Spotlight on Professor Wu's OM Course

Book Knowledge Is Not Enough

2016-07-04

Operations management is an area of management concerned with designing and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services. It involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements.

OM course aims to enable students to have a systematic understanding of business operations, understand the production process and learn scientific methods for process management.

OM includes knowledge of many aspects, such as design, operation, evaluation and improvement of products and services. In each of the above aspects, professor Wu teaches knowledge with cases, exercises and interaction, making the class interesting and active. Almost all IMBA students have practical work experience. Cases such as Toyota lean manufacturing system, Toshiba's production line and Disney operations management practice attracts students to think and discuss. Professor Wu gives proper guidance to make the discussion more effective.

OM also focus on improving students' practical ability in work, which means both teaching and practice are important in class. Besides teaching knowledge in books and papers, professor Wu also designed experiments to help students have a better understanding of knowledge and think independently.

Professor Wu designed a circuit-board-assemble game. In this game, a group of students work as a team to produce specified products, they must co-ordination to complete the final product with the fastest speed and minimized stock. This game helps students to have a better understand of the importance of operations management and also guide them to think about the way to optimize overall operational efficiency. Another well-known game called the Beer Game was also carried out in class. In this game, students play different roles including manufacturers, distributors, retailers and customers. Production requirements passed from customer to manufacturer. Products transfer from the manufacturer to the customer. The Beer game shows the importance of information sharing in the supply chain, guides students to understand the bullwhip effect.

Practice makes perfect. Professor Wu encourages students to think from the perspective of operational management in practice and improve management efficiency using OM tools.

Through the excellent course design, students learned the key concepts and many tools of OM. In business practice, the ideas of OM exist everywhere. Optimizing the production and service process using OM will create big benefits for businesses.

Written by: TA Lifei Wang