Back in 2000 when I started my MBA one of the core classes was Ops Management. I had a great professor though the curriculum was a bit, shall we say, off the beaten path. There was no real textbook - we had lots of case studies and some photocopies articles. It all felt disjointed. He inherited it from a long-time ops professor and it wasn't long before the old curriculum was dropped. The revised curriculum closely corresponds with that laid out in this book. In fact, this book (despite its Dummies name) could serve as the basis for a high-quality introductory Operations class.
This book is written with an eye towards explaining sometimes complex concepts in as simple and understandable way as possible - but no simpler. In other words it does not dumb down complicated subject matters like managing inventory and demand variability. There is some math involved, but anyone with a spreadsheet program or good calculator can make short work of it.
The book starts, as all Dummies books do, from the beginning. What is Ops Management? What is a Supply Chain? How do we map a Process Flow? How do we measure quality? As the reader gains more familiarity with the basics, the book moves on to more complex matters. What is Lean and how do we get there? How much inventory do I need? How do I reduce costs and ensure high quality?
My favorite section of the book involves Inventory. The chapter laid out both the key concepts for any company (like mine) that lives and dies based on its success in managing inventory AND manages to walk you through calculating appropriate levels of inventory. Most old-school managers will talk about needing X number of weeks of average demand, or deciding by intuition. Good luck with that. The authors take the time to explain variability, standard deviations and the most modern statistical methods for getting your inventory right. Beyond the technical details they also cover the importance of delaying final manufacturing until the last possible moment and other practices that will save you money.
Project Management was the least interesting section of the book for me. There are other, more comprehensive, books dealing with the subject. It's not poorly written, but perhaps its inclusion was not entirely necessary.
I am going to, politely, encourage some people within my company to read sections of this book. I found myself picking up a lot of new ideas, as well as being reminded about concepts I had (unfortunately) forgotten over the years. Perhaps you too can improve your business by applying just a little of what this book has to offer.