GCO4806 General operations management , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Dr Dengsheng Zhang
Gippsland : Dr Dengsheng Zhang

This subject aims to provide students with an introduction to the planning and control of business operations in manufacturing and service industries, with emphasis on the application of computer systems. Topics covered include business systems overview; stock recording, adjustment and valuation; sales order management and accounts receivable; purchasing management and accounts payable; stock replenishment planning and control, production planning and control, service industry capacity planning and control, just-in-time techniques. Quality management. Introduction to management aspects of electronic document interchange (EDI), bar coding, maintenance and reliability. Operations strategy and its financial implications for profitability and cash flow.


At the completion of this unit, students will have

  • Knowledge of and skills in operations management with respect to manufacturing and service oriented type industries
  • Knowledge of and skills in production planning and production scheduling
  • Knowledge and skills of cost and capital analysis including bill of materials
  • Knowledge of inventory control principles and techniques
  • Knowldege of Total Quality Management
  • Knowledge of Electronic Data Interchange and
  • Skills in solving practical industry examples including case studies
  • Understanding of current major industry-related issues.


Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this unit, however, normal master entry requirements apply.

Unit relationships GCO4806 is a elective unit of the Master of Information Technology and Master of Business Systems. The business models it uses have strong relationship with GCO4802, GCO4803, GCO5802, GCO5804 and BUS9530.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

Text book

  • Gaither, N. and Frazier, G. Production and Operations Management(8th edition), Dryden, Sydney, 1999, ISBN 0-324-02247-6.
  • John S. Loucks, Operations Management—Study Guid, South-Western, Thomson Learning, 2002. (ISBN 0-324-15697-9)

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

The three Excel based software package: POM is included in the prescribed text book.

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

  • Finch, B.J. and Luebbe, R.L. Operations Management: Competing in a Changing Environment, Dryden, Sydney, 1995.
  • Porter, M.E. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analysing Industries and Competitors, Free Press, New York, 1980.
  • Dilworth, J.B. Production and Operations Management: Manufacturing and Services(5th edition), McGraw-Hill, 1993.


Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for GCO4806 are:

  • A printed Unit Book containing 4 Study Guides (74 pages), sent from CeLTS. This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit
  • A reader providing with supplementary information for this subject, sent from CeLTS
  • A CD-ROM with the required Excel based software for the subject is bundled with the prescribed text book
  • The GCO4806 web site, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications and sample solutions will be posted
  • Newsgroups that can be linked to from the Unit Homepage

Structure and organisation



Study Guide


1 Introduction to Operations Management Part 1. Section 1 and 2, pp.2-11 Chapter 1 of text book
2 Operations Strategies in a Global Economy Part 2. Section 1 and 2, pp.28-37 Chapter 2 of text book
3 Product, Process, and Service Design Part 2. Section 1 and 2, pp.28-37 Chapter 4 of text book.
4 Facility Capacity, Location and Layout Part 2. Section 3 and 10, pp.37-51, pp,103-110 Chapter 5 of text book
5 Operations Technologies Part 4. pp.120-121 Chapter 6 of text book
6 Operations Quality Management Part 3. pp.115-117 Chapter 7 and 17 of text book.
7 Service Operations Planning and Scheduling Part 2. pp.111-113 Chapter 9 of text book.
8 Supply Chain Management and E-Business Part 2. Section 9, pp.74-102 Chapter 11 of text book.
9 Just-In-Time and Lean Manufacturing Part 2. Section 4 and 8, pp.52-57, pp.65-74 Chapter 12 of text book.
10 Production Planning Reader pp.31-47 Chapter 13 of text book.
11 Resource Requirements Planning: MRP and CRP Part 2. Section 6 and 7, pp.58-65 Chapter 15 of text book.
12 Manufacturing Operations Scheduling Part 2. Section 9, pp.74-102 Chapter 16 of text book.
13 Exam Preparation Part 1--Part 4 All related chapters of the text book

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 40% and an examination with a weighting of 60%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

  • attempt all assignments and the examination
  • score at least 50% of the possible marks for the unit
  • achieve no less than 40% of the total available marks for the assignments overall, and the examination

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Final grade (%) = min (A + 10, E + 10, E * R + A * (1 - R))

Where A = Overall assignment percentage E = Examination percentage R = Exam weighting

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Assignment 1 20 April, 2006 20 %
Assignment 2 30 May, 2006 20 %
Examination 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available at the subject web site. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignments MUST be submitted through the WebFace Assignment Submission System.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subjected to a penalty of one grade per day or part thereof up to one week late. Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions.

Requests for extensions must be made by email at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary.

Contact the Unit Adviser by email to request extensions. Anyone who requests for extension MUST provide your username in order to locate you in the system!

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


The main communicaction with the lecturer will be through the unit web site. All teaching materials will be available on the unit web site, including lecture slides, tutorials, assignments, newsgroups. However, on campus consultation is also provided, consultation time will be announced after the semester starts.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2006