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Gestion des opérations I

  • Teacher(s):   S.De Treville   J.Weiss  
  • English title: Operations Management I
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2019-2020, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences



The course will be offered both in French (Friday afternoon at 14h15) and in English (Friday morning at 10h15). Part of the material only exists in English (e.g., case studies); a sufficient level of English (B2) is therefore required. Graded quizzes will be available in both languages.

This course is an introduction to operations management. Its learning objective is to permit students to master several key useful principles that are necessary to all managers. The course is intended to be accessible to all bachelor students, including those from outside HEC.

In this course, it is essential to master the material as it is taught and not get behind. The early sessions contain several key building blocks, so a course participant who gets behind will be lost for the entire semester. For this reason, we will have weekly online quizzes that will count as a large part of the grade.

The material taught in this course is an uncomfortable mixture of technical and judgement based. The analytical techniques are objectively challenging, but can be mastered by a participant who has the level of the second year of HEC. Applying the tools also requires figuring out how to take the messy, unstructured data from the company and transforming it so as to be able to input it to the course tools. This requires that the student not only memorizes how to use the tools, but acquires the capacity to understand and interpret them.

Several course elements aid students in surviving this uncomfortable duo. The set of technical material is clearly defined and communicated, and corresponds closely to related quiz questions. Students will have adequate time to practice for quizzes. We will also analyze three highly realistic cases at the end of the course, as well as simulations.

Preparation for class and participation in class will be evaluated using the ForClass technology. Students will be called on during class to explain the reasoning behind an answer that they have submitted in a ForClass assignment. It is the quality of reasoning that will be graded rather than the correctness of the answer.

You should plan to bring a laptop computer to class.


The course begins with an exploration of demand volatility and the challenges that it creates for matching supply with demand. Managing operations begins with figuring out what to produce.

We then move to process analysis, first without variability, then using queuing theory to incorporate service-time variation.

At the end of the course, we will analyze three cases that resemble the situations that students can expect to encounter in internships. The cases are simple enough to be analyzed using the tools covered during the class, but bring in enough real-world messiness to prepare students for their internships. These cases analyses also serve to give students some initial experience in working with cases, which you will commonly encounter in a Master program.

Sessions :

  • Introduction
  • Working with demand volatility via its standard deviation
  • Maximizing profit in the face of demand volatility: the newsvendor model
  • The fill rate
  • Mismatch costs due to demand-volatility exposure: the cost-differential frontier
  • Process analysis
  • Case: Toshiba Ome
  • Lot sizing: The EOQ model and an alternative approach
  • Variability and its impact on process performance: Queuing theory
  • Case: Executive Shirt
  • Case: Fabritek + Guest
  • Mobius Exam


Harvard Business School Publishing case studies (to buy)

Handout that summarizes key course concepts (available in French)

Slides (in English) that will be available before the class for technical material, and after the class for case analyses.


The course makes use of the statistics knowledge covered during the first 3 semesters of HEC.

The class "Analyse de la décision" serves as an excellent preparation for this course.

Term project

- Type of project : none for 2020
- Maximum number of projects admitted for this course : 0
- Deadline for applying to course professor for project : none
- Deadline for submitting finished project : none
- Method of evaluation (including resit options) : none
- Other information : none


First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  
  • Participants must obtain a total of 70% of points from Mobius exams to pass the course with a grade of 4.
  • Participants receiving between 70% and 80% of points on Mobius exams will receive a grade of 4.
  • Participants receiving more than 80% of points on Mobius exams will be evaluated with respect to class participation and exceptional performance on Mobius exams.
  • Class participation concerns ForClass assignments, in-class participation, and participation on forums.


Without exam (cf. terms)  

Students who have not succeeded in obtaining 70% of the points from the Mobius exams will have a 2-hour Mobius exam on which they will need to obtain 70% of the points to receive a grade of 4.

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