Principles of Operations Management Seminar Series

Come join us for a fun, interactive, and catered learning experience! APICS’ Principles of Operations Planning course imparts fundamental knowledge and understanding of manufacturing planning principles and techniques that are used at each level in the planning process, from strategic to practical. Completion of the Operations Planning course will greatly improve participants’ knowledge of operations management and enable them to more effectively manage their own functions as well as collaborate with other organizational departments.

Demand Management Series

Principles of Forecasting
Much of the success of enterprise planning and decision-making processes depends on the formulation of accurate forecasts. Forecasting permits firms to establish performance measurements for customer service, plan the level of total inventory investment, choose between alternative operating strategies, and develop assumptions about the ability of the business to respond to future needs in the marketplace. Effective forecasts can dramatically improve enterprise profitability, productivity, customer service, and competitive advantage. The communication of accurate and timely forecasts enables businesses to construct agile and scalable supply networks; develop unique channels of collaborative, value-creating relationships; and continuously align supply network capabilities with the requirements of the customer. In this session, we will be concerned with defining the forecasting function and describing the various types of forecasting techniques.



  • What is the nature of forecasting?
  • Are there multiple levels of forecast in a typical business and who is responsible for creating and maintaining them?
  • How are forecasts developed within the organization?
  • What are the levels of forecast detail needed to run the business on the strategic, tactical, and operations levels?


  • What are the elements required to develop an effective forecast?
  • What are the various types of forecast techniques and what are the circumstances in which they can be most effectively used?
  • How can planners ensure that forecasts will continuously provide meaningful information to guide managers in their daily functions?


Principles of Demand Management
This session continues the discussion of forecasting and demand management by focusing on the understanding, determining, and working with forecast error. We will then conduct a deeper investigation into customer and demand management.



  • How does demand management fit into the planning process of the enterprise?
  • What are the sources of forecast error?
  • What techniques are available for the planners to track the forecast through time?
  • How is the mean error and mean absolute deviation (MAD) used in calculating forecast error?
  • How is a tracking signal calculated?
  • What new methods are companies using to improve the transition of demand to supply chain partners without recourse to forecasting techniques?
  • How does the management of the customer through customer relationship management (CRM) impact the planning tools of the organization?
  • How is customer order management and fulfillment part of the planning process?


Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) Series

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)
Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a management process that synchronizes the aggregate plans arising out of sales, marketing, production, materials management and other departmental functions. Without this periodic review and revision process, the coordination of demand and supply will disintegrate, resulting in a dysfunctional business plan, lost customers, and rising costs.



  • Who are the participants in the S&OP process?
  • What is the level of planning supported by S&OP?
  • What are the inputs and outputs of the S&OP process?
  • What is the level of demand and supply needed to feed the S&OP process?
  • What is the composition of the S&OP team and what steps does the team go through during the S&OP review process?
  • How often should a firm conduct and S&OP review?
  • What does the S&OP planning grid look like and how are the data elements calculated?
  • Are there different planning grids for the different modes of manufacturing?
  • How does the S&OP process work with validating business capacities?
  • After the S&OP plan has been revised and authorized, where does the output go?
  • How does the S&OP plan get translated into the production plan?

Aggregate Operations Planning
The goal of the S&OP process is for the S&OP management team to reach consensus regarding the forecasts, production, and inventory plans that will determine the aggregate product family sales and build plans guiding the firm over the medium business horizon. Functional managers will continuously review the impact and performance of these plans. If any discrepancies arise in operations capabilities to meet the goals detailed in the S&OP plan, managers must bring them to the attention of the executive team. Once these operations plans have been authorized, they will then be disaggregated from the family to the product level and fed into the master schedule.



  • What are the product families the enterprise plans to produce?
  • What forecasts are to be used to drive the detailed sales, production, and product procurement efforts?
  • What are the sales quotas to be set to support the business plan?
  • What strategies should production use to manage production?
  • How much finished goods inventory should there be at the end of each planning period?
  • Is there sufficient aggregate capacity to realize the production plan?
  • How much will it cost to build the production plan?
  • What impact will the S&OP have on the distribution channel?
  • How much warehouse space, equipment, and workforce will be necessary to manage the S&OP targets?
  • What will be the impact of the S&OP outputs on the firm’s transportation capacities?


Master Scheduling Series

Master Scheduling Foundations
Preparing the master schedule represents a significant change in the scope and objectives of planning in the manufacturing and planning control process. Moving from the production plan to the master schedule marks the transition from strategic planning to tactical planning. The focus of Master Scheduling shifts from a concern with product family volumes as stated in the S&OP process to the mix of products constituting a product family. The master schedule is the translation of the S&OP into specific products with their quantities and timing determined.



  • How will planners translate the production plans for product families into a master schedule of end products?
  • Which products will be produced and in what quantities?
  • How does the demand forecast work with actual orders from the customer?
  • How does the production environment impact how master scheduling is to be performed?
  • What are the inputs necessary to make master scheduling work?
  • Are lot sizes and lead times correct?
  • Are inventory balances and manufacturing replenishment orders accurate?
  • Are time fences in place?
  • Is available-to-promise accurate for effective order promising?


Master Scheduling Processes
The effective management of the master schedule plays a central role in the success of the company. The master scheduler is responsible for merging the requirements coming from the demand side of the business with the productive capacities available on the supply side of the business. The master schedule planning process enables the master scheduler to balance these two opposing dynamics. By deploying master scheduling tools, such as time fences, planned orders, safety stock, action messages, and rough-cut capacity planning, the master scheduler can ensure that the optimal mix of end products and quantities meets the scheduled demands of customers at the lowest cost to the organization. Also discussed are the performance measurements used to determine the effectiveness of the master scheduler in schedule maintenance. Once approved, the output of the master schedule will be used to drive the detailed production and material schedules.



  • What are the steps used by the master scheduler to ensure demands and capacities are in balance?
  • What are the various reasons why the master schedule can get out of balance?
  • How does the master schedule work with the different types of demand being placed on production?
  • What is the purpose of the difference types of supply order in the master schedule and how does the master scheduler use them?
  • How does the master scheduler calculate how much capacity will be needed to execute the master schedule?
  • How does the master scheduler resolve capacity bottlenecks through rescheduling?
  • What happens to the output from the master schedule?