UMSL Business Blog

What the heck is LOM?

campbellJJames F. Campbell, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Program Director
Professor of Management Science & Information Systems



Most students know something about marketing, accounting, finance, management and information systems, but the College of Business Administration also has a department of LOM (or Logistics & Operations Management). What is that all about?

Operations Management has long been a core part of any business, but the LOM department is much more than that. LOM also encompasses Logistics, Transportation, Supply Chain Management, Decision Science, Operations Research, Management Science and Analytics!! Let’s take a quick look at these:

Every organization has three major functions: Marketing, Operations, and Finance/Accounting. Other functions such as Management and Information Systems address integrative aspects that span the organization. The function of Operations is to produce the products and services (e.g., automobiles, software, medical procedures, transportation) that are the organization’s reason for existence. The focus of Operations Management then is how best to perform and manage all the interconnected operations required to produce the organization’s goods or services.

A number of years ago we brought Logistics into our title to emphasize that the department goes beyond just “Operations”. Fundamentally, logistics involves the efficient and effective flow of goods, both towards and away from the customer (as in product recalls or recycling), as well as the storage of goods. Logistics also encompasses managing the associated information and financial resources of the organization — and is crucial for service organizations as well, such as healthcare.

With increased globalization and better information and communication technologies, our field has expanded to incorporate Supply Chain Management.  According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), “supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities…also includes coordination and collaboration with…suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers, and customers.” ( Excellence in supply chain management (along with a very efficient global transport system) is why you can buy clothing produced around the world at unbelievably low prices, why your local grocery store has summer fruits in the middle of winter and beer from six continents, and why Amazon, Google and Alibaba are all experimenting with drones for delivery.

So, what is Analytics?…This is getting long, so we’ll leave that for another blog…and end with just one more reason to major in LOM: the Most Recommended Major according to is…Supply Chain Management! Check out the link or the visualization here.