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Operations Management


Admission requirements

not applicable


Operations Management (OM) is concerned with planning, organizing, managing, controlling and supervising the entire production process which converts inputs, such as labor and energy, into outputs, such as goods and services. It is the management of the various business activities that take place within an organization and contributes in making the products to align with customer’s requirements. Under OM, there is the optimum utilization of resources leading to enormous profits of the organization. OM plays a vital role in any type of business. It involves similar management for every industry or business irrespective of their nature of the operation.

The OM literature is huge and spans more than 5 decades of an exciting blend of theory and application. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to some of the fundamental aspects of OM, e.g., inventory management, facility location planning, capacity management, risk mitigation, pricing, etc. More specifically, the course will:
1. Make students conversant in the language of OM and expand their knowledge in this field.
2. Help students develop modeling skills and provide them concepts and problem-solving tools, which are applicable to OM. We will cover various mathematical and analytical techniques in both traditional application domains, such as inventory control, and emerging application domains, such as online product assortment.
3. Give students 'hands-on' feel of how OM decisions are made in practice and why they are so complex.

We recommend (NOT mandatory) the following books for this course:
1. Simchi-Levi, Kaminsky and Simchi-Levi, Designing and Managing the Supply Chain, Irwin McGraw Hill, 3rd edition, 2008.
2. Chopra and Meindl, Supply Chain Management, Prentice Hall, 2nd edition 2004.

There will also be complementary readings provided throughout the class (see course manual for more details).


Check MyTimetable and use your ULCN account to login.

You will find the timetables for all the courses and degree programme in MyTimetable. This enables you to create a personal timetable. Any teaching activities that you have registered for in uSis will automatically be displayed in your timetable. Any timetables that you add will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

Mode of instruction

The course will be a mix of live online lectures, recorded online lectures, case discussions and computerized applications. You are expected to prepare all the pre-assigned readings before coming to class, and be active and effective participants during the class. Attendance is mandatory for live online lectures. If you have to miss a class, please notify me in advance with the reason for your absence.

Recorded Online lectures
Recorded online lectures allow students with diverse backgrounds to learn at their own pace. You are expected to watch the lecture videos and finish corresponding exercises before the live online lectures.

Case preparation
A case study requires a very thorough preparation. You are expected to read the case, and prepare for the accompanying questions, before coming to class. In each case session, there is a score for your participation in the discussion and it will be added to one of your group assignment scores as a bonus. This score is calculated based on two criteria: 1) whether your opinions are constructive and original; and 2) whether most of your group members have contributed to the discussion.

Computerized applications
1) Computerized Beer Game
The beer game is an experiential learning business simulation game created by a group of professors at MIT Sloan School of Management in early 1960s to demonstrate a number of key principles of supply chain management. The game is played by teams of at least four players, often in heated competition. The purpose of the game is to understand the distribution side dynamics of a multi-echelon supply chain used to distribute a single item, in this case, cases of beer. Please read the rules of the Beer Game before Lecture 1 (see course manual). Once the game started, verbal communication between players is not allowed.

2) Excel (with solver) spreadsheets
Spreadsheets have become the principal software application for teaching decision models in most business schools. In particular, Excel solver, a tool that uses techniques from the operations research is used extensively for finding optimal solutions for all kind of decision problems. In Lecture 4, we will learn how to build an optimization model based on an operations problem (e.g., capacity and transportation planning) and how to solve it using excel solver.

Course Load

  • 8 2-hour lectures

  • Preparation for each lecture

  • Final 3-hour exam

Assessment method

There are three individual assignments and two group assignments (and a presentation on group assignment 2). All assignments should be submitted in electronic copy to Brightspace at the specified time and date.

Individual Assignment Policy
Pass or Fail: you get a Pass (full grade) when you complete every question and submit the assignment. If you have difficulties answering certain questions, write down your thoughts, instead of leaving them out.
Among the three individual assignments, you are allowed one chance of late submission with a delay of maximal 24 hours. Beyond that, late submission will not be accepted.

Group Assignment Policy
Before the last lecture, there will be multiple 20-min consultation sessions for GA 2 in which you can ask for feedbacks on your business plan. I will publish the possible timeslots after Lecture 5 (mid-term). These sessions are group exclusive, but not mandatory.

Mid-term exam and the exam  

There is a closed-book mid-term exam based on the content of Lecture 3 and 4. This mid-term exam will take place in Lecture 5. The final exam is also closed-book and it covers all the lecture content (both live and recorded online).


Your final grade will be determined according to the following components (see the table below). You need to have at least 5 for the exam and at least 4 for each of the other three components to pass the course. And the final grade should be at least a 5.5. If you failed the course, you should attend the re-sit. The re-sit is still a closed-book exam and it will replace your previous exam score, accounting for 40% of your final grade. After the re-sit, if your final grade is at least 5.5, then you pass the course.

Components Weights
Individual assignment (x3) 15%
Group assignment (x2) 20%
Mid-term exam 20%
Presentation on Group Assignment 2 5%
Exam 40%

After the grades are published, the exam and standard answers will be made available for inspection in the professor's office.

The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.


You have to sign up for classes and examinations (including resits) in uSis.
There is only limited capacity for external students. Please contact the Business Studies programme coordinator.


Business Studies programme coordinator

Note: If you are an ICTiBPS student, you can contact the programme coordinator of ICTiBPS for any questions about your program.


Important information about the course is posted in Brightspace.

  • Students are responsible for enrolling/unenrolling themselves for (partial) exams/retakes.

  • Students are responsible for enrolling themselves for (partial) exams/retakes.

  • The deadline for enrolling for an exam/retake is 14 calendar days before the exam/retake takes place (exam date - 14 = deadline enrolling date).

  • Students who do not enroll themselves for an exam/retake by the deadline are not allowed to take the exam/retake.

  • Students fail the course if any of the partial components (except the exam) that make up the final mark of the course is assessed below 4.0.

  • Students fail the course if the grade for the (final) exam is assessed below 5.0.

  • The final grade is expressed as a whole or half number between 1.0 and 10.0, including both limits. The result is not to be expressed as a number between 5.0 and 6.0.

  • If one of the components of the final mark constitutes a component that assesses attendance or class participation, students cannot take a retake for this component. Therefore, students fail the course if their mark for this component is less than 4.0.

  • Partial grades, inclusive the exam grade will not be rounded. If partial grades will be communicated, it is possible partial grades are rounded, but unrounded partial grades will be used in the calculation of the final grade. The final grade will be rounded at 0.5 (5.49 will rounded down to a 5 and a 5.5 will be rounded up to a 6.0).

  • It is not possible to do retakes for group assignments. Therefore, if students fail the group assignment component, they fail the course.

  • Students pass the course if the final mark is 6.0 or higher (5.49 will rounded down to a 5 and a 5.5 will be rounded up to a 6.0).

  • For courses, for which class participation is an assessment component, students may not be penalised for an absence if the student has a legitimate justification for this absence. The student must notify the program coordinator via email ( of such an absence BEFORE the lecture, describing the reason for missing the lecture. If the student does not notify the program coordinator before the lecture, the student will be penalised. Students may be required to provide further documentation to substantiate their case, and class attendance requirements are only waived under exceptional circumstances such as illness.

  • Students who are entitled to more exam/retake time must report to 10 days before the exam/retake takes place.