SCM 361 - Syllabus
Course Description
This is an introductory course in Operations Management with five primary purposes: help students (1) recognize that value is created through transformational processes, (2) understand how the skillful management operations (delivery of value) can dramatically enhance company competitiveness and organizational effectiveness, (3) learn methods that help organizations deliver value to customers, (4) learn the language of operations management and (5) practice and improve their spreadsheet modeling and analytical skills. Topics covered include operations strategy, project management, forecasting, process analysis, sourcing, and distribution management. Readings, Excel tutorials, homework problems, qualitative and quantitative assessments, and web-based simulations will play an important role throughout the course.
Learning Outcomes
What we will KNOW and be able to DO by the end of the semester:
- Describe the Main Categories of Value from a Customer’s Perspective: These include lower prices, differentiated offerings, and greater agility (responsiveness).
- Match Product to Process: Identify the appropriate transformational process focus—efficiency or flexibility—based on the requirements of the offering.
- Seek Out and Find the Right Data: Become skilled at sifting through ambiguous data. (Real-life operations problems are like solving very complex story problems from math class.)
- Apply the Right Tools: Identify and apply appropriate operations management tools and concepts to improve operational performance in a variety of simulations. Topics of study to include project management, product forecasting, process and capacity planning, quality management and control, production planning, just-in-time, supply management, and logistics management.
Prerequisites
Before taking SCM 361 you must have completed at least 48 credits and complete one of the following courses:
- MATH 221A: Business Statistics
- MATH 221B: Biostatistics
- MATH 221C: Social Science Statistics
- MATH 330: Engineering Statistics
Materials and Fees
Here are the required materials and fees for this course:
- A Very Industrious People: Production and Operations Management from a Latter-day Saint Perspective, fifth edition, by Michael G. Clark. PDF files for each chapter are available (free) in I-Learn, however, due to the highly technical nature of the book you are highly encouraged to purchase a hard copy of the text.
- Littlefield Management Simulation, access code, automatically purchased for you through the BYU-Idaho University Store. The store will add a charge to your student account after the add/drop date (typically in the 2nd week of the semester).
- Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.
Grading
Grades will be based on the following point scale:
A ≥ 93% |
B ≥ 84% |
C ≥ 74% |
D ≥ 64% |
A- ≥ 90% |
B- ≥ 80% |
C- ≥ 70% |
D- ≥ 60% |
B+ ≥ 87% |
C+ ≥ 77% |
D+ ≥ 67% |
F ≤ 59% |
Grading Summary
Discussion Board Q&A (12 discussions; 3 points each) |
36 points |
Homework Problems (29 homework assignments; about 1 point each) |
32 points |
Miscellaneous Assignments (9 assignments; varying points) |
45 points |
Littlefield Simulations (2 assignments; varying points) |
100 points |
Question Exams (12 exams; 6 points each) |
72 points |
Problem Exams (11 exams; 10 points each) |
110 points |
Spreadsheet Files/Quizzes (11 quizzes; 1 point each) |
11 points |
Final Exams (2 exams; varying points) |
100 points |
Mid-Course Feedback and End of Course Evaluation (2 points each) |
4 points |
Total (regular points) |
510 points |
Extra Credit Assignments |
12 points |
Grading Details
Discussion Board Q&A: These are designed to help students teach each other. Each week students will be required to post one question related to that week’s module topic. Students will also be required to post two answers to other students’ previously posted questions.
Homework Problems: Homework assignments will be due on Fridays at 11 PM during the week they are assigned. They will be administered through I-Learn and will allow for five attempts. They are largely quantitative in nature and geared to reinforce the principles taught throughout the course. The exams will contain many problems that are very similar to the homework assignments. You may discuss your homework with other class members, however; you are not allowed to share spreadsheet files (build your own). If after five attempts you have not answered all the problems correctly, contact your instructor to get help and open another attempt.
Miscellaneous Assignments: These will consist primarily of short writing assignments and individual simulations.
Littlefield Technologies: This factory simulation will test your team’s ability to make several decisions as you manage the operations of a simulated manufacturer of satellite receivers. We will play two rounds in this simulator (one week each, mostly out of class time). Success in this activity is most likely to be achieved when your team correctly applies skills in forecasting, capacity management, the theory of constraints, inventory management, and contract management. This activity is an excellent gauge of a team’s ability to work together and of its understanding of relevant key concepts.
