Operational Management MBA after Graduation For Mechanical Engineers

What Is Operational Research , How Operational Research can be Defined ? 

Operation Research is a relatively new discipline. The contents and the boundaries of the OR are not yet fixed. Therefore, to give a formal definition of the term Operations Research is a difficult task.

The OR starts when mathematical and quantitative techniques are used to substantiate the decision being taken. The main activity of a manager is the decision making. In our daily life we make the decisions even without noticing them. The decisions are taken simply by common sense, judgment and expertise without using any mathematical or any other model in simple situations. But the decision we are concerned here with are complex and heavily responsible. Examples are public transportation network planning in a city having its own layout of factories, residential blocks or finding the appropriate product mix when there exists a large number of products with different profit contributions and production requirement etc.

Operations Research tools are not from any one discipline. Operations Research takes tools from different discipline such as mathematics, statistics, economics, psychology, engineering etc. and combines these tools to make a new set of knowledge for decision making. Today, O.R. became a professional discipline which deals with the application of scientific methods for making decision, and especially to the allocation of scarce resources. The main purpose of O.R. is to provide a rational basis for decisions making in the absence of complete information, because the systems composed of human, machine, and procedures may do not have complete information.

Operations Research can also be treated as science in the sense it describing, understanding and predicting the systems behaviour, especially man-machine system. Thus O.R. specialists are involved in three classical aspect of science, they are as follows:
i) Determining the systems behaviour
ii) Analyzing the systems behaviour by developing appropriate models
iii) Predict the future behaviour using these models

operation research introduction
operation research introduction

Applications of Operations Research

Today, almost all fields of business and government utilizing the benefits of Operations Research. There are voluminous of applications of Operations Research. Although it is not feasible to cover all applications of O.R. in brief. The following are the abbreviated set of typical operations research applications to show how widely these techniques are used today:

Accounting:

  • Assigning audit teams effectively
  • Credit policy analysis
  • Cash flow planning
  • Developing standard costs
  • Establishing costs for byproducts

Construction:

  • Project scheduling, monitoring and control
  • Determination of proper work force
  • Deployment of work force
  • Allocation of resources to projects

Manufacturing:

  • Inventory control
  • Marketing balance projection
  • Production scheduling
  • Production smoothing

Marketing:

  • Advertising budget allocation
  • Product introduction timing
  • Selection of Product mix
  • Deciding most effective packaging alternative

Organizational Behavior / Human Resources:

  • Personnel planning
  • Recruitment of employees
  • Skill balancing
  • Training program scheduling
  • Designing organizational structure more effectively

Purchasing:

  • Optimal buying
  • Optimal reordering
  • Materials transfer
  • Research and Development:
  • R & D Projects control
  • R & D Budget allocation
  • Planning of Product introduction

Why most mechanical engineers go for an MBA in operations management?

However to know why it is a natural one, let us see:

  • Mostly Mechanical engineers work in Manufacturing or related industry after they graduate, where they witness operations management at the floor level. They become the part of operations where they work. They either manage their sub-ordinates or get managed by their managers.
  • Mechanical engineering course already lay down the foundation for operations management by having Operations Research, Manufacturing Technology / Processes, Production Planning etc as courses. So as a graduate, you know the variable of the process / industry, and with Operations MBA, you get a chance to learn to manage them.
  • A Mechanical engineer understands the significance of a supply chain more because s/he can visualise (or has seen) it better as the parameters / constraints of a manufacturing floor are more or less similar in nature.
  • The target processes in Operations MBA during the course are quite similar to Mech processes like optimising a network, CPM / PERT, BIN system (KANBAN) etc.
  • So an MBA in Operations complements the engineering degree. As an engineer, you know the technical stuff about the process and as an Operations MBA, you know what to control and what matters most for the organisation.
  • Operations management is best suited for those with an engineering background, especially for the Mechanical Engineers who are the most employed in a manufacturing industry environment.
  • A Mechanical Engineer with a strong engineering background combined with Operations Management, where he learns Services Operation Management, Quality Management, Operation Research, Operations Strategy, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Production & Material Management and Business Modeling & Simulation puts thrust on maximizing the efficiency of production and minimizing all round costs and the time to delivery of products to customer. Operations management team constantly strives to improve the effectiveness of processes.
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