As with most business management disciplines, operations and supply chain management is best learned by doing, by getting close to the actual business processes and functions managed. In fact, each business process has its own unique features that can only be understood by closely studying and examining the process and its interactions with internal and external processes. This partially explains the frequent use of “on-the-job-training” for many if not most businesses.
The project for this course involves completing an analysis and/or audit of a service operation or service component/function of a larger business with the purpose of applying the techniques developed in the course to provide a critique (both positive and negative) and identify recommended optimization actions. The final report should be a minimum of 6 pages in length (excluding graphics and tables which should be placed in an appendix) and in proper APA format. Appropriate citations and references should be included throughout. Note: support should include reference to current thinking with respect to operational performance from both the textbook and other peer-reviewed or industry publications. This does not include internet sources lacking industry oversight.
Your paper should include 1) a brief strategy and supply chain analysis of the target entity, 2) define a customer service value proposition for the firm, 3) define the appropriate target service outcomes and measures of success for the entity consistent with that strategy, 4) assess organizational performance in critical service areas, and 5) develop a recommended improvement plan for the entity as appropriate. In completing your paper, you should clearly demonstrate understanding and application of SC&O tools for service operations developed in the course.
The first step is to identify a business service or service function to study. This might be an organizational function on campus or it might be an outside business operation. Create a high-level supply chain analysis to position the unit in the broader chain of activities.
Second, identify the desired outcomes, critical success factors and failure points, and measures that might be or should be used for each. If you have access to hard data for the process, you can include it to support your argument but be sure to protect confidential and proprietary data. Note, the most important point here is to demonstrate an understanding of how to define appropriate service measures in the business’ environment whether or not those are in place today.
Third, perform an analysis of the current state of the function(s); what is going well and how do you know it; what is going poorly and how do you know it? Again, you may not have actual data, but you should clearly identify what data, tools, and tests/analyses you would use in managing the function.
Finally, your report should include a recommended plan for improving the operational service performance of the business or function chosen. Note your plan should include proposed actions, target dates, measures to establish success/failure, and an appropriate review for course correction. Be sure that your report has supporting data that will be intuitive to your reader – meaning that the lay reader can understand your logic and meaning.
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