Business Analytics & Information Technology (BAIT)

Operations Management (3)
33:136:386:H1 Index #12186
Open to students in RBS or SAS, who meet the prerequisites. Sophomores & up only.
Prerequisites: 01:640:135 and 01:960:285 (or 01:960:211)

The core of this course is analytical mathematical and simulative ways of approaching planning and decision-making problems that arise frequently in certain business contexts. This "mindset" is called Management Science (MS) or Operations Research (OR) or Business Analytics. Basically, the MS/OR approach involves forming (imperfect) models of business situations, analyzing these models, and then deciding on some "optimal" course of action. A key concept in this approach is to separate the solution of the decision problems into two steps, first mathematical/simulative modeling, and then analysis of the resulting model. In this class, we will do the analysis using existing computer software. The main purpose of this course is to acquaint you with this mindset, which might be new to many of you, and to build your skill and experience in its use. MS/OR is most helpful in situations where quantitative information is available and there are relatively few intangible or psychological considerations, making it easier to produce accurate quantitative models. It is also particularly beneficial when the decision or planning situation is complex, making it hard for managers to simply "eyeball" the decision. Such situations arise most often at the operational level of the management hierarchy, and less often at the tactical and strategic levels, hence the application to operations management at large and to supply chain management in particular. "Operations management" courses at some other schools may deal more with qualitative generalities of managing business operations; this course basically focuses on the quantitative tools needed for such management by applying them to classroom treatable mini business case.