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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 2020-2021, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management
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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 Mobius exams 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 exams that will count as a large part of the grade.

The material taught in this course combines analytical tools with exposure to the messiness of real-life situations.The analytical tools 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. The student must not only understand how to use the tools, but also interpret them---and be able to explain the interpretation to managers.

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 exam questions. Students will have adequate time to practice for exams. We will also analyze three highly realistic cases at the end of the course, also use simulations.

Preparation for class will be evaluated using the ForClass platform. The class discussion will be based on ForClass answers. ForClass questions are made to bring out ambiguous and confusing elements that course participants are likely to encounter in practice, so the focus is on gaining experience rather than having a "right answer".

You should plan to bring a laptop computer to class.


The course begins by considering the design and execution of a simulated supply chain. We will then introduce the various tools that make it possible to run the supply chain smoothly and profitably.

We explore demand volatility and the challenges that it creates for matching supply with demand. Managing operations begins with figuring out what to produce. We will also look at a tool that allows the decision maker to balance the risk of stocking out vs overstocking. We will also look at important performance measures and how they are calculated.

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

During the course, we will conduct four workshops built around analysis of realistic cases and a simulation game. The cases and game 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 workshops also serve to give students experience in working with cases, which are commonly encountered in a Masters 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
  • Workshop: Lead Time Manager simulation
  • Process analysis
  • Workshop: Toshiba Ome case
  • Lot sizing: The EOQ model and an alternative approach
  • Variability and its impact on process performance: Queuing theory
  • Workshop: Executive Shirt case
  • Workshop: Fabritek case
  • Exam


Harvard Business School Publishing case studies (to buy)

Handout that summarizes key course concepts (available in English and 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 statistical 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

Written 2 hours
Allowed with restrictions
  • To get the grade of 4.0, participants must obtain a total of 70% of points from Mobius exams (exams taking place throughout the semester + final exam).
  • To get the grade of 4.5, participants must obtain a total of 80% of points from Mobius exams and submit at least 5 satisfactory ForClass assignments (no grading of the Forclass but best-effort required).
  • To get a grade of 5.0, participants must obtain a total of 80% of points from Mobius exams, submit at least 9 satisfactory ForClass assignments, and be present (video on) at the workshops.
  • To get a grade of 5.5, participants must obtain a total of 80% of points from Mobius exams, submit at least 9 satisfactory ForClass assignments, and actively participate (oral interventions) at all workshop sessions.
  • The grade of 6.0 rewards exceptional performance. Course participants can demonstrate excellence through a variety of means, including excellence in ForClass answers, showing leadership in class discussion, forum participation, and contribution to workshops. Note that we are not looking for volume, but for quality.


Written 2 hours
Allowed with restrictions

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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