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Operation Management Theory and Practice by B Mahadevan PDF

Operations Management: Theory and Practice by B. Mahadevan

Operations management is the discipline that deals with the design, planning, control, and improvement of the processes that produce and deliver goods and services to customers. It is a vital function for any organization that wants to achieve competitive advantage, customer satisfaction, operational excellence, and sustainability.


In this article, we will explore the core concepts and theories of operations management, as well as the contribution of B. Mahadevan, a renowned author and professor of operations management. We will also show you how to download the PDF version of his book, Operations Management: Theory and Practice, for free.

What is operations management and why is it important?

Operations management can be defined as the management of the transformation process that converts inputs (such as materials, labor, capital, information, and technology) into outputs (such as products, services, and waste) that meet the needs and expectations of customers.

Operations management is important because it affects the performance and profitability of any organization. By applying the principles and techniques of operations management, an organization can:

  • Reduce costs and increase efficiency

  • Improve quality and reliability

  • Enhance flexibility and responsiveness

  • Innovate and create value

  • Align with the strategic goals and objectives

  • Achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty

  • Ensure social responsibility and environmental sustainability

Operations management is also a dynamic and evolving field that incorporates new concepts and practices from various disciplines, such as engineering, economics, statistics, psychology, sociology, marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, information systems, and more.

The core concepts and theories of operations management

Operations management covers a wide range of topics and issues that relate to the design, planning, control, and improvement of operations. Some of the core concepts and theories of operations management are:

Operations strategy

Operations strategy is the long-term plan that defines how an organization will use its resources and capabilities to achieve its competitive priorities. It involves making strategic decisions on:

  • The scope and nature of the products or services offered

  • The target markets and customers served

  • The degree of vertical integration and outsourcing

  • The location and layout of facilities

  • The type and level of technology used

  • The degree of standardization or customization

  • The trade-offs between cost, quality, speed, flexibility, dependability, and innovation

Operations strategy should be aligned with the corporate strategy and the functional strategies of other departments. It should also be consistent with the external environment and the internal capabilities of the organization.

Designing operations

Designing operations involves creating or modifying the processes that produce or deliver goods or services. It includes making decisions on:

  • The design of products or services that meet customer requirements and expectations

  • The design of processes that transform inputs into outputs efficiently and effectively

  • The design of facilities that provide the physical and technological infrastructure for operations

  • The design of jobs and work systems that motivate and empower employees

  • The design of quality management systems that ensure conformance to specifications and standards

  • The design of supply chain management systems that coordinate the flow of materials, information, and money among suppliers, producers, and customers

Designing operations should be based on the principles of customer focus, process orientation, continuous improvement, and cross-functional integration.

Planning and control of operations

Planning and control of operations involves managing the day-to-day activities and resources of operations. It includes making decisions on:

  • The forecasting of demand and capacity that anticipate the future needs and availability of operations

  • The aggregate planning of production or service levels that balance the demand and capacity over a medium-term horizon

  • The scheduling of operations that allocate the resources and sequence the tasks over a short-term horizon

  • The inventory management of raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods that optimize the trade-off between holding costs and ordering costs

  • The project management of complex and unique activities that require careful planning, coordination, monitoring, and control

  • The performance measurement of operations that evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, productivity, and profitability of operations

Planning and control of operations should be based on the principles of demand management, capacity management, resource management, inventory management, time management, and feedback management.

Operations and the value chain

Operations and the value chain refers to the network of activities and processes that create value for customers and stakeholders. It includes:

  • The primary activities that directly add value to the products or services, such as inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service

  • The support activities that indirectly add value to the products or services, such as procurement, human resource management, technology development, and infrastructure

  • The linkages and relationships among the activities that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the value chain

Operations and the value chain should be based on the principles of value creation, value proposition, value delivery, value capture, and value enhancement.

Lean management and six sigma quality control

Lean management and six sigma quality control are two complementary approaches that aim to improve the performance and quality of operations. They are:

  • Lean management is a philosophy and a set of practices that focus on eliminating waste (muda), variability (mura), and overburden (muri) from operations. It involves applying the concepts of just-in-time (JIT), total quality management (TQM), total productive maintenance (TPM), kaizen (continuous improvement), poka-yoke (mistake-proofing), 5S (workplace organization), kanban (pull system), heijunka (leveling), jidoka (autonomation), etc.

  • Six sigma quality control is a methodology and a set of tools that focus on reducing defects (errors) from operations. It involves applying the concepts of define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC), define-measure-analyze-design-verify (DMADV), voice of customer (VOC), voice of process (VOP), voice of business (VOB), critical to quality (CTQ), process capability index (Cpk), statistical process control (SPC), design of experiments (DOE), etc.

Lean management and six sigma quality control should be based on the principles of customer satisfaction, process improvement, waste reduction, defect prevention, variation reduction, data-driven decision making, team work, and organizational learning.

Maintenance management

Maintenance management is the process of ensuring that the equipment and facilities used in operations are in good working condition. It includes:

  • The preventive maintenance that involves regular inspection, cleaning, lubrication, adjustment, replacement, or repair of equipment or facilities to prevent breakdowns or failures

  • The corrective maintenance that involves restoring or replacing equipment or facilities that have broken down or failed due to wear and tear or accidents

  • The predictive maintenance that involves monitoring the condition or performance of equipment or facilities using sensors or indicators to anticipate breakdowns or failures before they occur

  • The reliability-centered maintenance that involves analyzing the functions, failures, effects, causes, and consequences of equipment or facilities to determine the optimal maintenance strategy for each component or system

Maintenance management should be based on the principles of availability, reliability, maintainability, 71b2f0854b


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