Student teams in the Operations and Production class partner with organizations facing new or proposed requirements on their means of production to optimize production or service delivery decisions. For example, the company may be considering ramping up production volume or capacity, increasing per unit cost efficiencies, or minimizing environmental impacts, either through internal production and shipping methods or through the identification of alternative supply chains.
Given the new organization requirement, the student team investigates a number of alternative approaches for delivery of the product or service. They identify the best strategy in terms of cost and environmental impact by employing some combination of the quantitative analysis tools caught in the class, including Breakeven Analysis, Forecasting, Decision Tree Analysis, Inventory Optimization, and Linear Programming.
Once the team has determined the optimal approach, they create an implementation plan that lays out a set of major steps or tasks necessary to meet the new requirement.
The team will deliver their quantitative analyses and proposed implementation plan to their partner through both a verbal presentation and a written report.
*Note: Operations plan generation is inherently a data intensive process. An important requirement for this project is that the partner share key operational data, e.g., process flows, product bills of material, detailed fixed and variable costs, environmental impact information, and historical sales data.