Assignment brief –

Word count – 2500 (+/- 10 %)

Structure of the assignment –

Title – Abstract – introduction – literature – findings – discussion & analysis – conclusion – references 

Main Question –

Select an organization which uses Purchasing & Supply Management to deliver goods and/or services to the customer. Examine business practice and theory in light of the Purchasing & Supply Management literature. Analyse how the supply chain is managed, identifying any areas of business performance which demonstrates sustainable competitive advantage, as well as any areas which may require improvement. You must include 2 of the core themesexplored on this module. For example: sustainable supply chain management, global sourcing, make or buy / outsourcing, supply strategy, supplier relationship management, supply responsiveness, service-based supply chains, etc.

Assignment tips –

When writing your assignment it may help you to think of the structure of your document and how you are going to break it down into sections before you start. All assignments, reports and papers typically should include the following:

  • Title (make it interesting to grab the reader’s attention. Include name/s of author/s)
  • Abstract (a short summary – in italics – around a third of a page maximum)
  • Introduction (includes the aims & objectives of your paper and any specific questions)
  • Literature review (include all relevant papers in the topic/s you are writing about)
  • Findings (description of the firm and its supply chain operations, product, services etc)
  • Discussion & Analysis (your considered opinion or ‘critical reflection’ on how the firm shapes up in terms of SCA, supply chain performance etc and how this relates to the literature).
  • Conclusion (a summary of the main points of your paper, perhaps with recommendations for the firm and supply chain in terms of improvement).

All major sections should be numbered and in consecutive order. It’s a good idea include figures or tables, if they help you explain your particular point of view. You may use the figures in my slides from class providing you adapt them in some way (e.g. show where your firm ‘fits’ in terms of the theoretical framework or model). It may also help you think about the document in terms of the simple ‘V diagram’ below, where the later sections respond to the objectives, problem and question/s posed at the beginning of the document (Figure 1).

In terms of getting going with your assignment, try structuring it as above so that you can start to break it down into manageable parts. Note that it can be helpful to include an objective and define the issues or overall problem in the introduction to help you stay focused on the topics you are writing about throughout the assignment.

References & referencing

The ‘APA’ method (previously termed ‘Harvard’) is recommended by the University of Exeter for the referencing of books, journal articles and website material in both the main text and reference section of your assignment. When including references in the main text of your paper, you should shorten references with two or more co-authors.

Assignment marking criteria – marks are awarded for –

  • Demonstrating good knowledge and understanding of course material.
  • Providing evidence of research beyond that covered in the course.
  • Critical reflection and evaluation of the subject.
  • Logical and insightful analysis.
  • Well structured, concise and readable mode of presentation.
  • Original conclusions demonstrating both implications for theory in addition to clear recommendations for practice.

Notes – 

  • Choose a company that has enough information for the case study. ( small or big )
  • Use 2 module core topics while exploring the business performance of the company.
  • Use 2 main strategies to apply for the company chosen after identifying areas that require improvement.
  • Try and use theoretical diagrams and explain those diagrams to the point.   

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