Question EXAMS: Question Exams will consist of true/false, multiple-choice, multiple-answer, and matching questions, based on chapter readings and class activities. These are open-book, open-note, closed-websearch, timed exams. They are to be taken by yourself, without any discussion or communication about the exam with anyone, including past or present students!
Problem EXAMS: Problem Exams will consist of problems similar to those found in the homework assignments. Each exam is worth 10 points. These are open-book, open-note, open-spreadsheet (your own spreadsheet file), closed-websearch, timed exams. They are to be taken by yourself, without any discussion or communication about the exam with anyone, including past or present students! Please note that these open-book exams have a high standard for getting things right the first time, so no retakes are allowed (even for little mistakes). However, if you score less than 70 percent on any problem exam, you may raise your score to 70 percent by determining the correct answers to your missed questions (on your own or with help from your instructor or with help from a teaching assistant or tutor) and sending those corrected answers via email to your instructor (along with your corrected spreadsheet file).
Spreadsheet Assignments/Quizzes: For each chapter with quantitative material you will be asked to submit a spreadsheet file at the end of the week and answer some questions (quiz) to receive credit for your submission. Each submission is worth one (1) point and is intended to help you organize your work such that you better learn the operations concepts and spreadsheet mechanics. Roughly 32 percent of your overall class grade comes from assignments and exams that depend on your spreadsheet skills, hence you must create your own spreadsheet files. Yes, you may ask others for help or see how they do things in their files, but you are not to share files for this and related assignments. All keystrokes must be your own. Note that there will be very serious consequences for sharing files on this assignment.
Preparation for the Workplace: Timed, Open-Book Assessments
From time to time a few students will express concern over the timed assessments employed in this course. They will say that their performance on these assessments don’t accurately reflect their knowledge of the material. While this may be true, these assessments are good practice for what many will face in the workplace: firm deadlines (timed deadlines) but open access to any material that will help you with that work assignment. Make sure you have a rock solid Internet connection when you take these assessments.
Tips for Success with Quantitative Material (Homework Assessments)
To borrow and paraphrase from a scripture, “the way for [this course] is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before [you]” (see 2 Nephi 9:41). In other words, this course has exacting requirements (narrow) but there are straightforward things you can do to ensure that you learn the material and, as a natural byproduct, get the best grade possible. These things include:
- Read the entire chapter to understand the underlying principles. You will be tempted to skip this step and cut right to the tutorial videos and the homework problems. Do this (skip the reading) at your own risk, as it will likely take you longer to work through the problems if you do this.
- Watch the tutorial videos and build spreadsheets like those you will see. Don’t just copy the formulas but rather take time to understand how the formulas use the given data to calculate the desired answers.
- Create a separate Excel file for each homework assignment and use a separate spreadsheet tab for each problem within a chapter (homework assignment). Doing so will pay huge dividends when you take each ending assessment.
- Clearly label and organize all your work. This includes (a) clearly labeling your given data and the answers within your spreadsheet models, (b) using cell references in your formulas rather than hard-coded numbers, (c) using a descriptive title for each spreadsheet tab, (d) having a naming system for your Excel homework files, and (e) putting those files into a clearly labeled, separate folder that you can access quickly and easily.
- Do not put commas into answer fields in I-Learn. Depending on how this course was created, I-Learn could mark your answer wrong if you put a comma into your answer. For example, if an answer to a problem should be 25,000, then simply input 25000. I-Learn could also accept the commas, but again, it depends if the course adding multiple answer possibilities.
- Let Excel do the rounding. Many questions ask you to round your answer to a certain number of decimal places. If a question asks for three decimal places, then change the cell’s display in Excel to show three decimal places and input that rounded number into the answer field in I-Learn. In this example you should not manually round (in your head) the answer to three decimal places as this may give you a different answer than what Excel does and will likely be marked incorrect.
- Get help from your instructor or from a tutor. The Tutoring Center is equipped to assist online students. Your instructor is also eager to help you learn and master the quantitative methods introduced in this class.
Class Policies
- This is an online course. Each student is responsible for his or her own computer and Internet connection. Internet access problems and/or individual computer problems may not be used as a plea for leniency on any assignment. Each student is responsible for finding the means to be online when necessary.
- A maximum of two assignments during the course may be submitted late. Late work will be accepted up to one week after the due date for 70% of the original value.
- The Honor Code standards apply and will be enforced, particularly the Academic Standards— which means not discussing any individual assessments with classmates or team assessments with other teams.