All posts by Brooks Shumate

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Left Brain vs. Right Brain

According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. Additionally, people are said to prefer one type of thinking over the other. For example, a person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective.

Operations Management requires an analytic mind (right brain).

Test yourself | Theory | Truth


“Save our Ship” and “Send out Succour “(help & aid)

SOS is the Morse code distress signal (· · · – – – · · ·).  Three dits form the letter S, and three dahs make the letter O.  These may be regarded as mnemonics, but SOS does not actually stand for anything and is not an abbreviation. However, if you have trouble remembering names and the “10 Operations Management Decisions“, mnemonics can be a useful technique.  I make associations all the time to help me remember people names and it is a proven strategy.

It has come to my attention that some students need a refresher in Algebra.  Many of the EBTM 365 calculations assume you understand basic arithmetic.  For example, in Chapter 5 we need to calculate the break even point comparing two vehicles using the Tottal Life Cycle Cost formula


This is a very common question today in our society when trying to decide on purchasing a hybrid or a standard gas guzzler. Generally, consumers pay more for the innovation and the cost of the battery.  Since I am planning to purchase a new car very soon, this is a real question I can apply in my own life… how many miles do I need to drive before the purchase price evens out?

I currently lease a 2012 Hyundai Elantra and was considering either purchasing another (2015 upgraded model) or perhaps the Toyota Prius would be a better alternative which costs $24,200 and gets 51 mpg.  What do you think?  Help me do the research at

Remember our #1 Goal? Have fun. So is Math =>

In order to solve for x (mileage) using the above formula, you will need to understand linear equations.

tex2html_wrap_inline575          Solution

SOS can also mean “Save our Souls”.

Hope this helps.  Brooks

Goods and Services

Have you thought about new products and/or services you would like to see in the market?

What detergent do you use for laundry? dishes?

Have you noticed beer bottles & cans keep changing?  Not only the manufactured product, but the marketing and packing, as well.  Think about the commercials you see during the Super Bowl.  Companies like Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola have huge advertising budgets to keep their products fresh on your mind.

But, operations management also applies to service industry as well.  Besides restaurants, any company that wants to have repeatable success and consistency must document the steps they took to deliver a quality experience for the customer.  For example, telemarketing industry has the product design communicated to production personnel in the form of a telephone script.

Example #1 | Example #2 | Example #3



Have you thought about the amount of calculations that go into predicting the weather? Click here

Invest in a scientific calculator to help solve statistics. Click here

Do you remember some of the basic laws in your statistics course? Click here

The interpretation of the standard error of the estimate computation is similar to the standard deviation.  Click here


EBTM 365 Prerequisites:
Statistics course… ECON 205 or MATH231
(TIP: if you have not taken Stats in awhile, consider a refresher course before enrolling)

Statistics and probability

Measures of central tendency

Mean, Median, Mode, and Range


EBTM 365 | Instructor: Shumate  |  Courses and Catalogs

Purchase New Textbook Package – Visit Towson Bookstore
$121.50 bundle includes MyOMLab access code
Operations Management, 11th Edition | ISBN: 9781269245753
Authors: Jay Heizer, Barry Render | Publisher: Pearson

Sec 001 – Course ID: shumate46256
Sec 002 – Course ID: shumate75224
Sec 003 – Course ID: shumate97455
Sec 101 – Course ID: shumate41581
Click Here for Instructions

Note: In order for Blackboard to integrate with MyOMLab, please change registration Course ID.

See screenshots below to enroll (click to zoom in). 

  1. Login to Blackboard
  2. Click on MyOMLab on left hand side
  3. Click on either MyOMLab Assignments or Home link
  4. Accept agreement



Read OM Textbook

“No matter what the study method,” write the authors, “students must read the textbook to be successful in the course. While this might seem obvious to some, many students seem to think that just taking notes on lectures will be enough.” Two common mistakes students make are: (1) not bothering to read the book before going to the lecture on that topic, and (2) reading the text the same way they would read a novel–1st page to last. With a text, you have to read slowly, using the SQ3R method. Here it is.

SURVEY Look at the chapter you have been assigned. Read the outline and learning objectives. Then flip through the chapter, read the section headings, and look at the tables and figures. This skimming should take just a few minutes. Surveying the chapter helps form a framework for organizing information in the chapter for when you read it later.

QUESTION Now read the heading for the 1st section–only! Try to think of a question that this section should answer as you read. For example, in Chapter 6, you could ask, “Why is quality so important in a firm?” Now when you are reading, you are reading this section to find an answer.

READ Now read the section, looking for answers to your questions. Take notes by making an outline of the main points. Students who write their own notes score significantly higher on exams than students who merely highlight, which requires no mental effort.

RECITE It may sound silly, but reciting out loud what you remember from the section forces you to put information in your own words. It gives you auditory memory. Now repeat the QRR for each section, taking a 10 minute break after every 2 or 3 sections. This gives your brain time to absorb the process.

RECALL/REVIEW You have now finished the whole chapter. Take a few minutes to try to remember as much of what you’ve learned as possible. A good way to do this is to take the Self-Test in the Rapid Review and to go to the text website at to take the Practice Quizzes.

Source: Barry Render

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad (Fawlty Towers)

Click here

The very start of the episode contains a funny scene about suppertime in the dining room of a bed and breakfast in England. The owners and staff make numerous errors.

What went well and what didn’t?
Identify poor operations in this clip.
Operations management applies to services, not just manufacturing.

Bill Gates

BillGatesBill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1:  Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2:  The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3:  You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4:  If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5:  Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7:  Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were: So before you save the rain forest
from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8:  Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT.  In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9:  Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. (Do that on your own time.)

Rule 10:  Television is NOT real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11:  Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

If you can read this…thank a Teacher.
If you can read this in English…thank a Soldier!
And for life and everything else you have…thank God!