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Operations Management Simulation

June 11, 2010

Boy, this has been a hectic few weeks! I’m in the seventh week of Operations Management, and this course is DEMANDING. Aside from preparing a presentation every other week and/or writing a paper on a variety of case studies, text problems, and reading The Goal, life is good! I will refrain from complaining!

This week, our teams have begun the second part of the Littlefield Simulation. This simulation allows students to gain “hands-on” experience running a factory that manufactures Digital Satellite System Receivers–exciting, huh?!?! Manufacturing isn’t necessarily my choice in career progression, but I have to say that I honestly like this simulation–at times.  On the first part of the simulation that we competed in about three weeks ago, I was glued to the computer screen. This time, not so much.  However, it is helpful to know that the models that we learn are actually applicable to other situations.

 In the first part of the simulation, we looked at variables such as demand, machine utilization, inventory, and setting work order priorities. This second part of the simulation allows the teams to directly manage inventory by setting reorder points (ROPs) and quanities. Demand doesn’t seem to be that big of a problem this time. We are on day 109 and the demand has remained pretty constant with a slightly negative trend; however, that might change unexpectedly. Thats why our team loaded up on machines at the onset of the simulation! This could work against us too. We also manage contracts with various lead times and revenues per order. We have about 100 days left in the simulation, so there will be some relief. All in all, there is a lot ot do, so preparation is a must in this simulation. If you don’t prepare by learning forecasting methods, queuing models and Reorder point models, etc., you’ll be staring at the computer screen with the “deer in the headlights” look, not knowing what to do! Any, wish us luck.

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