What is Production and Operations Management(POM)?

Many students are afraid of POM because they have been told it has quantitative material, or perhaps it is "about running a factory." What is your idea of POM? Well, the truth lies somewhere in between. And if you are one of these students, rest assured that your fears are misplaced. First, let's start with the definition of operations management.

Definition of Operations Management

Operations managers are responsible for producing the supply of goods or services in organizations. They make decisions regarding operations functions and the transformation systems used. Therefore, operations management is the study of decision making in the operations function. (Roger Schroeder)
POM, like marketing and finance is of three major functions in any organization. All managers make decisions, thus in the study of POM we shall put more emphasis decision making and less on methodology.

Five Decision Areas

Stevenson (see Table 1-4, page 10) defines operations decisions as falling into one of two categories: design decisions or operation decisions. However, one can analyze the operations function using 5 major decision responsibilities: process, capacity, inventory, work force, and quality.
Process -- Make decisions about the physical production process, technology, and layout.
Capacity -- Decide on sufficient output capacity for the organization, not too low and not excessive. Plans may be over short- medium- or long-term. Forecasting, facilities, planning, aggregate planning and control all come under this decision area.
Inventory -- An important asset that must be managed by operations. Decisions here are made about how much to order and when to order. Logistical decisions are made on raw materials, work in process, or finished goods.
Work force -- Responsibilities include line management, productivity improvement, work measurement, and work design. 
Quality --Operations function is responsible for the quality of goods and services produced. Emphasis is on planning and control of quality. 

Chapter 1 Highlights

After you complete reading the chapter, you should have a good grasp of:
  1. Functions within a business
  2. Role and job of the operations manager
  3. Different ways of classifying production systems
  4. Differences between manufacturing and service operations
  5. Historical evolution of POM
  6. Recent trends in POM
History of POM
Seven major contributions:
  1. Division of labor,
  2. standardization of parts;
  3. Industrial revolution;
  4. Scientific study of work;
  5. Human relations;
  6. Decision models;
  7. Computers.


Friday September 8th, 2000 in class assignment.
Here is Week 1 assignment.