Operations Management

A series of courses to help you master and understand the principles, tools and techniques of operations management.

As brewers, distillers and packaging professionals we take simple raw materials and transform them into excellent products that consumers love. To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, we must not only be experts in our core subject area but also be able to manage our operations effectively. The operations management short course series is designed to help you achieve that.

The operations management short course series provides brewers, distillers and packaging professionals with a practical understanding of the principles, tools and techniques of operations management. It is a series of Continuing Professional Development courses each covering an aspect of operations management. These self-directed learning courses build into a comprehensive insight into modern operations management. The courses are available to purchase individually and together as a package.

Each course features text and illustrations, along with quizzes and games, that give you the opportunity to check your understanding of each section and extend your learning.

Your learning is assessed as you go through each course and when finished, you will receive a Certificate of Completion as a record for your Continuing Professional Development.

For each course there is a downloadable document providing a comprehensive reference of the information provided in the course material.


Learning Time: Approximately 5 hours per course

90 days full access to unique interactive content from date of enrolment

Individual Course: £50 each

Full Course Series (all 8 courses): £300
Save £100 compared to purchasing individually


The operations management short course series consists of:

As beverage production professionals, quality is at the heart of everything we do. However, we may not see ourselves as quality managers or indeed understand how quality is defined in the context of quality management. The quality management short course can help close these gaps. It provides essential knowledge on all aspects of how quality is managed in beverage production operations. It defines quality, details the history of quality management and explains what a quality management system is and how it can be implemented. The quality management short course also provides guidance on how to use the modern tools designed to improve quality including Six Sigma, failure modes and effects analysis and quality function deployment.

While you may not call yourself a project manager, as a beverage production professional you manage projects, collaborate on projects, or even manage project managers. Your effectiveness in any of these roles is increased by having a sound understanding of the processes and tools of project management. The project management short course provides such an understanding. It covers each element of project management from financial justification, to project sign off. It explains how to develop and control a project programme using Gantt charting, PERT and modern programme management tools and how to keep a project on track by balancing the key constraints of cost, time and scope.

The operations strategy and planning short course explains how organisations formulate a corporate and operations strategy and how operational plans are developed to realise the aims of those strategies. It covers strategic tools such as SWOT analysis and see, think, draw, plan. In the planning section of the course, it discusses the systems and processes used to translate a strategy into action and ultimately excellent products, on time at minimum cost. How enterprise resource planning systems evolved from material requirement planning systems is detailed along with how to get the best from the system you use. Finally, just in time management and the use of Kanban is discussed. 

Production management sits at the core of every beverage professional’s role. The production management short course provides you with the tools and knowledge required to run a production operation effectively. How to get the best from people in the production context is also covered, including team development, performance management and multiskilling. The measurement of production effectiveness and efficiency, and the use of key performance indicators are discussed and there is a detailed explanation of how typical performance metrics are measured and calculated.

As beverage professionals, we do not just work in a brewery, distillery or packaging facility. We are a vital part of a system that extends from raw material extraction to customer satisfaction, namely the supply chain! The supply chain management short course details how beverage production operations manage their supply chains. On the supply side it details the processes and best practice in procurement, whilst on the demand side it explains how onward logistics and customer relationships can be optimised. Most importantly, it provides you with the knowledge required to contribute to the effective management of your organisation’s supply chain.

While we don’t work in finance, as beverage production professionals, what we make must produce financial gain for our organisations. The more we can understand about how our organisation accounts for the movement of money and other assets, the more we can contribute to its profit. This lesson provides the essential knowledge for beverage production professionals that enables us to manage our operations in a financially sustainable way and discuss finances with other business functions. It explains the key accounting conventions, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and shows how departmental budgets are generated. It also details how assets are depreciated and how fixed and variable costs are classified.

Lean, is a way of managing operations that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than creating value for the end customer to be wasteful and thus a target for elimination. The Lean operations course provides an insight into the history and foundations of Lean, and guides you through the tools that can be used for implementing Lean in the beverage production environment. It explains the concepts of Kaizen, Heijunka and Autonomation and details how they can contribute to waste reduction and hence effective operations management. It also discusses where Lean fits in organisations and where it may not always be the best approach.

The World Class Manufacturing (WCM) short course details the origins and history of WCM through to how it is practiced today. It explains how world class organisations are structured and managed with continuous improvement at the heart of all they do. It provides practical examples of how WCM tools are used to improve operations. These tools include root cause analysis, the five whys, 5W+1H, Ishikawa diagrams and the is/is-not worksheet. The WCM short course describes how world class standards are achieved in the areas of quality, people management, process control and the implementation of new technologies. Most importantly it provides an understanding of how WCM principles can be applied in the beverage production context.

With the courses you will:

  • Gain a comprehensive insight into modern operations management
  • Learn about operations management from the point of view of the beverage production professional
  • Discover tools that will help you excel in your role
  • Develop management skills that will benefit your career progression
  • Discover the history and substance behind some of the most common management terms and buzzwords
  • Understand how to improve the quality, cost and effectiveness of your production operation

Summary of key features:

  • Learn at your own pace, when and where it is most convenient for you
  • Have access to the course material for 90 days from the date of enrolment
  • Learn with a rich blend of engaging text, quizzes and illustrations
  • Download a PDF of the course content for future reference
  • Check your understanding at the end with a set of questions on the course subject
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion from the world’s most recognised brewing and distilling learning provider

Who are these courses for?

  • Beverage professionals wanting to improve their operations management knowledge
  • Anyone who wants to progress their career in a management role
  • Anyone interested in gaining an in-depth insight into operations management

Why Choose the IBD?

The IBD provides the most widely recognised professional beverage qualifications in the world.

The IBD was established in 1886 as The Laboratory Club and since then has built a trusted reputation due to the quality of its learning material, support for learners and rigor of its exams. 

Since we began professional qualifications in the 1950s, we have qualified over 100,000 brewers and distillers across the globe.