THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON
NORTHAMPTON BUSINESS SCHOOL
MODULE: Operations Management and the Supply Chain 2016-2017
Supply Chain Design – Timber
60% of overall assessment
24th March 2017
Feedback and Grades due:
21st April 2017
14th July 2017
Purpose of the Assessment
The purpose of this assignment is to test your ability to apply operations management thinking to a real world problem, in order to identify practical and implementable steps that balance the differing needs of multiple stakeholders.
Boughton Green is a long-established building products company with its headquarters in Northampton. The principal activities of the company concern the operation of a number of retail superstores.
The company’s operations are presently concentrated in the East Midlands. The majority of stock is held in the superstores themselves; there is one central distribution facility in Northampton.
The company has been approached by one of its suppliers with a proposal to develop a range of sustainable timber products for the wider UK construction market. The proposed products (roof trusses, etc.) are not suitable for transport with the company’s existing stock; a new logistics solution is required.
You are to prepare a report outlining the potential impact of the new product line on the distribution footprint of the company.
Deliverables and Assessment Breakdown
You have been provided with a set of sales data identifying the geographical distribution of historic sales of the new products. You are to analyse the data, identifying the concentration of likely customers, and propose a supply chain network to serve them.
(a) Develop a Problem Statement and state your Solution Design Principles (10%)
(b) Use a Territory Design tool (Open Door Logistics is recommended) to identify the suitable depot locations to serve the anticipated market.
Consider a centralised solution (1-2 depots) and a decentralised solution (5-7 depots). What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? (40%)
(c) Explore the practical options for siting warehouses/depots in the locations identified by the modelling exercise. Present your final site selection, explaining the reasons for any changes from your initial result. (20%)
(d) In your view, what strategies should the company follow to ensure that the supply chain solution is as sustainable as the products themselves? (30%)
The maximum permitted word count for this assignment is 2500 +/- 10%. Tables, figures and references are not included in the word count.
To submit your work, please go to the ‘Submit your work’ area of the Module NILE site. It is important that you submit your work to the correct module NILE site, and that your work is submitted on time.
Familiarise yourself with the data provided. Identify the key information within it. The data manipulation involved is not hard – though you will need to learn new digital skills.
The key is to find a simple but effective way of representing the analysis. Whilst the exercise can be undertaken using a simple spreadsheet, you will find the capabilities of specialist software to be much more powerful, especially in terms of mapping.
We will explore one such package – Open Door Logistics – in our seminars.
Any literature search should be up to date. Unless a reference is absolutely seminal, I would not expect material over eight years old to be included.
This is an individual assignment, in that the final submission will be made individually. However, group discussion of the solutions to the various sub-questions is encouraged. In practice, this means that you will be able to work together to build the models required.
The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage. Support and guidance on assessments and academic integrity can be found from the following resources
The learning outcomes being addressed through this assignment are:
Knowledge and Understanding
a) Analyse the purpose and value of operations management in the logistics context.
b) Compare and contrast the key operations management concepts.
c) Apply and reflect critically on the Operations Management Models as a basis for effective resource management.
d) Distinguish between and apply key concepts and techniques for controlling and planning operations including the principles of Lean Management.
e) Interpret and synthesis the various definitions of quality in an operational context and justify the effectiveness of measuring operational performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
f) Use IT to apply statistical techniques to solve operational problems.
g) Select an appropriate format for effectively presenting written work.
h) Identifies key elements of operations management problems.
i) Develops autonomy with individual study tasks.
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