This course examines both traditional and new approaches for achieving operational competitiveness in service businesses. Major service sectors such as health care, repair / technical support services, banking and financial services, transportation, restaurants, hotels and resorts are examined. The course addresses strategic analysis and operational decision making, with emphasis on the latter. Its content also reflects results of a joint research project with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, which was initiated in 1996 to investigate next-generation service operations strategy and practices. Topics include the service concept and operations strategy, the design of effective service delivery systems, productivity and quality management, response time (queueing) analysis, capacity planning, yield management and the impact of information technology. This seminar is intended for students interested in consulting, entrepreneurship, venture capital or general management careers that will involve significant analysis of a service firm’s operations.