What's a great textbook for complex business systems analysis?
January 15, 2013 9:06 PM Subscribe
"Logistics" is not quite the right word, but what are some very good "logistics" textbooks?
posted by shipbreaker to education (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
An airline has a complicated problem getting sets of passengers from one airport to another, on airplanes, which need flight crews and fuel and mechanical repairs and maintenance, and carry baggage items. Each baggage item has a claim check tag, so it can get to its owner at the end of the trip. Planes need to take off and land at highly constrained times. There's a lot of overwhelming complexity required, and all plates need to be spinning at once and information systems need to be working right for correct and smooth operation. Is that "logistics"? Not sure.
A big-box retailer like TARGET or WALMART has a complicated problem, of continuously ordering products from vendors and suppliers, stocking the products on miles of shelves, letting members of the public flow around inside the store choosing their items in a civil fashion, scanning each item as it exits the store, and making sure cash or creditcard payments are received in exchange for those items, recording the transactions in a database, with an army of ever-changing cashiers working at one of several cash registers. Also, at any given moment a customer may choose to return an item to the store, complicating the flow even further.
A college bookstore has a complicated problem, getting sets of books to thousands of students who all show up at once on the very first day of classes. Each student is enrolled in several different classes, requiring many different books, which can be new, used, or rental, hardcover softcover or looseleaf. Multiple methods of paying for the books must be managed, books arriving at the loading dock at different days needing to be received (thus, shipping and receiving) and needing to be unpacked and shelved in the right location. More cashiers, more cash register locations. Again, a lot of complexity. Is that logistics?
Whatever it is (Management / Information Systems? Business Process control?) , what's the best textbook for getting very serious indeed about this kind of process analysis?
I never looked into that ISO9001 stuff or Six Sigma stuff, and I am not an MBA, but someone here on AskMetafilter must know what I'm talking about.