Business Operations – Applications

This Course digs into two of the most crucial aspects of business – the processes that support production and delivery of a good or service, and the financial acumen required to keep the operation running. The topics in this Course include process analysis, financial basics, and the interaction between standard business reports such as the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows, and the major activities every business pursues.

Faculty

Prof. Kumar Rajaram

Prof. Kumar Rajaram

Professor

Kumar Rajaram is a Professor of Operations and Technology Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Professor Rajaram’s current research interests include improving operations in the health care industry, non-profit sector and in the process manufacturing sectors including food processing, pharmaceuticals and the petrochemical industry. He has focused on developing analytical models of complicated systems with a strong emphasis on practical implementation. His work has been published in leading research journals such as Operations Research, Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Marketing Science and the European Journal of Operational Research. He has been awarded the Eric and ‘E’ Juline Faculty Excellence in Research Award at the UCLA Anderson School.

Professor Rajaram has developed a new control paradigm called “Robust Process Control” to increase the productivity of large-scale industrial processes. By focusing on the design and control of these processes in operational environments, this technique has resulted in four-fold increases in productivity in several types of industrial processes. These methods have been implemented at several process companies worldwide. This work was awarded the prestigious Franz Edelman finalist award for outstanding applications of operations research and management science techniques to practice by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). He has also developed techniques to better balance supply with demand for products with short life cycles and highly unpredictable demand. This work has been applied at several large fashion retailers in Europe and North America and has resulted in substantial improvements to profitability at these sites.

At the UCLA Anderson School, Professor Rajaram teaches the MBA core course on operations and technology management, various Executive Education courses and doctoral level courses on operations management and models for operations design, planning and control. He has been awarded the George Robbins Award, the Citibank Award and the Neidorf “Decade” Award for excellence in teaching at the UCLA Anderson School.

Education
Ph.D. Operations Management, 1998, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
M.A. Managerial Science and Applied Economics, 1997, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
M.S. Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, 1993, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
M.Sc. Mathematics, with Honors 1991, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India
B.E. Electrical and Electronics Engineering, with Honors 1991, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India

Course Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze data based on a business process to find the value produced by the current process.
  • Calculate at least two options for reducing/eliminating a bottleneck, making a business process more profitable, given current data.
  • Recommend one of the options to improve profitability, using defensible data to support your proposed solution.

Syllabus

Module Components:

Video Lectures:

  • Analysis of Business Operations – Illustration
  • Process Improvement – Illustration
  • A Framework for Process Analysis

Readings:

  • Analysis of Process Duration and Capacity
  • Process Decomposition
  • Excellence Framework – Requirements

Case Study:

  • Drastic Publishing (Continued – Part 5)

Quiz:

  • Business Operations Applications

Support

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