Chapter 19

Ten Pivotal Operations Management Developments

In This Chapter

arrow Tracing the innovations that led to modern-day operations management

arrow Recognizing some pioneers who changed production and manufacturing methods

What’s currently called operations management evolved from a long line of discoveries, inventions, and revolutions. You may find it hard to believe that there was a time when products weren’t mass-produced and available on command. If a person wanted something, she had to make it or persuade someone to make it for her. In this chapter we highlight ten human developments that shaped operations management into what it is today and credit the people behind these developments.


Beginning before the Roman legions, armies have always “marched on their stomachs” and developed increasingly robust methods to quickly move large quantities of food and supplies where needed. Thanks to those military needs, civilizations throughout the world have what’s known today as logistics. UPS, a wildly successful shipping service, even hangs its sales and marketing hat on its highly refined level of logistics. And one might say that logistics is the foundation of what has become known as supply chain management (covered in Chapter 10).

Today, the Council of Logistics Management ...

Get Operations Management For Dummies now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.