IE503 - Operations Management

IE503 - Operations Management


Prof. Jayendran Venkateswaran


Autumn ‘20

Course Difficulty

Easy - Moderate

Time Commitment Required

2 hours a week is sufficient

Grading Policy and Statistics

Grading is fair, lenient even.
About 60% of the students scored an 8 or above, split equally (AA: 20%, AB:20%, BB:20%)

Attendance Policy

No attendance policy as a consequence of an online mode of delivery



Evaluation Scheme

Weekly quizzes (8 x 1.5%) = 12%
Individual Home-works (2 x 3%) = 6% (1 each before and after mid-sem)
Beer Distribution Game (1%)
Test 1 (5%)
Mid-sem (20%)
Group Homework (10%)
Final Exam (46%)

Topics Covered in the Course

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with supply chain system and issues therein; and equip with techniques to model some specific operational issues in such systems.

Part 1:
Stages of manufacturing supply chain and value addition.
Concepts of supply, storage, production, warehousing and transport.
Supply chain terminology. Structure of supply chains, decisions and decision levels in supply chain.
Overview of supply chain operations & costs: location, procurement, production, inventory, transportation, and information technology.
Material flow systems: push, pull, flow shop, job shop, cell, etc.

Part 2:
Quantitative models in supply chain systems including forecasting, production planning, scheduling and inventory models.
Basic forecasting models.
Product structure representation. Bill of materials.
Material accounting logic and MRP systems.
Scheduling and sequencing of parts: single/two machine.
Notion of quality & quality control.
Quality and yield of manufacturing processes.

Inventory models:
EOQ, periodic review, continuous review. Introduction to procurement and
distribution models. Transport & logistics costs. Project management techniques: CPM & PERT

Teaching Style

Professor uploaded high quality recorded videos on an unlisted YouTube playlist, and shared them with the class. His teaching is structured, methodical, he explains with a lot of examples and keeps the lectures practical, engaging and interesting.

Apart from this, some reading materials were uploaded on moodle for extra reading.

Slides are comprehensive and well made.


Project: We were divided into groups of four each, and given a wide variety of topics to choose from. We were expected to make and deliver a presentation on the topic of our choice to the class. It was fun and filled with learning.

Feedback on Exams

Weekly quizzes are very straightforward, simple and direct application of concepts to short numericals.

SAFE was the platform of choice. Questions were of moderate difficulty, light - medium length numericals based on concepts taught before. A few questions (10-20%) were thought provoking and required combining separately learned concepts. Overall, easy to score. Expect some MCQs too.

Slightly tougher than the midsem but the pattern remains same as the midsem exam

Motivation for taking this course

To build familiarity with Supply Chain management, to learn about the quantitative models and techniques used to solve typical operational problems like forecasting, inventory management, Scheduling, etc.

Course Highlights

Beer Distribution Game (top 3 teams gets a bonus 5% add-on to their final score!):

All the students were divided into teams of four each, and were introduced to a beer distribution game (a simulation of the real world supply - demand dynamics) wherein each member of the team has an assigned role (Factory manager, distribution manager, retailer, etc). The goal was to understand the “Bull Whip effect”, a commonly occurring phenomenon in supply chains.

It was fun, innovative, engaging and we learned a lot.

How strongly would I recommend this course?

Very Strongly.

When to take this course?

I took this course in my 5th semester with an intention of pursuing a Minor. Many students can also take this course in their 7th semester.

Going Forward

If you are interested in Supply Chain Management, you can take MG406 : Operations Management (Prof. Rahul Patil), or IE 714: Quantitative Models for Supply Chain Management ( By: Rangaraj Narayan) if the professor allows UG students.

Can give you an advantage in a Mechanical Engineering Core Course ME 308: Industrial Engineering and Operations Research I as the syllabus has an overlap.

References Used

Steven Nahmias, Production and Operations Analysis, McGraw Hill.
W. Hopp and M. Spearman (2000) Factory Physics, 3rd ed., Tata-McGraw Hill.

IE 503 Review By: Shaswat Gupta