This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Outline and Assignments

This class will be a mix of lectures, case discussions and applications. The course objectives are to develop modeling skills and to provide new concepts and problem-solving tools, applicable to the design and planning of supply chains.

Course requirements are to come to class prepared, and to participate in the class. There will be a number of group assignments throughout the class. The grading will depend on the assignments and contribution to the class.

We recommend the following book, and will suggest complementary readings throughout the class, as well as use some of its cases and computer exercises:

Amazon logo Simchi-Levi, David, Philip Kaminsky, and Edith Simchi-Levi. Designing and Managing the Supply Chain. 2nd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003. ISBN: 0071410317. (SKS)

We also recommend and suggest the following books as useful references or complements:

Amazon logo Hopp, Wallace and Mark Spearman. Factory Physics. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Irwin, 2000. ISBN: 0256247951. (HS)

Amazon logo Nahmias, Steven. Production and Operations Analysis. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Irwin, 2000. ISBN: 0072417412. (N)

Amazon logo Chopra, Sunil and Peter Meindl. Supply Chain Management. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 013101028X. (CM)

Amazon logo Shapiro, Jeremy. Modeling the Supply Chain. Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury, 2001. ISBN: 0534373631. (S)

Amazon logo Silver, Edward, David Pyke, and Rein Peterson. Inventory Management and Production Planning and Scheduling. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Wiley, 1998. ISBN: 0471119474. (SPP)

As a supplement to the class we have arranged for a few guest speakers for a public seminar series on supply chain planning. We expect to hold these seminars about once every two or three weeks.

Course Requirements

The written assignments are to be done by groups. Each group must have at least three and no more than four students. Each group needs to stay together for the term.

Case Assignments

  • Steel Works due in session 3
  • Instron due in session 7
  • Hewlett Packard due in session 10
  • HC Starck due in session 14
  • Barilla due in session 15

Each group must submit four written assignments of its choosing: each assignment should be no more than 4 typed pages, no smaller than Times, 12 point; 2-3 pages should be sufficient for most assignments.

In addition there are two problem sets:

  • Inventory problem set due in session 6
  • Strategic Inventory Placement (SIP) Model assignment due in session 13


  • Each of the written group assignments is graded on a twenty-point scale.
  • Each problem set is graded on a ten-point scale.
  • In addition, students are encouraged to participate in class. Individual students can earn up to three points from their participation. We will judge class participation based on the quality of answers given to posed questions, contributions to a discussion of case material, and questions raised by the student.
  • Letter grades will be awarded as follows: A for 93 or more points; A- for 90-92.9; B+ for 87-89.9; B for 83-86.9; B- for 80-82.9; C+ for 77-79.9; C for 73-76.9; C- for 70-72.9. Lower scores will be graded on a case by case basis.

Academic Honesty

The rules of the MIT Faculty state: "The attempt of any student to present as his or her own the work of another, or any work which he or she has not honestly performed, or to pass any examination by improper means, is regarded by the Faculty as a most serious offense, and renders the offender liable to immediate expulsion. The aiding and abetting of a student in any dishonesty is likewise held to be a great breach of discipline."

In the context of this class, we expect you to work in groups; but groups should work independently and should not consult with each other about a particular assignment. Also, several of the cases have been used in prior years. We regard as inappropriate any substantive consultation with students from prior years about a particular assignment. We also regard as inappropriate any use of notes or videos from prior years.

If you are uncertain about any aspect or instance of this policy, please ask one of the instructors for clarification.