Operations & Costs

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The Right Product, at the Right Time, at the Right Cost

Thinking in terms of processes is a critical perspective for an Entrepreneur. At Acton we want you to get comfortable thinking about processes.

How do I make and deliver it?

Operations & Costs teaches you to design, operate, and optimize an assembly line or service process; to analyze tradeoffs among customization, batch, and continuous-delivery systems; and to calculate throughput, cycle times, and the costs of bottlenecks. By the end of the course, you will be able to break any business into a series of discrete steps and understand what it costs to make and deliver what your customer wants.

The Operations course prepares you to:

  • analyze production processes
  • design processes from scratch
  • modify processes to improve performance
  • anticipate the effects of variability and uncertainty on process performance
  • determine the cost of production associated with a given process
  • report a firm’s costs of production in terms that others will understand
  • interpret financial statements in terms of production processes
  • predict how revenue, costs, and profit will change when you modify a process

Not your traditional learning experience

Manufacturing Simulation

You will spend two weeks designing an assembly line for the Shad Exercise, a hands-on operations simulation used only by Acton and the Harvard Business School. You will see firsthand what it takes to plan, build and run a manufacturing process as your team competes to make and deliver products of the highest quality of the lowest cost.

Call-Center Simulation

The Waterloo Project is Acton's version of the Shad Exercise for a service business. The call center simulation replicates three different types of call centers-car rental, flight status, flight reservation-each with different handling processes and process times. You and your classmates must design a call center with the goal of maximizing the net income of the call center

Plant Tours

You will learn outside the classroom when you visit local operations and see action first hand.


Open to anyone who is running a business or plans to start his or her own business.

Extended Application deadline April 17, 2017
Classes begin May 02, 2017
Classes end August 03, 2017
Every Tuesday and Thursday
Investment US$3,000

Class Schedule

Study Group 6:30am - 7:00am
Class 7:00am - 8:20am

Location: Business School Building, Universidad Francisco Marroquín