Trends and Tools for Operations Management: An Updated Guide for Executives and Managers

Trends and Tools for Operations Management: An Updated Guide for Executives and Managers

Trends and Tools for Operations Management: An Updated Guide for Executives and Managers

Trends and Tools for Operations Management: An Updated Guide for Executives and Managers

Synopsis

Operations management is a set of disciplines that transform raw materials, labor and capital into finished goods and services. These various disciplines are discussed for an intended audience of executives and operations managers who desire to be updated on the current curriculum in business schools. The book emplains why Japan has ascended to its dominant position in global commerce largely at the expense of U.S. manufacturers. The intent is to learn lessons from Japanese achievements that can be applied to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive in the global market. Trends in operations management are augmented with new software tools (Evolver and RISKOptimizer) that can solve previously unsolvable problems in scheduling and other operational matters.

Excerpt

Thoughts on what should be taught in operations management have entered my mind at the start of each semester for nearly 15 years. I abandoned conventional textbooks early in my teaching career over concern about what material would be most beneficial to students. It was not what was included but what was excluded. In the mid-1980s textbooks virtually ignored the fact that the Japanese were gaining market share at the expense of American companies through their adoption of Deming's concepts. American companies seemed mired in the concepts of Taylor, already discarded by progressive companies. As an example, a textbook discussion on work design was based on dividing a task into its simplest elements and assigning a worker to each element. Students were expected to take completion times for each individual task in order to calculate daily output for each production line and then the number of production lines to handle daily demand. No mention was made of the possibility of assigning some or all the elements to a single person, or a group of people, as espoused by Joseph Juran and others. I performed a survey on a number of operations textbooks at that time and found that some had no, and others virtually no, mention of Deming, his Fourteen Points, the quality revolution, the industrial ascendancy of Japan, and the economic decline of the United States. In many respects, the textbooks mirrored the sentiment of American management at that time--what, me worry?

Not covering the competitive threat of Japan started me on a long trek of developing my own set of notes. I must admit that today's operations management textbooks do not lack in dealing with quality in all its manifestations. But by the time publishers became convinced that there should be a change in format, my notes were long since completed. This book is an expansion of those notes to reach a new audience: practicing operations managers who desire a refresher course. The book contains material omitted in . . .

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