Create value and sharpen your advantage

Operations management focuses on the design, planning, and control of processes used to produce the goods and services provided by an organization. Managed well, operations play a critical role in executing overall strategy and creating value by delivering high quality at low cost. Developing a fundamental understanding of operations management is important for all managers in any organization.

In this program you will learn the key principles to optimize operations and maximize value creation for your business or organization. 

  • Foundations of core business processes and how to evaluate and improve them
  • Supply chain, inventory, and information flow management
  • Evaluation and design of effective operations strategies that align operational capability with business goals

After  the program, you will think more critically and creatively about business operations. You will be positioned to apply these concepts, frameworks, and techniques to your own organization, leading your firm to greater efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

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Who Should Attend?

  • Business executives and leaders responsible for developing and implementing operational strategies
  • Operations managers and team leaders responsible for managing operations and implementing operational improvements
  • Process improvement specialists and analysts responsible for identifying and implementing process improvements
  • Supply chain and logistical professionals responsible for managing the movement of goods and services
  • Consultants and advisors who work with organizations to develop and implement operational strategies and improvements
  • Entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to optimize their operations and create value for their customers and stakeholders
  • Professionals interested in developing their skills and knowledge in operations strategy and management
  • Government and military managers with oversight of institutional or organizational processes

More About This Program

This "live” interactive online program encompasses a mix of stimulating activities, engaging games to illustrate concepts, and challenging case studies. These are combined with faculty research presentations and group discussions demonstrating queueing theory and constraints, and covering capacity expansion, specialization, and strategy alignment.

This immersive online experience is delivered through:

  • Six, two-hour live-streamed class sessions (these faculty-led sessions are held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday over a two-week period)
  • Two informative and fun simulation games about inventory management in a supply chain, and sourcing options and choices
  • Pre-session readings and questions to familiarize yourself with the session topic(s)
  • Robust live, online class discussions with your instructor and other participants

Classes are held using Zoom video-conferencing, which creates a virtual classroom where you can see the professor and presentation screen, and the other class participants. The professor can see all students who engage online during the group session. You will be able to communicate with both the professor and your peers through this platform.

To participate, you will need to have a working webcam, built-in or attached, and the Zoom Cloud Meeting app downloaded onto your laptop.

If you have any questions about this requirement, call Duke Executive Education team at +1.919.660.8011 or Toll Free +1.800.372.3932, or email us at execed-info@duke.edu.

Program Registration Calendar

Registration Cost
$3,650
Registration deadline
October 3, 2024
Advanced Registration
$2,373
Advanced Registration Price available through August 6, 2024
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Curriculum

Designed to address specific issues relevant to both manufacturing and service settings across a wide variety of industries, the program covers quantitative tools—models and data-driven methods—as well as qualitative frameworks. You will learn about the relationship between a firm's strategy and its underlying processes, and explore how to design new processes and improve existing ones.

You are required to read all assigned materials before each program session. Most sessions also provide several preparation questions. Consider how you would answer these questions; they will typically serve as interactive discussion points during the session.

Session Duration

2 hours

Advanced Preparation

1-2 hours of required reading or case preparation

In your initial session, you will consider the design of a process that generates a product or service that's capable of meeting demand. A process is a series of steps used to create a product or deliver a service. Each step in a process has a certain capacity—the maximum amount of output that can be produced in a given amount of time. In a well-designed process, each step has the capacity to meet market demand, and the combination of all steps produces output at a rate that satisfies the organization's needs.

This is not always easy to accomplish, as processes and individual steps come in many forms: some steps are very fast, while others are very slow and labor intensive. Some steps process many units at one time (“batch” steps) while others process only one unit at a time.

The program will begin by focusing on ensuring that a process is capable of satisfying the average demand that it faces. You will learn about the fundamental tools and methodologies that can be used to analyze a system and eliminate long-term supply-demand mismatches.

