Great financial and marketing plans are not the only requisite for running a successful enterprise. Operations Management is essentially the backbone of every big or small organization. Famous companies like FedEx, Amazon, Toyota have been unbeaten at the helm of their robust operations function. Operations management deals with systematic planning, designing and controlling of processes to achieve the company’s strategic goals.
Although previously known as ‘Production Management’, but as the service-based economies evolved, its’ production management principles were adopted to plan and organize processes, to altogether call it Operations Management. Supply chain management and logistics are two inherent areas of operations management. These delivery focused functions ensure that there’s successful transition of inputs into output and dispatch to the end customers. An operations manager needs to evaluate various distribution strategies in respect of costs, customer services and competitive impact, and analyze the cost-benefits of coordination between different entities in a supply chain. Organizational skills combined with good analytical skills are crucial for an operations manager, since he has to ensure that the flow of work is seamless.
Specializing in Operations Management
An MBA in Operations Management has been a popular course offered by all the leading B-schools, as it promotes strategic thinking, thereby providing an opportunity for leadership roles. Due to its multidisciplinary nature universities are also combining Operations Management along with other specializations such as Marketing, Finance, Information Technology, Business Analytics etc, under Dual Specialization Program. MIT Sloan school of management is one such school offering a dual degree, MIT Leaders for Global Operations, in conjunction with its engineering school, creating a unique combination of MBA and MS.
An MBA major in Operations Management explores the underlying fundamentals of production and operations function of an organization that deals with both the perspectives, i.e., service operations as well as production operations. Since operations concerns the operating activities, the course builds an understanding about impact of management decisions on operational choices as well as how the recurring processes affect management decisions. It also encompasses devising operations strategy that would allow the firm to achieve a long-term competitive edge. Students learn to successfully manage all organizational resources – human resource, plants and facilities, machinery and equipment, raw materials, processes and other inputs, to maximize the final output.
The deep rooted fundamentals of production and manufacturing enables understanding the efficiencies of supply-chain management and logistics. Course offers a thorough understanding of global trends in supply chain management that is critical in meeting client demands. In an era of increasing customer expectations and limited resources, logistics is gaining a lot of emphasis. Course equips students with various analytical tools and models useful in decision-making pertaining to cost-effective and efficient application of resources.
Subject areas that are most commonly found in the coursework are –
Operations Performance Analysis
Problem Solving, Design, and System Improvement
Product Design and Development
Integrating Marketing and Operations
Operations Strategy and Process Management
Service Operations Management
Retail Supply Chain Management
Top B-Schools Offering Major in Operations Management
Harvard Business School
MIT Sloan School of Management
The Wharton School
Stanford Graduate School of Business
The University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
The Kellogg School of Management
Salary ; Career Prospects
MBA grads can follow a career in a variety of industries, including engineering and manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, retail, consulting, consumer goods, and logistics. Some of the job profiles in Operations Management include –
Global Sourcing Manager
Strategic Supply Chain Manager
Operational Improvement Project Manager
Global Commodity Manager
Business Operations Analyst
Following are few companies you can expect getting placed with an Operations Management MBA –
Bank of America
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, median annual salary of an operations manager was $123,460. Employment in logistics is projected to grow by 7% from 2016 to 2026, which is driven by demand for logistics of mobilizing goods in a global economy. There has been an increase in demand for professionals who have functional expertise in managing operations. Moreover operations has a strong correlation with data, therefore, many employers seek a combination of business analytics and operations. Operations manager have a huge role to play today in understanding the customer preferences and working with latest technologies to deliver the product in a cost-effective way. As the role of an Operations Manager is rapidly diversifying, industry is in great demand of rounded professionals.
American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) website can be accessed to learn more about the industry practices in Production and Inventory Management field.