Business operations: Capacity, variability, and the newsvendor model : Planet Money "It's difficult to control everything," says our guest professor for this week, Santiago Gallino. "What is not difficult is to plan for everything." Today we venture into the sphere of business that masters the planning, and backup planning: operations management.

It's more than just predicting a bottleneck and imagining a solution, because there's always a bottleneck to clear. It's about modeling, and weighing the costs of messing up vs. missing out. For instance, take a newspaper vendor who has to decide how many newspapers to sell tomorrow morning. Do they buy fewer, knowing that they'll sell out–and then miss out on potential revenue from papers not sold? Or do they order more than they expect to sell, just in case–and eat the cost of a few unsold papers? This type of trade-off applies to all kinds of businesses, and Gallino talks us through how to choose.

The only certainty in this life is uncertainty. But we are certain you will come out of this episode feeling better prepared for your future business. And fortunately, there are no bottlenecks in podcasting.

The series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by Alex Goldmark and engineered by James Willetts. The show is fact-checked by Sierra Juarez.

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

Summer School 6: Operations and 25,000 roses

Summer School 6: Operations and 25,000 roses

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"It's difficult to control everything," says our guest professor for this week, Santiago Gallino. "What is not difficult is to plan for everything." Today we venture into the sphere of business that masters the planning, and backup planning: operations management.

It's more than just predicting a bottleneck and imagining a solution, because there's always a bottleneck to clear. It's about modeling, and weighing the costs of messing up vs. missing out. For instance, take a newspaper vendor who has to decide how many newspapers to sell tomorrow morning. Do they buy fewer, knowing that they'll sell out–and then miss out on potential revenue from papers not sold? Or do they order more than they expect to sell, just in case–and eat the cost of a few unsold papers? This type of trade-off applies to all kinds of businesses, and Gallino talks us through how to choose.

The only certainty in this life is uncertainty. But we are certain you will come out of this episode feeling better prepared for your future business. And fortunately, there are no bottlenecks in podcasting.

The series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Max Freedman. Our project manager is Julia Carney. This episode was edited by Alex Goldmark and engineered by James Willetts. The show is fact-checked by Sierra Juarez.

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

Always free at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR One or anywhere you get podcasts.

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