Operations Management

Do the following questions interest you?

  • How many new and used textbooks should the University Bookstore order?
  • How much vaccine should Alberta Health Services stock for a potential pandemic?
  • How many express checkout lines should a supermarket have?
  • How should you schedule call centre agent shifts?
  • How should you encourage health care workers to wash their hands more often?
  • Should a fast food restaurant have one line or multiple lines for customers waiting to order?
  • How can you make a car sharing service work?
  • Where should ambulances be located for quick response to life-threatening calls?
  • How many low-priced seats should Air Canada offer on a flight from Edmonton to Toronto?
  • After a snowstorm, which city roads should be plowed first?

If so, then consider a major in Operations Management.

All of these questions are about operations management (OM): how an organization should manage its business processes to serve its customers. OM is a critical function of every organization. OM majors use computer models, mathematics, and process analysis to understand and improve operations. In addition to improving operations, these methods are more generally important for business analytics, making OM a useful minor to complement other majors.

OM majors learn analytical and problem solving skills that are useful in a wide variety of everyday situations. The courses push students to ask how, why, and why not; finding the most efficient answers to seemingly complicated questions. OM graduates often work as operations managers, supply chain managers, consultants, and business analysts. Understanding OM makes a manager in any area of business a stronger asset.