Associate Professor of Operations Management
What does healthcare have to gain from manufacturing? A great deal, according to Mark Frohlich, associate professor of operations management. A common misconception about this field is that it’s only about making widgets in a factory. In reality, Frohlich says operations principles successfully created on the manufacturing room floor are applicable to service industries like healthcare.
“Consider Disney - there’s no randomness to Disney. They provide tremendous operations when you go to one of their theme parks, but no one realizes that many of those principles were developed in manufacturing and then translated to Disney,” says Frohlich. “It’s the same when you fly Southwest Airlines or click on One-Day Delivery at Amazon.com – operations concepts that were pioneered in factories are central to most service organizations. It’s something I regularly remind my physician MBA students.”
Frohlich leads Physician MBA students in their introductory course in operations management. In this core class, Frohlich provides students with a broad range of insight into the various topics of operations, moving from the fundamentals of analyzing processes and quality management to broader topics of external supply chains, theories on supply chain behavior and decisions around in- and outsourcing.
“My goal is to raise physicians’ awareness of how critical operations are to their organizations’ success or failure,” says Frohlich. “Operations is a huge driver of profitability or loss and frankly, operations is where things get done. If you want to have high customer satisfaction, great outcomes or low cost, a lot of it is a result of operations management.”