Operations management is all around us, and when you become enamored of it, you schedule your vacations around manufacturing plant tours, you cannot eat in a buffet line without approaching the manager about the food service operations, and you practice queuing theory when you are trying to merge into traffic … but I digress.

Traditionally, “operations” was closely identified with what occurs within the four walls of a manufacturing facility, but service-related roles now account for 80 percent of all jobs in North America, competition is global, and individual companies no longer compete—rather virtual end-to-end organizations known as supply chains do!

Companies like Amazon, Dell, Southwest Airlines, Cintas, and Google have figured ...

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