Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS606: Operations and Supply Chain Management

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Learn how to manage business operations and supply chains, including setting production goals and strategies, designing and improving production processes, conducting workflow analyses, and analyzing physical facilities.


Course Introduction

Operations management is one of the main functions of a firm. The supply chain for the firm ensures the firm has the inputs needed to operate. Operations and supply chain management (OSCM) studies how a firm produces goods and services efficiently. As part of this graduate-level course, we will analyze the major aspects of business operations, including facility location, input procurement, demand forecasting, product and process quality control, manufacturing process analysis, project management, and inventory control. Other business courses, such as marketing or advertising, focus on specific functions of the firm. OSCM goes to the heart of what makes a firm tick. Basic questions such as how many workers to hire, how much raw material to have on hand to ensure no production shortfalls, and how many production shifts to schedule each week to meet forecast demand are part of OSCM. Likewise, OSCM includes deciding where to source raw materials and intermediate inputs (local, regional, or international), forecasting demand for these inputs, and ensuring production and service processes have the necessary inputs to operate efficiently. When there is a shock to operations – like when an overseas supplier of a key part is hit with a typhoon or when a labor shortage happens in a key production area – OSCM asks how the firm will react and what tools it will use to analyze and respond effectively. OSCM provides tools to analyze basic business functions, respond to business and market shocks, and mitigate risks associated with an uncertain production environment.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Unit 2: Process and Service Design Capacity Management
  • Unit 3: Operations and Process Analysis
  • Unit 4: Scheduling Model Analysis
  • Unit 5: Demand Forecasting
  • Unit 6: Process and Inventory Management
  • Unit 7: Facility Analysis – Location and Layout Planning
  • Unit 8: Supply Chain Distribution and Logistics
  • Unit 9: Supply Chain Integration and the Bullwhip Effect
  • Unit 10: Project Management


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • describe the fundamentals of productivity and how productivity is linked to operations and supply chain management;
  • explain the basic elements of operations management within the supply chain framework;
  • analyze complex cases in OSCM and formulate effective and efficient strategies to increase production output while maintaining quality;
  • analyze issues that affect the supply chain of a firm to suggest ways they might be addressed;
  • explain the importance of inventory control in ensuring a constant supply of production inputs to efficient operations management and minimization of production delays;
  • explain the significance of project management and project completion forecasts to the implementation of operations management;
  • relate the successful management of supply chains to the larger area of continual changes in external business conditions, such as changing modes of transportation, political uncertainty, and trade agreements;
  • describe the interaction between operations management and other functional areas of business; and
  • evaluate potential shocks to a supply chain and methods that would be appropriate to deal with each.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn 70% or higher on the final exam. The exam will be password protected and requires a proctor. 

Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. There is a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Be sure to study in between each attempt!

There is a practice exam that you may take as many times as you want to help you prepare for the final exam. There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want to until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Tips for Success

BUS606: Operations and Supply Chain Management is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or set schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 96 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums.


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course, including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, are all available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 12:26 PM