Part I: Basic Concepts of Operations Strategy
1 Course introduction; Innovation and operations discipline We will discuss the McDonald’s case and the Business Week article bringing the company history up to the present.
2 Frameworks for strategy and the decision category approach We will focus on the concepts of operations strategy decision categories. We will also explore how the pattern of decisions fit strategy at Zara. (Some familiarity with Zara is helpful.)
3 Developing an operations strategy; Application of decision category approach and the capabilities approaches We will explore the success of a growing company and how it is contemplating an acquisition in a new area. Both the concepts of capabilities and positioning can be applied to the case.
4 Value chain dynamics and operations decisions We will build on ideas from Clockspeed, and discuss the lens of value chain dynamics for developing an operations strategy.
5 Value chain dynamics: Lessons from the auto industry Long known as the “industry of industries,” the automotive industry was a petri dish for many of the most influential innovations in operations and management. We will look at the industry history and contrast its glory years to the challenges of today.
6 Enterprise architecture and operations strategy We will explore the operations model and business model of Southwest Airlines compared with the traditional airlines. Adding in parallel comparisons in the auto and airframe industries will drive an integrated discussion of enterprise/value chain architecture and operations strategy.
Part II: Key Elements and Decision Categories in an Operations Strategy
7 Vertical integration and outsourcing We will use the case as a framework to discuss vertical integration and outsourcing decisions.
8 Business processes We will explore the importance of business processes such as design and development, order fulfillment, sales and support and others.
9 Process technology decisions and multiple plants We will explore the questions of the role of technology and how one manages technology across multiple plants.
10 Capacity strategy: How to make decisions on capacity and capacity expansion We will examine the case, which explores the analytic and strategic considerations in capacity decisions.
11 Facilities strategies and globalization; Comparisons of plant productivity In this session we will develop an approach for a multi-facilities strategy on a global basis.
12 Summary lecture on facilities strategy and globalization Based on the cases from the previous classes, we will try to develop a formal method for developing a facilities strategy on a global basis.
13 Sourcing and supplier management We hope to have Jamie Bonini, LGO ‘92, now with Toyota, with us for this class.
14 Information systems and the impacts of the electronic economy We will explore how IT decisions relate to strategy and we will explore how Amazon uses IT in its core business and new businesses.
15 Logistics systems and the fulfillment supply chain We will explore the strategic aspects of supply chain decisions.
Part III: Capabilities and Different Approaches to Operations Strategy
16 Competing on quality: Sources of quality and different measures of quality We will explore quality as a strategic output.
17 Competing on cost versus competing on availability Planning systems, cross-cutting capabilities and the impact of lean operations. In this class, we will explore the importance of planning scheduling and operating systems, such as the Toyota production system and look at an example of where lean is an integral part of strategy. We will then explore how and whether there is a tradeoff between cost and availability. We will Herb Spivak, EVP of New Balance , joining us for this class.
18 Competing on cost versus competing on features and innovativeness BMW and Apple represent to many observers the essence of innovativeness. We will consider these two companies, which also illustrate different approaches to quality and possible tradeoffs with cost versus innovativeness.
19 Competition in the housing industry: Improving cost, quality and availability For this session, we will examine the home building industry, in part through the eyes of a newly created building materials supply company, United Building Supply (a pseudonym), that seeks to bring disruptive change to this historically fragmented industry and gain improvement in several strategic dimensions.
Part IV: Globalization, Outsourcing and Other Critical Issues in Operations Strategy and Policy in the 21st Century
20 Models for gaining advantage in a global environment; How to position within a value chain This session will introduce Li & Fung, an innovative value network model that delivers custom supply chains on a make- to- order basis. We will examine Li & Fung’s business model, the concept of multi- sided platforms, and explore the applicability of their model to other businesses and industries.
21 Globalization, joint ventures, sourcing overseas, and macroeconomic effects of off-shoring In this class we will explore the implications of sourcing overseas, both for individual firms, and for the economies that host them. We will explore the global race for lower factor costs overseas, competing in high cost countries, and the strategic imperatives of large scale global supply networks.
22 Supplier power and overseas sourcing: Moving up the value chain in outsourcing  
23 Student presentations We will explore outsourcing in the context of design and the strategic issues created when a vertical integration or outsourcing decision creates a competitive situation with your customers. Dan Croteau, President of Flextronics Medical, will join the class.
24 Student presentations and course wrap- up We will watch project presentations and wrap up the course.

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