The process of coordinating the incoming goods, the storage and tracking of the goods, and the distribution of the goods or materials to and from production or distribution locations.

Synonymous: none

Included terms: wareahouse management; distribution center

Source: (APICS Dictionary; Helms, 2006)

Capacity management

The function of establishing, measuring, monitoring, and adjusting limits or levels of capacity in order to execute all manufacturing schedules (i.e. the production plan, master production schedule, material requirements, plan and dispatch list).

Synonymous: none

Included terms: Long-term capacity management; short-term capacity; Resource Requirements Planning (RRP); Rough Cut Capacity Planning (RCCP); Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP); input/output control

Source: (Slack et al., 2013; Hill, 2012; APICS Dictionary)

Lean management

A philosophy of production that attempts to achieve high customer (internal or external) service eliminating waste through continuous improvement, simplifying all manufacturing and support processes, and focus on exactly what the customer wants. It involves identifying and eliminating non-value-adding activities in design, production, supply chain management, and dealing with the customer.

Synonymous: Lean Thinking; Lean Manufacturing

Included terms:

Source: (Chase et al., 2013; Heizer et al., 2017; APICS Dictionary)

Inventory management

Planning and control of all types of inventories taking decisions about when to order, and how much to order. It involves forecasting demand, placing purchase and manufacturing orders, and filling sales orders.

Synonymous: Inventory control, Inventory management

Included terms: forecasting demand, purchasing; manufacturing orders, sales orders

Source: (Hills, 2012; APICS Dictionary; Helms, 2006)

Work systems (method, measurement,management)

Work systems include: (1) Process design- sequence of activities and the flow of transformed resources between them (2) Work methods –  analysis and design of tasks and jobs involving human work activity (3) Work measurement – analysis of a task to determine the time that should be allowed to perform the task (4) Work management – effective supervision of workers

Synonymous: work study

Included terms: work methods; method study; work measurement; work management

Source:(Slack et al., 2017; Glover, 2007)

Logistics/ transportation/distribution

This function deals with the integration of all material acquisition, movement, and storage activities to have available material and product in the right place at the righ moment in the righ quantity. This function supports the material flow cycle: from the purchase and internal control of production materials; to the planning and control of work-in-process; to the shipping, and distribution of the finished product or service to the customers. Distribution, transportation, and warehousing needs of an organization are considered inside its scope.

Synonymous: none

Included terms: transportation, warehousing, inventory control, material handling, and the information and communication systems to support these activities

Source: (Slack et al., 2013; Chase et al., 2013; Hill, 2012; Heizer et al., 2017; APICS Dictionary)

Production planning, scheduling and control

Systems, procedures and decisions that ensure operation’s processes to run effectively and efficiently and to produce products and services as required by customers. Planning concerns what should happen in the future, Scheduling deals with the allocation of resources to tasks over given time periods and Control aims at comparing actual to planned performance and taking corrective action, as needed, to align performance with a plan.

Synonymous: none

Included terms:

Source: (Pinedo, 2016; Slack et al. , 2017; Helms, 2006; APICS Dictionary)

Supply chain management

The activities required to manage the flow of materials, information, people, and money from the suppliers’ suppliers to the customers’ customers and the handling of the product after it has finished its useful life. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.

Synonymous: none

Included terms: sourcing, purchasing, operations, transportation/distribution/logistics

Source: (Edward et al., 2017; Slack et al., 2013; Hill, 2012; APICS Dictionary)

Project management

The application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge, tools, techniques and experience to achieve specific project objectives or requirements according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. This includes steps like understanding, defining, coordinating, planning, scheduling, directing, executing, controlling, monitoring and evaluating prescribed activities to ensure that the final deliverables are achieved within time and budget.

Synonymous: none

Included terms: Risk management

Source: (APICS dictionary; APM, 2021; PMI, 2021; Slack et al., 2013)

Sustanaibility (social, economic or environmental)

Operations management decisions being aligned in a way that is socially (stakeholders), economically, and environmentally responsible. It includes mandatory or voluntary actions that business can take, over and above compliance with minimum legal requirements, to address both its own competitive interests and the interests
of wider society or planet.

Synonymous: Triple Bottom line, Corporate Social Responsibility

Included terms:

Source: (Slack et al., 2013; APICS, 2011)

Demand management and forecasting

The process of combining statistical forecasting techniques and judgement to construct demand estimates for products or services (both high and low volume; lumpy and continuous) across the supply chain from the suppliers’ raw materials to the consumers’ needs. Items can be aggregated by product family, geographical location, product life cycle, and so forth, to determine an estimate of consumer demand for the finished product, service parts, or services.

Synonymous: Demand-driven forecasts

Included terms: Strategic forecasts ; Medium and longterm forecasts; Tactical forecasts; Short-term forecasts

Source: (APICS Dictionary; Helms, 2006)

Maintenance/reliability engineering

The activity of design, specification, assessment or caring for physical facilities, systems, machines, products, or components to perform required tasks under stated conditions for a specified period of time so as to avoid or minimize the chance of failing, or restore it to a state in which it can perform its required function.

Synonymous: Total Productive Maintenance; reliability-centred maintenance

Included terms: emergency maintenance, preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, reliability engineering

Source: (Slack et al., 2013; Hill,2012; Helms, 2006)

Learning Operations Management

Research that analyses and disseminates experiences of teaching innovation in university or higher education contexts undertaken by lecturers-researchers whose learning outcomes are related to Operations Management. This research aims to encourage instruction based on the evidence of what best promotes students learning. It is related to the movement created under the label of scholarship that brings together people who develop and disseminate teaching models that facilitate students’ significant and useful learning. This research moves away from the focus on teaching to approach the focus on learning.

Synonymous: none

Included terms: Teaching or learning in higher education; scholarship in Operations Management

Source: Marin-Garcia, J. A. (2018); Marin-Garcia & Alfalla-Luque (2021); Medina-López et al. (2011)

Operations strategy

The total pattern of decisions/policies that shape the long-term capabilities of an operation. The strategy identifies why to do what they do, how to satisfy customers, how to manage the operations, how to develop capabilities and how to use the firm’s resources to gain a competitive advantage in one or several operational performance areas (cost, quality, flexibility, delivery, safety, sustainability, morale, etc.).

Synonymous: none

Included terms: manufacturing strategy, service strategy

Source: (Hill, 2019; APICS, 2011; Bryson, 2014)

Quality management

The set of tools, programs, and techniques that focuses on planning and implementing procedures for inspecting, measuring, assure and improving product and service performance and conformance to specifications (Hill, 2012; Chase et al., 2013). It is integrated with the procurement and production processes so that can be identified inspection points both for incoming materials and for products during the manufacturing process (Chase et al., 2013).

Synonymous: Total Quality Management

Included terms: statistical process control (SPC), Taguchi methods, quality circles, and so on (Edward, Pyke & Thomas, 2013)

Source: Edward et al. (2013), Hill (2012), Chase et al. (2013)


The selection, development and management of supplier relationships to acquire goods and services in a way that aids in achieving the immediate needs of the business (Chase et al., 2013, Hills, 2012). It includes negotiating contracts and
ensuring a reliable supply of materials (Hills, 2012). Purchasing deals with the operation’s interface with its supply and buys in materials and services from suppliers (Slack et al., 2013).

Synonymous: procurement, supply management, buying

Included terms: Outsourcing

Source: Slack et al. (2013), Chase et al. (2013), Hills (2012)