François Chung, Ph.D.
Introduction to operations management

Introduction to operations management

Coursera training, MOOC (2015). Given online by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (US), this training introduces the management skills required to run operations (e.g. to run a restaurant or a hospital). Specifically, the training explains how to improve productivity, increase responsiveness, provide more choice to the customer and deliver higher quality standards. The aim is to provide strategic analyses and solutions to improve business processes.

Module 1: Process analysis

Main topics:

  • Find a bottleneck;
  • Compute throughput;
  • Apply Little’s Law;
  • Compute inventory turns;
  • Deal with multiple flow units.

Module 2: Productivity

Main topics:

  • Understand the sources of waste;
  • Balance a line and compute Takt time;
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) analysis;
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tree.

Module 3: Variety

Main topics:

  • Determine the impact of set-ups on capacity;
  • Analyze set-ups;
  • Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED);
  • Strategies to deal with variety;
  • Limitations to variety.

Module 4: Responsiveness

Main topics:

  • Waiting time analysis;
  • Map out the customer journey;
  • Predict customer loss rates.

Module 5: Quality

Main topics:

  • Analyze processes with yield losses;
  • Toyota production system;
  • Six Sigma;
  • Statistical Process Control (SPC).


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