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

Business Operations are a company's processes 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 creating and retailing a product, it is unusual for a single company to handle everything from harvesting the raw materials to selling 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 refers to the movement of resources from one point to another (usually as part of the supply chain) and the 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 is 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. Finding information specific to a particular company may require digging through company press releases and filings, news articles, and proprietary databases. 


481112 Scheduled Freight Air Transportation

481212 Non-Scheduled Charter Freight Air Transportation

482111 Long-Haul Railroad

482112 Short-Haul Railroad

483111 Deep Sea Freight Transportation

483113 Costal and Great Lakes Freight Transportation

483211 Inland Water Freight Transportation

484110 General Freight Trucking, Local

484121 General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truck-Load

484122 General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Less-Than Truck-Load

484220 Specialized Freight Trucking, Local

484230 Specialized Freight Trucking, Long-Distance

488320 Marine Cargo Handling

488500 Third-Party Logistics (3PL, Supply Chain and Freight Forwarding

488510 Freight Transportation Arrangement

493110 General Warehousing & Storage

493120 Refrigerated Warehousing & Storage

493130 Farm Product Warehousing & Storage

493190 Other Warehousing

541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services

541614 Process, Physical Distribution, and Logistics Consulting Services

For more information regarding NAICS codes - North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) U.S. Census Bureau


Statistics on the Industry

Important Terms

Here are some useful terms for searching:

  • Business Logistics 
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Industrial Management 
  • Industrial Procurement 
  • Inventory Control/Management 
  • Just-in-time Systems
  • Lean Production 
  • Management Information Systems
  • Manufacturing Processes 
  • Materials Management 
  • Physical Distribution of Goods 
  • Production Management 
  • Production Scheduling
  • Project Management
  • Purchasing 
  • Quality Control 
  • Retail Trade 
  • Risk Management 
  • Shipping 
  • Simulation Methods
  • Strategic Planning 
  • Total Quality Management 
  • Transportation 
  • Value Chain 

Previously maintained by:

Adele Barsh, University of California, Sandiego

Sarah Hess, Penn State University

Mary Aquila, Athens State University

Ophelia Chapman, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

LuMarie Guth, Western Michigan University

Amanda Kraft, College of Charleston

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