As you read these lines, I presume that you have already explored the campus in its wilderness & beyond. But this is only a beginning of the memorable years that you are stepping into. While the mountain of books collected from the PGP office lies unsettled in your rooms, the freshness of a new book does create inquisitiveness to atleast flip through once. The campus air would be rent with who’s who of campus including the faculty. ‘Mark ‘, ‘Ops’, ‘Fin’ etc are just a few slangs in academia that you will live by for atleast next two years. While ‘facchas’ do have access to PGP2s 24x7 to quell their anxiety & resolve all queries under the planet, let me do my bit to decode & break the myths for one i.e. ‘OPS’.
Operations Management, better known as ‘Ops’ has its share of history too like any other subject. Put it simply, this area of management forms the heart of any business. The analogy with heart is not to highlight that this is the most important aspect but to signify that it pertains to executing your business plans on ground. The efficacy of any planning is realized when it is executed. And Operations deals with execution!
The junta with work ex would surely have more idea of what operations entails, the uninitiated might easily assume that operations is all about factory, union, transportation etc. Well, it is surely much beyond all these. And it does not pertain to manufacturing only. It has come a long way since the Industrial revolution of 40’s. You have operations in services as well. Eg. Banks, Hotels, Retail, Railways etc. And operations or for that matter any business function should never be viewed in isolation. All work together for growth of a company.
The latest avatar of Operations - Supply Chain Management (SCM) has become a buzz word across campuses, businesses & research labs. SCM has encompassed all the aspects right from product design to manufacturing to distribution to after sales service. It interfaces with other functions like marketing & finance at various nodes & time frames. It has given a ‘process view’ of delivering the products & services in a business. That also explains the vastness of this subject & the interest it has generated in the business world for last two decades.
I do not intend to make this editorial a literary of definitions & theories. The curriculum will give you enough gyaan on history, present & future of SCM. And some of the Profs do ‘Rock’, pay heed to them. Library at L is one of the best in country. This monthly newsletter from OIG itself shall be a good source of information on Operations. Do track it.
Some of you might have already started grilling your seniors on subject combinations & specs to be taken in 2nd year. Relax! There is no hurry for that & you have loads of time & opportunities to come to a decision. Keep your mind open & do not form opinions at the outset. Just sail along!!!
- Sachin JayaramThe guest editor is an alumni of IIML (Batch of 2007), working as a SCM consultant with Bristlecone India Ltd. He can be reached at email@example.com