Matching Supply with Demand: An Introduction to Operations Management

Several cases have been written specifically to be used as companions to Matching Supply with Demand. All of these cases have been taught successfully at Wharton. Instructors who adopt the text may use these cases without charge after explicitly seeking permission (via email) from the case authors. All chapter numbers are based on the 3rd edition.

Pumping Iron at Cliffs & Associates:The Circored Iron Ore Reduction Plant in Trinidad Topics: Process flows, capacity calculations, yield losses (chapter 3) The Circored process and its production facility is the subject of chapter 3. While the book chapter emphasizes the process flow calculations, this teaching case is about valuing a set of operational improvements. Management of the plant has to decide if they want to invest into the process and improve production yields and throughput. However, given the market prices for iron ore and the current cost-per-ton, management is not sure if shutting down the plant wouldn’t be the financially better option. PDF
Loan Processing at Capital One Topics: Lean Operations, process flow calculations (chapter 4 and/or chapter 11) The case describes the loan approval process of Capital One, one of the largest providers of consumer and small business loans in the US. The case illustrates a set of process flow challenges. It illustrates that concepts of lean operations and the Toyota production system are not just applicable to manufacturing settings. It can be taught either with a focus on actual process analysis or with a broader/more qualitative emphasis on lean operations. PDF
Forecasting and Procurement at Le Club Français du Vin Topics: Forecasting, newsvendor model (chapter 12) Students are given historical sales and forecast data for a French wine catalog retailer. They use these data to decide how many bottles to order of each varietal in the upcoming catalog. The case gives students practice with formulating forecasts and applying those forecasts to the newsvendor model. PDF
Where in the World Is Timbuk2? Outsourcing, Offshoring, and Mass Customization Topics: Global sourcing, mass customization, mismatch costs (chapter 13) Timbuk2 produces bike messenger bags in San Francisco for both its e-commerce channel (which offers customized bags) and its traditional wholesale channels. Should they continue to produce in San Francisco or move part of their production to China? The case illustrates the differences between make-to-order production and make-to-stock production. Students need to assess whether the labor cost advantages of moving to China are likely to outweigh the additional demand-supply mismatch costs. PDF
Online Book Retailing: Operational Strategies Topics: E-commerce retailing, risk pooling strategies, location pooling (chapter 15) This case allows students to compare an online retailer (Amazon) with a brick-and-mortar retailer (Barnes & Noble). Students observe the advantages and disadvantages of the on-line retailing model and weigh those differences on the firm’s actual income statements. The case highlights that location pooling provides some advantages, but executing effectively on those advantages is challenging. PDF
The Greening of Walmart Topics: (chapter 18) This case documents Walmart's recent sustainability initiatives. The case can be used to guide a discussion on Walmart's strategic motivation for these initiatives. Furthermore, it provides students with a measure of the potential savings from more sustainable operations. PDF