Simon Business School

Operations Management

The operations of a firm involve the acquisition of productive resources by IT, their configuration into a productive system, and their utilization in producing goods and services. These activities require decision making at strategic, planning, and scheduling levels. Operations Management is concerned with formulating and solving such decision problems. On the one hand, this demands the realistic modeling of these decision problems; on the other, the solution to the problem requires a knowledge of the relevant methodology and, very often, the development of new theory and techniques.

Faculty and Research Interests

  • Harry Groenevelt: His research interests include health care operations, logistics and supply chain management, service system management, and quality management.
  • Phillip J. Lederer:  His research interests include operations management’s integration with economic theory, financial justification of manufacturing technology, performance evaluation in operations, and competition in network based industries.
  • Ricky Roet-Green: Her research interests are in operations research, operations management, service systems, queueing theory, game theory, and mechanism design.
  • Abraham Seidmann: His research interests include flexible manufacturing-systems management, corporate information systems, computer control of production systems, and advanced financial information systems.
  • Yaron Shaposhnik: His research interests include stochastic dynamic optimization with learning, data analytics, and applications of operations research, primarily in health care.
  • Vera Tilson: Her research interests are in supply chain management, stochastic scheduling, and health care operations. Her teaching interests are in production and operations management, management science, and business statistics.

Recent Research in Operations Management

Experts Offer Efficiency for Surgery Room Savings

Greg Dobson, Abraham Seidmann, and Vera Tilson

Operating rooms are some of the most expensive areas in acute care delivery at most hospitals. For successful operations, they rely on the timely delivery of the appropriate sterile surgical instruments for each procedure on hand—and that’s where the expense becomes a significant factor.

Simon professors Greg Dobson, Vera Tilson, and Abraham (Avi) Seidmann recently tackled the problem with co-author and surgeon Anthony Froix, MD, ’12S (MS), ’13S (MBA). Read more about “Configuring Surgical Instrument Trays to Reduce Costs,” published in IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering.


Is Good Customer service a popularity contest?

Huaxia Rui, Abraham Seidmann, and Priyanga Gunarathne

Recent research by Simon faculty shows that for customers with a problem to be solved, Twitter is the way to go—as long as they have a lot of followers. In their paper, “Customer Service on Social Media: Do Popularity and Sentiment Matter?” professors Huaxia Rui and Avi Seidmann and doctoral graduate student Priyanga Gunarathne gathered over a half-million tweets sent to and by American Airlines, United Airlines, and Air Canada. Read more about Customer Service on Social Media.


The Advantage of Deception

Vera Tilson, Edieal Pinker, and Joseph Szmerekovsky

A new paper illustrates how managing project secrets can sometimes be a high-stakes game of corporate cat and mouse. The paper, “Managing a Secret Project,” builds a model of the optimal way to schedule a project’s steps to stay ahead of the competition. Traditional methodology helps managers schedule steps to finish the project as quickly as possible; the “secret project” model shows a better way.


Upgrade Intervals Affect Profitability

Abraham Seidmann, Amit Mehra, and Probal Mojumder

In a new paper published by Production and Operations Management Journal, “Product Life Cycle Management of Packaged Software,” Simon professor Abraham Seidmann and co-authors Amit Mehra and Probal Mojumder study the optimal intervals between software upgrades and analyze how these intervals change over a product’s life cycle.


Math Modeling Could Save Millions

David Tilson, Vera Tilson, Gregory Dobson, and Curtis Haas

A Simon Business School case study of production practices at Strong Memorial Hospital reveals the potential to save millions in production costs at hospital pharmacies across the nation.


Comparing Bank Financing and Trade Credit

Abraham Seidmann

A new paper by Simon professor Abraham Seidmann and Professor Bing Jing of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, “Finance Sourcing in a Supply Chain,” examines the merits of trade versus bank credit between a manufacturer and a retailer with limited capital. The study adds critical new insights to an active research area that has important managerial implications.


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