Operations Management is the art and science of effectively and efficiently transforming inputs like materials, labor & capital into outputs which could be goods and/or services that add value to the customer. Believe it or not, you are able to live your life the way you are only and only because you are surrounded by plethora of entities (businesses, government bodies, etc.) carrying out their "Operations."
Consider the device you are reading this article on (most likely a mobile phone). Think about where it came from? Amazon? Flipkart? Local mobile store? Well, yes, but where did these places get it from? Most likely from a distributor of the mobile brand who got it from a facility where the device is assembled. But where did the facility get the components from? Most likely from an array of local and global suppliers who themselves might be receiving raw material from mines and chemical plants from across the world. Well, you get the drift!
In short, a whole lot of Operations Management on the part of a variety of entities went into getting this device to your hands right now adding value to your life!
So, Operations Management is a fascinating field of Business Management which often gets a cold shoulder from B-school aspirants due to some pre-conceived notions. These myths prevent students from even considering OM as their major stream or even as their minor stream and sometimes even as a breadth elective. Most students end up realizing the importance of OM concepts and insights only after they gain 2-3 years of managerial work experience and are promoted to a managerial level. In the interest of preventing such a situation, here are some commonly held myths about the field of OM that B-school aspirants should be aware of. For every myth, I have also included how IMTH helps you overcome these challenges.
Myth # 1: OM is math-heavy and is only for engineers!
The Operations Management field definitely has its roots in Operations Research or Management Science which are deeply mathematical in nature. Operations Management, however, is much more than simple mathematical treatment of industrial problems. Operations Management does use mathematical tools but as you go deeper into OM courses, you will find that there are several softer and interdisciplinary issues that make the subject interesting.
For instance, at IMT Hyderabad, the operations electives do not just deal with quantitative content but also qualitative and theoretical content within all the operations management electives. We follow a case-based pedagogy. For this pedagogical style to be successful, student profile diversity is essential. So, whether you are an engineer or an arts or commerce graduate, you will fit right into the OM electives. Your innate skillsets will more than compensate for potential weaknesses (imagined or otherwise) in mathematics.
Myth #2: OM is for those interested to work in the manufacturing sector
Many students tend to feel that majoring in OM would mean a job in the manufacturing sector alone. This is far from factual since OM concepts are diverse and apply in a wide range of businesses. Every business on the service product continuum, beginning with a pin manufacturing company and the high-end consulting company in the service sector grapples with operational problems that could be solved using ideas within the OM courses.
The bouquet of operations management electives at IMTH caters to a wide variety of career goals. Whether you wish to see yourself in the IT/BPO industry or manufacturing or e-commerce or banking, you will find a combination of electives within our offerings that would help deal with the specific managerial challenges of these respective sectors. We insist that our students align their elective choices with their career goals and aspirations apart from their strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, the most common profile of students we admit has prior work experience IT sector and wish to go back to the same sector at a managerial level. We advise such students to subscribe to electives like Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, Service Operations, and Business Process Management. Somebody interested to work in the Supply Chain and Logistics sector would be advised to take electives like Supply Chain and Logistics Management, Retail Supply Chain Management, International Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Supplier Relationship Management.
Myth #3: OM deals with day to day activities and has no strategic importance
This is a very widely held myth, sometimes disappointingly within the business fraternity as well. However, history has shown that operational excellence does create a sustainable competitive advantage. It is not just about creating a successful operations model for a company but to dynamically adapt to the increasingly volatile marketplace. Breakthrough innovations in operations can shatter shake up industries.
At IMTH, the operations electives like Technology and Operations Strategy, New Product Development and Supply Chain Analytics will equip you to catapult yourself from mere operational roles to strategic roles in the future.
Finally, at IMTH, we endeavor to make our students socially responsible business leaders and therefore all our electives have a module that deals with Ethics and Responsibility. We hope that this article has helped you gain a crucial perspective on the field of Operations Management and would aid in charting your bright future.
Prof. (Dr.) Vinay Kumar Kalakbandi