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Operations management involves a wide range of areas including overseeing, designing and controlling the process of production as well as redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services. Operations management functions can differ depending on the purpose of the organisation so it is important that operations management professionals have knowledge in a wide range of areas. By studying the Alison Learning Path in Operations Management you will learn the role operations management plays in organisations. You will learn about practical applications of operations management to plan for the future. You will learn about different aspects of operations management such as lean manufacturing and inventory management. The Alison Learning Path in Operations Management is a series of courses that will help you increase your understanding of the many different areas involved in operations management.
Courses in this Learning Path
Fundamentals of Operations Management
This free business skills course introduces you to the world of operations management and is useful to those who wish to learn and understand more about the role it plays in organisations.
Using an interactive presentation style, the lessons go through the role of operations management in both manufacturing and service organisations. It also covers strategies used, such as capacity planning, facilities location planning, aggregate planning and scheduling, as well as inventory management techniques and quality management.2-3 Hours50 Points
Applied Operations Management - Introduction to Forecasting
The free online course Applied Operations Management - Introduction to Forecasting shows learners why virtually all operations management decisions are based on a forecast of the future.
Forecasts drive strategic operations decisions, such as choice of competitive priorities, changes in processes, and large technology purchases. Forecast decisions also serve as the basis for tactical planning and developing worker schedules. The course begins by introducing forecasting and describes why it is critical to the management of all functional areas within an organization. For example, marketing relies on forecasting to predict demand and future sales, and human resources forecasts future hiring requirements.
You will then learn about forecasting methods such as time series forecasting. Time series models assume that information needed to generate a forecast is contained in a time series of data and that the future will follow the same patterns as the past. You will learn about simple mean, moving average, weighted moving average, and exponential smoothing methods. These forecasting methods are explained in detail with worked examples throughout.
This free online course will be of great interest to all learners who have certified in Alison's Diploma in Operations Management as it introduces practical applications of operations management in the area of forecasting. It will also be of great interest to all professionals working in the areas operations management or general management who would like to learn more about forecasting and the methods used to make predictive forecasts. The course will also be of interest to all learners who are interested in operations management as a future career.
2-3 Hours50 Points
Applied Operations Management - Aggregate Planning
In this free online course, Applied Operations Management - Aggregate Planning, you will learn how aggregate planning is used in many businesses to match supply and demand of output over the medium time range of up to approximately 12 months in the future.
Aggregate planning allows management to quantify materials and other resources that are to be procured so that the total cost of operations are kept to the minimum over a set period of time. The course begins by introducing the concept of aggregate planning and its use in medium term planning in businesses. You will be introduced to aggregate planning methodologies such as the tabular method and linear programming.
You will learn how a tabular approach uses spreadsheets and the values of different variables, such as production by regular workforce and inventory levels can be calculated by using the costs associated with production, overtime, subcontracting, hiring, inventory and back-orders. The tabular method is widely used because it is easy to understand and utilize. However, the generated solution may not be optimal and many trials and errors may be needed to find the optimal solution. The course also introduces the linear programming technique and a special type of linear programming known as the Transportation Model, which can be used to obtain aggregate plans that would allow balanced capacity and demand and the minimization of costs.
This free online course will be of great interest to all professionals working in the areas operations management or general management who would like to learn more about aggregate planning and the methods used in this important area of operations management. The course will also be of interest to all learners who are interested in operations management as a future career.
2-3 Hours50 Points
Lean Manufacturing - Line Balancing and Facilities Location
The free online course Lean Manufacturing - Line Balancing and Facilities Location is the third course in the Applied Operations Management series. This course introduces the process of line balancing in lean manufacturing, which involves assigning tasks to workstations, so that workstations have approximately equal time requirements. Line balancing is used to minimize idle time and remove potential bottlenecks within a process.
The course begins by introducing the concept of line balancing and explains terminology associated with it, such as tasks, task precedence, task times and cycle time. You will then learn about heuristics for working out line balancing problems in lean production, such as the shortest processing time and the longest path in the network. You will also learn about cycle time, the maximum time allowed at each workstation before the work moves on, and how cycle time determines the rate of output.
The course then introduces the qualitative factors, such as raw materials, transport, and customer demand in determining the location of facilities. You will then learn about quantitative methods, such as the p-median model, which is used to model many real-world situations, such as the location of public or industrial facilities, warehouses and other facilities.
This course will be of great interest to professionals working in the area of operations management and lean production who would like to learn more about lean manufacturing, line balancing and facilities location, and to all learners who would like to know more about these important aspects of operations management.
2-3 Hours50 Points
Inventory Management - Using Inventory Models
The free online course Inventory Management - Using Inventory Models is the fourth in the Applied Operations Management series of courses. Inventory models help businesses answer the questions: How much material to order? When to order the material? They help firms determine the order quantity that minimizes the total inventory holding costs and ordering costs, as well as the frequency of ordering, to keep goods or services flowing to the customer without interruption or delay.
The course begins by introducing the basics of inventory management and introduces concepts such as deterministic demand and probabilistic demand, type of costs such as cost of item, order cost, and holding or carrying cost. Several models are available to help determine how much inventory should be brought in to restock the products or parts, and you will be introduced to inventory models such as the single period inventory model, the multi-period inventory model and the economic order quantity (EOQ) model. These models are explained in detail using worked examples.
This free course will be of great interest to professionals working in the area of inventory management, procurement and operations management and who would like to learn more about using inventory models. The course will also be of interest to learners who are interested in a career in procurement or operations management.
3-4 Hours50 Points