2023-2024 / LOGI0019-1

Purchasing, Sales and Operations Planning


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Véronique François

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a macro process implemented in many companies in order to balance demand and supply. This course studies various options available to achieve this balance. The focus is set on manufacturing companies even though some concepts are also applicable to the service sector.

The topics studied are part of the traditional perimeter of S&OP, i.e., demand forecasting, demand shaping, as well as production and inventory planning. Moreover, purchasing, an important topic related to the supply capabilities of companies, is studied.

The course is composed of three main parts:

  1.  Demand forecasting and demand shaping

  2.  Production planning and inventory management

  3.  Purchasing

In the first part, short term and mid-term forecasting techniques are studied, with a focus on demand forecasting. Then, basic notions of demand shaping are studied, i.e., how to influence the demand to better match the supply capacity of the company.

In the second part, the production planning process is presented with a hierarchical perspective: aggregate production planning problems for the mid-term, lot-sizing problems for the short term and scheduling problems for the very short term. Since both inventories and production are used to satisfy the demand, basic concepts of inventory management are also studied.

In the third part, the purchasing function is developed. Important decisions such as make-or-buy and supplier selection are introduced. Other discussed topics include contracting, supplier involvement, supplier evaluation and sustainable sourcing.

For each of these three parts, the structure of the course is based on the following principles. First, the main concepts and stakes are presented, and illustrated with examples and cases.  Then, related mathematical models are studied.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Intended learning outcomes addressed by the course:

  • Deepen knowledge concerning drivers of supply and demand within companies
  • Acquire a global vision of tools available to balance demand and supply in manufacturing companies
  • Be able to implement simple demand forecasting techniques and know their limitations
  • Acquire basic knowledge of demand shaping levers and of their limitations
  • Be able to solve frequently faced problems of production and inventory planning
  • Be able to recognize the situations where production planning methods can be used as decision making tools and to interpret correctly the conclusions which can be derived using these methods
  • Be able to formulate and implement simple mixed integer linear programs to solve decision making problems
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of these kinds of approaches for real world applications
  • Be able to conduct detailed analysis, drive conclusions, and propose original improvement opportunities to balance demand and supply in companies.
  • Understand the strategic importance of purchasing decisions in supply chain management.
  • Be able to criticize and improve the contracting and supplier evaluation activities in a company
  • Be able to implement methods for increasing supplier collaboration

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

This course uses several quantitative techniques to solve decision making problems.
Students who take this class should feel comfortable with:
  - Basic concepts of supply chain management (included MRP computations).
  - Mixed integer linear programming models such as those introduced in courses of Supply Chain Management or Quantitative Methods in Management (e.g. LOGI0011 and MQGE0005).
Basics of linear programming are assumed to be known.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Learning activities in the classroom are composed of ex-cathedra lectures, directed exercises (some of them with AIMMS software), and group work on a production planning project.

AIMMS software is used to implement and solve some of the studied decision-making models.

Each week, the teacher provides students with material to work on, out of the classroom, for the next course session (e.g. readings of scientific articles, podcasts, exercises, project steps).

Moreover, students are expected to work on a project on a regular basis. Mandatory course sessions are dedicated to the project (students work on their project under the teacher's guidance).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face : Students are wanted to participate in all the sessions (10 × 3 hours). Participation in the 3 sessions dedicated to the group project is compulsory.

Recommended or required readings

Documents that can be found on the virtual campus Lol@:

1. The PowerPoint presentations used during the lectures will be available on the virtual campus Lol@.

2. Any additional material will also be available on Lol@ (articles, exercises, videos...)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Out-of-session test(s)

Additional information:

The final grade for the course is made up as follows:

  • Group project grade (30%)
  • Grade of the written exam, modeling part (20%)
  • Grade of the written exam, general part (50%)
The project is divided into various intermediate stages. The first intermediate stage (modeling) is graded for each student individually. The other stages are graded for the group as a whole. The final individual project grade depends on:

  • The grades obtained for the intermediate stages
  • The quality of the final deliverables
  • The participation
A peer assessment is carried out and taken into account for the last point. In addition, attendance is taken at compulsory group work sessions.

The first intermediate stage of the project is modeling. Students who pass this stage, i.e. who have obtained at least half of the maximum possible mark, are exempted from the "modeling" part of the exam (they keep the corresponding mark, counting for 20% of the final course mark) for the first session. Students who do not wish to keep their grade must inform the lecturer by e-mail by May 10 at the latest in order to take the modeling part of the exam.

In the second session, students retake exactly the same exam part(s) as in the first session. The grade for the project is the one obtained during the first session. However, students who fail the project in the first session may request to improve their grade by completing an individual project in the second session. Requests must be sent by e-mail to the lecturer by July 5 at the latest.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is given during the second semester.
The course is given in English.


Veronique FRANÇOIS (veronique.francois@uliege.be)

Association of one or more MOOCs