Session Duration

2 hours

Advanced Preparation

1-2 hours of required reading or case preparation

Even though a process can, on average, satisfy demand, problems may still occur. In particular, uncertainty (randomness) can generate short-term mismatches between supply and demand, resulting in backlogs of work (or queues). These short-term mismatches often arise in industries that are naturally subjected to more variability.

In this session, you will explore the root causes of uncertainties and how to use tools and strategies to understand and manage short-term mismatches. You will develop a strong understanding of how careful analysis can be a powerful means to redesign and improve business processes in both service and manufacturing industries.

 

Session Duration

2 hours

In this session, we will conduct a supply chain simulation. This is a web-based simulation: all participants must have a separate laptop/PC available for this session.

To enhance your skills in supply chain management, we will use an interactive simulation that will allow you to use data to experiment with different strategies and examine how individual decisions impact the entire supply chain.

Session Duration

2 hours

Advanced Preparation

1-2 hours of required reading or case preparation

Unlike services, physical goods are typically created in advance of need and “inventoried” to await customer demand. Inventory is a tangible resource that can be used to cope with demand uncertainty, unlike unused capacity in a service system that cannot be stored for future use. As a result, managing inventory of physical goods is a crucial part of matching supply and demand in industries like manufacturing and retail.

In this session, we will discuss ways to manage inventory for the organization’s benefit and explore the competing objectives of satisfying customer demand while minimizing inventory costs and investment. We will also connect inventory management with the logistics of the supply chain and explore the role of distribution centers in an organization’s ability to match supply and demand.

Session Duration

2 hours

Advanced Preparation

1-2 hours of required reading or case preparation

This session will equip you to design and deploy an effective operations strategy that aligns with the overall strategic goals of an organization. You will leverage a framework to evaluate a firm’s operations strategy within three categories of decisions: scale, source, and scope.

  • Scale refers to the volume of activities performed
  • Source refers to whether an operation’s activities are insourced or outsourced, and whether they are performed onshore, nearshore, or offshore
  • Scope refers to the variety of activities performed, e.g., whether the organization focuses on a small set of activities (specialization) or a broad set of activities (diversification)

Using a case study and simulation, you will determine the power of operational alignment along each of these dimensions—and explore the pitfalls of operational misalignment.

Session Duration

2 hours

Advanced Preparation

1-2 hours of required reading or case preparation

The program concludes with an integrative discussion of the material covered and of the critical nature of effective operations management and strategy, both at a tactical (day-to-day) and strategic (long-term) level.

Faculty

Fernando Bernstein

Fernando Bernstein

Fernando Bernstein is the Bob J. White Professor of Operations Management at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He obtained a PhD in Operations Management from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and joined Duke University in July 2000.

Prof. Bernstein’s research interests include supply chain management, production planning and inventory control, applications of game theory for production and distribution systems, and revenue management. He has published papers in leading journals like Operations ResearchManagement Science, and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. He also serves as associate editor for these three journals.

Kevin Shang

Kevin Shang

Kevin Shang is the Joseph J. Ruvane, Jr. Professor of Operations Management at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Professor Shang received his MBA from the University of California, Riverside in 1998 and PhD from University of California, Irvine in 2002.

Professor Shang's area of expertise is supply chain management and inventory control. His research focuses on developing simple and effective inventory policies for supply chain systems. Prof. Shang also conducts research on the interface of operations and finance and renewable energy systems. His research has appeared in several leading management journals, including Management ScienceManufacturing and Service Operations Management, and Operations Research.

Robert Swinnery

Robert Swinney

Robert Swinney is an associate professor in the Operations Management area of Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Prior to joining Fuqua, he received a BS in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology and a PhD in Operations Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Swinney’s research addresses multi-player problems in supply chain management with a focus on the impact of customer behavior on operational decisions, social responsibility and disruption risk in supply chains, and the operations of start-up firms. His papers have been published in Management ScienceManufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Marketing Science.

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