, to help clarify issues, and to evaluate student performance. Like any athletic or artistic endeavor, most of the knowledge acquisition and skill development takes place when a student is practicing/studying.

Prerequisite Knowledge

It is important that each student has a working knowledge of statistics before taking this course. Normally this knowledge will be obtained by completing the business statistics course or equivalent. More specifically, the student should have a basic understanding of how to apply the following statistical concepts: descriptive statistics including frequencies, measures of central tendency, and variation; probability distributions including the binomial and the normal distribution functions; sampling distributions and confidence interval estimation; hypothesis testing; and regression analysis.

Institutional Mechanism for Providing Feedback for Continuous Quality Improvement

The Quantitative Business Analysis department will annually review assessment results for this course. Specifically, assessment results in each of the learning outcome areas will be analyzed to determine the level of success in achieving these learning outcomes. Any deficiencies in achieving learning outcomes will be addressed and appropriate changes designed to improve the success in achieving these learning outcomes.