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New Operations Management Simulations

Forio and Harvard Business School Publishing have recently released a series of operations management exercises. These simulations are quick, interactive illustrations of key concepts:

  • Balancing Process Capacity: Students work to eliminate process-related bottlenecks, maximize utilization, reduce process variability, and improve profitability in the context of managing a car wash.

  • Inventory Basics: Students manage a small hardware store and are responsible for inventory levels of up to three different products over a period of 12 simulated weeks. The exercise illustrates essential concepts in inventory management surrounding replenishment.

  • Push vs. Pull Production: Students manage the production facility of a computer manufacturer. They work with both Push and Pull production triggering mechanisms, and explore the implications of each method for meeting demand, managing inventories, and managing capacity utilization.

  • Queuing: Students manage several configurations of a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU), including multiple specialized units or a larger pooled unit. Variability in arrival times, service times, and resource utilization help students explore trade-offs between cost, patient experience, and clinical quality in queuing systems.

  • System Utilization: Based on the classic Manzana Insurance case, students manage a service process — reading and writing insurance policies — while developing intuition about capacity utilization, turn around time, work in progress, and the effects of demand variability.

Each exercise includes configurable scenarios and assessments, as well as a demo you can play before deciding to purchase the exercise for your classroom or corporate training.