Two people reading in the yard of the university building B6

Operations Management

The Operations Management Area includes four renowned chairs (BodeFleischmann, Schön, Stolletz) that address a broad range of topics from procurement to production to supply chain to service operations management. Each chair has its individual specialization and focus, but we have one mission and an integrated curriculum across chairs.

Most decisions in operations management involve many alternatives, with different impacts on costs, profits, or other performance measures. Often, decisions are very complex and trade-offs must be made. Operations Research (OR) uses analytical models and tools to make these decisions more systematically.  Our courses introduce powerful OR approaches in an embedded way, thereby expanding the participants’ analytical skills.

Our Operations Management faculty is dedicated to produce highest-quality research that is practically relevant to decision makers in business and society. We regularly publish refereed articles in top scientific journals, for example, Journal of Operations Management, Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, and Transportation Science. Latest research results are presented and discussed at international conferences all over the world.

Fields of research

  • Procurement

    Broadly speaking, the research activities at the Endowed Chair of Procurement focus on the understanding – that is describing, explaining, and predicting – of phenomena and mechanisms that are of importance to the field of procurement. The current research thrusts are related to risk and disruptions, interfirm relationships, innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability, and strategies and performance.

    In these areas, we are particularly interested in research questions that are located at the intersection of procurement and related disciplines (such as logistics, marketing, management, organization, or innovation), because they require the integration of multiple disciplinary bases and theoretical perspectives to craft conceptually adequate models that offer comprehensive answers. We collaborate intensively with a network of organizations in order to help bridge between theory and practice.

  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management

    Our research domain encompasses managerial decisions regarding the design and operation of the supply chain, in a broad sense. This includes the optimal deployment of resources, process optimization, and the coordination of individual processes along the supply chain so as to maximize overall performance. Transportation and inventory management are among the key processes in this context. Advances in information technology are changing the underlying economics and enable novel solutions. 

    In our research, we seek to combine scientific rigor and managerial relevance, with the aim of obtaining novel insights into supply chain related issues. Our research approach relies on quantitative modeling and analysis, using operations research techniques.

  • Service Operations

    In general, our research is concerned with the development of quantitative models and methods of operations research in order to provide decision support for practical problems in the area of (production and in particular service) operations management – for better, more systematic and data-driven decision making in complex situations. Current research areas focus on revenue management, service design, Sustainable (Service) Operations Management and Green Product Design, and strategic pricing and tariff design.

  • Production Management

    The Chair's main field of research encompasses various managerial decisions in production and operations management. Current research projects particularly focus on quantitative decision support in the design and management of production systems, for example Operations scheduling, Management of dynamic systems, and design of lean operations systems.  The corresponding application areas are wide and include, among others, assemble to order (ATO) production systems, flow lines in the automotive industry, airport operations, or call center operations.

    Several operations research techniques are used to analyze and to optimize production and operations systems under static and dynamic conditions. We apply and develop methods for deterministic optimization, performance analysis of queueing systems, and optimization of stochastic systems.