Operations Management is the art and science of designing and managing an operation with the twin goals of achieving high productivity and high quality, the two essential characteristics of competitive advantage. Thus, making the decisions needed in managing the operation over the spectrum from daily or short-term decisions, all the way to the long-term strategy, is what defines the winner and the victory in the global market. The science is in the many established and mathematically supported methods and techniques that have been developed by researchers and industry practitioners and are applied so effectively in improving and optimizing an operation. The art is in the innovation and imaginative application of the right techniques for the right problems.
The importance of Operations Management arises from the fact that an operation is the core of every venture and every enterprise small or large, government or corporate, for-profit business or non-profit organization. Whether the enterprise processes raw materials to deliver finished goods, or the product is a service with customers involved in the middle of production, there is inevitable benefit from the application of the concepts and methods of Operations Management.
Operations Management is a living body of knowledge that grows and transforms itself over time. One of the most exciting trends is the intersection of Operations Management and Information Technology. Examples include the increasing use of robotics in manufacturing and service, and the development of Cloud computing to enable the universal use of software and systems that were at one time available only to the largest corporations. Many of these latest developments are possible topics of extended research.