As the world of operations has changed, so have interests and priorities within the Unit. Historically, the TOM Unit focused on manufacturing and the development of physical products. Over the past several years, we have expanded our research, course development, and course offerings to encompass new issues in information technology, supply chains, and service industries.
The field of TOM is concerned with the design, management, and improvement of operating systems and processes. As we seek to understand the challenges confronting firms competing in today's demanding environment, the focus of our work has broadened to include the multiple activities comprising a firm's "operating core":
- the multi-function, multi-firm system that includes basic research, design, engineering, product and process development and production of goods and services within individual operating units;
- the networks of information and material flows that tie operating units together and the systems that support these networks;
- the distribution and delivery of goods and services to customers.