The Encyclopedia of Operations Management
A Field Manual and Glossary of Operations Management Terms and Concepts

Purpose - The Encyclopedia of Operations Management (EOM) is an ideal "field manual" for students, instructors, and practicing managers. For students in both business and engineering, the EOM is a useful guide for developing an integrated mental map for the entire field of supply chain and operations management. It has also proven useful as a reference for students preparing for case discussions, exams, and job interviews. It is particularly helpful for students new to supply chain and operations management and for international students who need precise definitions of specialized terms. For instructors, the EOM is an invaluable desk reference and teaching aid that goes far beyond the typical dictionaries. Many instructors and doctoral students find the numerous figures, graphs, equations, Excel formulas, and references helpful for their lectures and research. For practicing managers, the EOM is a valuable tool for black belt and green belt training programs for both lean and lean sigma programs -- and a powerful tool for helping organizations build a precise standard language.

Coverage - The EOM covers many disciplines related to supply chain and operations management including:
  • Accounting
  • Capacity management
  • Customer service
  • Distribution
  • e-business
  • Economics and finance
  • Forecasting / demand management
  • Healthcare management
  • Human resources management
  • Humanitarian / disaster relief
  • Industrial engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • International operations
  • Inventory / materials management
  • Job design (socio-technical design)
  • Lean thinking
  • Logistics management, warehousing, materials handling
  • Maintenance / reliability engineering
  • Management information systems
  • Manufacturing management
  • Marketing / sales
  • New product and service development
  • Operations metrics / measurement
  • Operations research
  • Operations strategy
  • Organizational behavior / management
  • Personal operations management
  • Process design (layout, location, etc.)
  • Process improvement (lean six sigma)
  • Production planning and control
  • Project management
  • Purchasing, supply management, sourcing
  • Quality management
  • Scheduling
  • Service management
  • Simulation
  • Statistics
  • Supply chain management
  • Sustainability / regulatory / environment
  • Systems engineering
  • Technology management
  • Theory of Constraints
  • Transportation management
Format - This book is designed to be an easily carried "field manual". Each entry begins with a short formal definition followed by a longer description and then ends with cross-references (links) to related terms. The links help the reader develop a complete mental map of the field. These are hyperlinks in the e-book version. Essential terms are marked with a star. Many references are cited throughout the book.

History - As a professor at IMD International in Lausanne, Switzerland, I gave my MBA students a one-page list of about 50 essential operations management terms. Several students requested help defining those terms. This encyclopedia grew out of my response to those requests.

The 2018 Edition - This edition has over 2000 entries (terms) and over 8000 links. We added about 50 new terms in the last year, reformatted all of the terms to make them easier to read, and rewrote about half of the terms to make them more precise. We also combined a number of shorter entries to make them easier to read. For the e-book version, we created over 10,000 hyperlinks.

Comments, additions, and edits are welcomed and should be sent to the author. Substantive contributions will be acknowledged in the next edition.

Arthur V. Hill, John & Nancy Lindahl Professor, Supply Chain & Operations Department, Curtis L. Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota