Supply Chain problem essay
Select a supply chain problem faced by a specific company that has been well publicized. Identify and critically evaluate the key supply chain topic relating to this problem.
The purpose of this assignment is to encourage students to link what has been covered in class to real-life, practical examples. Students are expected to identify a real current or past supply chain problem faced by a specific company. It is important that students can access information on this issue. For example, newspaper articles are usually a good source to use for information on the problem itself.
The purpose of the assignment is to link theory (topics covered in class) to practice (real-life supply chain problem). Once you have selected a supply chain problem, you need to decide which module topic would be the most relevant one to discuss in relation to the problem. Some of the topics you may focus on are outlined below. The main focus of the essay should be on the topic rather than the problem. You are not being asked to write 1800 words on a company example. You are being asked to link the example/problem to a topic covered in the module. It is important to note, that most of your essay should be about the relevant topic as outlined in the guidance section below.
Demand Management Supply Management
Supplier relationship management Supply chain risk management
Sustainable operations and supply chain management
See below for a suggested structure and guidelines on how the word count should be used. The main thing to note is that the emphasis should be on the topic identified as relevant and this should be discussed at length as opposed to merely describing the problem.
–Define the problem (roughly 2-300 words) – background information on the problem (e.g. what is the problem? What company was affected? What have the implications been? Where in the supply chain did it occur?). Non-academic sources such as newspaper articles and online articles would provide the majority of information on the problem itself.
–What supply chain issues are highlighted in this problem? (1400 words)– consider in-depth 1 of the topics covered in the module that relates to the problem. There may be more than one topic that you could relate to the problem. You are advised to select the topic you deem to be most relevant and discuss this topic in depth. Academic journal articles should inform most of this discussion.
For example, if you are looking at the problem of Nike being exposed for using child labor, the main supply chain topic to consider is Social Responsibility in supply chains. In this section, you would discuss this topic in detail (e.g. what it is, why it has become important, the responsibility
of companies, what happens when things go wrong). Thus, you are essentially using the ‘problem’ as a platform to discuss the supply chain area/topic that it relates to.
–Conclusions and recommendations (2-300 words)- Has the problem been sufficiently rectified? How? Can steps be taken to prevent any future problems of a similar nature?
Links to some further guidance on this assignment are provided below. I advise all students to read all of the guidance very carefully. If anything is not clear or you have a question, please ask this in class or in the discussion forum.
Word Limit: Please pay careful attention to the word limit. The word limit for this assignment is 2000 words. Clarity and succinctness in your discussion are encouraged. References and quotations are included in the word limit but the bibliography is not Please note that any appendices containing additional material beyond the word limit will not be considered. Be wary of using too many direct quotes. One or two is ok but each quote uses up the word limit and takes away from your own contribution in the essay. A maximum allowance of 50 words above or below the word count is permissible.
A good essay should be well structured with a logical flow to the discussion and points being raised. Students are encouraged to read widely from a range of academic journals and bring in some original content beyond that covered in the Lectures. Some of the key things I will be looking for are;
Well-argued answer supported by wide reading in the relevant academic literature. Students should read and reference at least 18 academic articles on their topic. Other non-academic sources may also be used to provide information on the problem itself.
Ensure you familiarise yourself with the Postgraduate marking criteria (Level 4 in the document below)
The assignment must be submitted electronically to Canvas no later than 11 pm on Monday 10th January.
Late submissions will be penalized at the rate of 5% for every day or part thereof the assignment is late for up to 5 days, after which a mark of zero will be awarded.
If you have exceptional circumstances that affect your ability to submit on time, you will be required to follow the formal exceptional circumstances process. You can find further info on the university policies on exceptional circumstances here. (http://qub.ac.uk/directorates/AcademicStudentAffairs/AcademicAffairs/StudentGuidance/ExceptionalCircumstances-AStudentGuide/)
All assignments will automatically be checked through plagiarism software when submitted to Canvas. Students are able to resubmit their assignment a number of times before the deadline to use the plagiarism software as a feedback tool. You must only submit through Canvas which will directly connect your submission to a plagiarism software check. If you submit an initial draft and realize the similarity score is high or that text is highlighted, you can change this and resubmit another draft (as long as it is before the assignment deadline). Some guidance on plagiarism will be provided in one of the tutorial sessions, however, it is every student’s responsibility to ensure they understand what plagiarism is and avoid it.
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