Individual Case Assignment Instructions
The purpose of this
assignment is to identify and apply OM (Operations Management) concepts/tools
to solve operational problems and improve operational performance. To this
purpose, you should find an interesting operational problem from the real
business world and think about how you can apply the OM concepts/tools that you
learned in this course to solve the problem.
specifically, each individual should:
Find an operational problem
from the real business world (from his/her own work or from any company)
Identify specific OM concepts/tools that can
be applied to the problem
Apply an appropriate OM
concept/tool or a set of appropriate OM concepts/tools to propose a solution to
the expected results that may be obtained when the solution is implemented.
in the appendix below will serve as the grading rubric for this assignment.
report should be 8 – 10 pages in length including the cover and appendices, with
1” margins on all sides, double -spacing, and 12 point font. The cover of the
report should include title, class code and name, section number, your full
name, and date of completion.
must follow the outline below:
summary (no more than one page)
what is the problem, what OM concepts/tools have been applied to the problem,
and what are the expected results of the proposed solution.
Clearly state whether the problem is from
your own work or from business articles/cases. If it is from business
articles/cases, provide its source (title, author, name of the journal, date
introduce the company background (e.g., name, products, business size,
location, internal/external interesting facts, etc).
Describe the problem clearly
– You should
focus on a single OPERATIONAL
problem, although you
introduce several other issues for informational purposes. General management problems
are not acceptable.
The problem may involve
either operational decision-making or process improvement.
This section must include a problem statement
starting with, e.g., “This paper considers the problem of determining …”, “The
main problem of the firm is how to …”, etc, either in the beginning or at the
end of the section.
OM concepts/tools that can be
Describe what specific OM
concepts/tools can be applied to the problem and whythey are
appropriate to the problem. This section should make it clear thatyou
understand the concepts/tools you are about to use.
of OM concepts/tools
Choose an OM concept/tool or a set of OM
concepts/tools among the ones provided in section 4 and apply it to propose a
solution to the problem.
In this section you “must show your
calculations”, which means that you must use real or estimated/simulated
data in solving the problem or analyzing the process. It is NOT acceptable
to provide only general descriptions of how the concepts/tools can be applied.
Analysis of expected results
Analyze the expected results of the proposed
solution. You should compare
between before and after the implementation of the
proposed solution and justify the proposed solution clearly.
The expected results may include cost/revenue
impact and/or improvement of operational performance such as throughput time,
throughput rate, and inventory. You must be specific to receive full credit
meaning of an operational problem will become clearer as you study this course
(see the textbook contents). An operational
problem may involve process design and improvement, supply chain management,
capacity planning, inventory management, quality management, project
management, production planning and control, forecasting, facility location and
layout, supplier management, purchasing, distribution, etc.
You are strongly encouraged to find a problem
from your own work, so that you may apply to your work the concepts/tools that
you learned from this course. If you choose to find a problem from business
articles/cases, you can find one from any journals/newspapers such as The Wall
Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and so
on. Or you can surf the Internet to find an interesting article/case.
OM concepts/tools that can be applied to your problem may include process
flowchart, theory of constraints, decisions trees, inventory models, six-sigma
tools, critical path method, MRP, scheduling, lean manufacturing, Kanban
production control method, forecasting methods, systematic layout planning,
assembly line balancing, factor rating system, centroid method, learning
curves, simulation, waiting line models, work measurement techniques, group
technology, mass customization, etc.
about what problems
faced by operations
is faced by operations
is faced by
managers but may
description may be
issues of minor
be applied to the
applied to the
problem or selects
be applied to the
may lack some
of results related
of all significant
results that are
solution. May omit
related to the