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Reference and User Services Association Division of American Library Association Business Guides

BRASS Business Guide - OPERATIONS RESEARCH & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT

Scope

This Guide covers Operations Research and Supply Chain Management and Logistics.

Business Operations are a company's proceeses for creating high-quality products as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

This will typically include the equipment used in manufacturing, the roles (and even expertise) of employees, the company's supply chain and much more.

Supply Chain Management refers to the sequence of steps that raw materials take to become a finished product and ultimately end up in the hands of a consumer.  In the creation and retail of a product, It is rather unusual for a single company to handle everything from the harvesting of the raw materials to the sale of the product.  It is usually more practical and efficient to focus on a few steps in the process (or sometimes even a single step!) and to work with other companies to create a finished product.  

Logistics refer to the movement of resources from one point to another (usually as part of the supply chain) and activities associated with that movement (such as packaging, transportation and warehousing). 

A note about researching Business Operations: Companies are not required to release information that might give them a competitive edge over another company.  Most Business Operations are geared towards optimizing the manufacturing process and giving them a competitive edge.  As a result, information on a company's Business Operations are typically not released.  

While Business Operations research is relatively difficult, it is not impossible.  This guide will examine some more general sources of Operations and Supply Chain research as well as related associations.   If you are looking for information specific to a certain company, this may require quite a bit of digging through company press releases and filings, news articles, and proprietary databases.  

NAICS Codes

488510 Freight Transportation Arrangement

541614 Process, Physical Distribution, and Logistics Consulting Services

541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services

Important Terms

Here are some useful terms for searching:

  • Business Logistics
  • Industrial Procurement
  • Risk Management
  • Production Management
  • Lean Production
  • Physical Distribution of Goods
  • Shipping
  • Strategic Planning
  • Transportation
  • Inventory Control/Management
  • Quality Control
  • Retail Trade
  • Purchasing
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Industrial Management
  • Materials Management
  • Value Chain
  • Total Quality Management

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