Operations Science is the study of transformation of resources to create and distribute goods and services.
Operations Science (OS) focuses on the interaction between demand and production and the variability associated with either or both. OS also describes the set of buffers (inventory, capacity and time) required to synchronize demand with production.
Operations Science is also the practical analysis and application of those concepts so operations become more:
• effective with people and efficient in action
• easily managed
There is a science of operations. This seems obvious to those who do not work in operations. After all, there is the science of chemistry for chemical engineers. However, for those who work in operations, the discussion of a science of operations has been confounded and confused with a plethora of efficiency and continuous improvement efforts since the dawn of the industrial age.
There is certainly science applied in operations but it is typically at an academic or highly technical Operations Research level which is not readily translated to executives and managers trying to run companies day to day. Here we have stated the definition of Operations Science. It is practical, comprehensive and predictive as any legitimate science must be.
For more information on Operations Science see Our Approach. For the award-winning textbook which first stated the principles of a comprehensive operations science, see Factory Physics. For discussion of the science and its application in business, see Factory Physics for Managers.