OPM 450: Decision-Making Tools for Managing Operations

Many organizations and even industries such as health care or education suffer significant consequences due to demand–supply mismatches. The underlying managerial and operations-related decisions are often very complex, involving many alternatives with different impact, and trade-offs between key performance measures (e.g., profit, cost, quality, and environmental impact) must be made.
This course provides managerial concepts and advanced analytical tools to help make “better” decisions and manage operations more effectively such that they are aligned with the overall strategic objectives. In particular, we will create models and use software such as state-of the-art spreadsheet tools to analyze and solve different operations-related management problems typically arising in practice. The methods and tools taught in the course have become invaluable aids to informed decision making in order to improve processes, save resources, and create value.
Applications cover a broad range of industries, such as air and railway transport, retailing, public services, health care, manufacturing, etc. The course pursues an active-learning approach including lecture-style class sessions and computer-based exercises.

Learning outcomes
Students will

  • get an advanced understanding of the challenging operations-related decisions and problems in practice,
  • learn about concepts and state-of-the-art tools for analyzing complex decision situations and for systematically evaluating options in operations management,
  • enhance problem structuring, modeling and analytical skills.

Necessary prerequisites
semester 4 or higher

Recommended prerequisites
OPM 301

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS7 SWS
ECTS credits3
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionno
Further informationILIAS
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Schön
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Schön
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationB.Sc. Bus. Adm.
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 2, CG 4
LiteratureSee syllabus
Course outlineTopics include modeling and optimization (prescriptive analytics) with applications to
  • Process Analysis, Design and Improvement
  • Capacity Planning and Scheduling
  • Revenue Management
  • Real-World Applications of Analytics
  • Case Studies, Guest Lectures