So far in class we have learned operations strategy, process strategy, process analysis, capacity
planning, project management , quality management, lean system, inventory management, supply
chain management, forecasting, MRP , ERP.
The main purpose of this assignment is to identify and define an OM (Operations Management)
problem, analyze the problem, and present the results in a written form.
When you analyze the problem, use of any software such as Excel is strongly recommended.
A. Identification of an OM Problem
You should find an interesting OM problem from the real business world. The problem may involve
either operational decision-making (e.g., determining inventory level) or process
design/improvement (e.g., reducing delivery leadtime).
You can find a problem from your own work or from any business article or case. You are allowed to
use a case provided in the textbook, but if you use a case from the textbook, you may have some
disadvantage in grade.
The meaning of an OM problem will become clearer as you study in this course. But, an OM problem
may involve process design and improvement, capacity planning, inventory management, quality
management, forecasting, etc.
B. Analysis of the Problem
You should analyze the problem by applying some of the specific OM concepts or tools that you
learned from this course. It is important to apply the concepts/tools correctly.
If your problem is a decision-making problem, analysis of the problem may involve analyzing the
decision variables and the important parameters and facts that are related with the decision-making,
and solving the problem using actual data. If actual data are not available, you should create realistic
hypothetical data to show how the tools/concepts could be applied.
If your problem is a process improvement problem, analysis of the problem may involve describing
the process in details using actual information, analyzing what to improve and how to improve, and
suggesting recommendations. If actual information is not available, you should create realistic
In both cases, you may analyze the expected results of implementing your solution. For example,
you can discuss the expected cost/revenue impact or the expected improvement of performance.
If you have alternative solutions, you can compare them by discussing the pros and cons of each
In analyzing the problem, you are strongly recommended to use any software such as Excel. If you
do so, you will have some extra credit.
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