Fundamentals of Supply

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  • Worth 50% of the overall mark
  • It is an Analysis Report
  • This will be 1,500 words report
  • This report is based upon the initial 4 topics/angles/areathat you will apply in this assignment as each angle has its own question.
  • You will have to read about the 4 topic areas, then you will have to select a supply chain case of: “a company and its product(s)” of your choice, that will help you to answer the 4 questions that are related to the 4 topic areas.
  • There are four questions you must answer on your selected supply chain. The 4 questions have been given to you and more explanation will be given to you later on.
  • Your chosen supply chains will need to be cleared for suitability by the teaching team.
  • (We do have some supply chains on our banned list that you are not allowed to use.

-You have to choose a supply chain case study. Here are the 4 Topics/angles that you will apply to the case study you have selected:

  • Fundamentals of Supply
    • Flow and supply chain infrastructure
  • Value in Supply Chains
    • How is value created and distributed
  • Fulfilment in Supply
    • How are goods made and moved through the supply chain
  • Supply Chain Relationships and collaboration
    • How are relationships used within the supply chain and who holds the power

-Suggested structure:

  • Introduction (100 words):

Introduce the Company and outline the supply chain you are analysing. (Present your case selected, briefly outline and clarify what supply chain(s) you are focussing on). You have to make everything clear, etc. so that the reader gets a full and clear idea about what are you talking about.

For example: “I am looking at this supply chain, and I am looking at it from this perspective, etc.”. (I am looking at the supply chain of this company: “Roll Loo”. I am looking at the supply chain for theproduct(s): “Andrex” in this country: “UK not all over the world”, etc…).

  • Question 1 (300words):

Fundamentals of Supply

  • Question 2 (300 words):

Value in the Supply Chain

  • Question 3 (300 words):

Fulfilment of Supply

  • Question 4 (300 words):

Relationships in the supply chain

Each question must be answered separately within your report.

You have to answer each question equally, for example, don’t write 200 words for question one and 400 words for question two.

  • Conclusion (100 words):

Summarise the whole case briefly to show how the supply chain achieves its objectives

you might mention some of the strengths and weaknesses of some interesting points/aspects you have talked about

  • References:

15 academic references in total: (2-3 references per question)

A guideline is to cite in the region of 15 sources, but it could be beneficial to cite more). 

To obtain a high mark, it is necessary to make appropriate use of wide range of business and academic resources: articles, books and reports, etc. that are available through the university library.

(Use Harvard APA 7TH edition not APA 6th edition)

(references in referencing list are not included on word count, but citations are included in the counting words).

-The assignment is a maximum of 1500 words: Excludes the title page, contents list, and reference list. Includes citations, and all text in headings and Paragraphs.

(100+300+300+300+300+100=1400 words), therefore, you have 100 more words to reach the 1500 words, so you have the choice where to use them. However, remember that all the four questions must be answered equally).

-These are the 4 questions that you will answer for the supply chain case study (As mentioned before, each question is related to one topic area):

  1. Which particular structural and/or infrastructural aspects of the supply chain contribute significantly to the good (or bad) business performance of the supply chain and why?
  • Where is value added within the supply chain and how is the surplus shared among the supply chain partners?
  • Which is the dominant order fulfilment strategy and are there any current or emerging market, product or production factors that could cause the strategy to change?
  • What are the key relationships within the supply chain and how does the dominant organisation use these relationships to achieve its goals?

-Selecting a Case:

  • Select a supply chain case of your own choice: You have to select a company and PRODUCT(S) not service(s)to evaluate. “Please make sure that you choose a suitable supply chain case (with company and product(s)) that helps you to apply the four mentioned topics, where there are many available information and that will make everything easy and clear for you so that you don’t suffer”.You will need to check the selection with the teaching team before you get too far in.
  • Avoid selecting “too narrow supply” chain because you will be very limited, and you will not find good information. Avoid selecting “too wide supply” chain because you will get lost and you will not be focused. Therefore, make sure that you choose a supply chain that it not narrow and not wide.
  • It is not necessary to choose a company that is a leader in its field or has excellent supply operations. 
  • The company does not need to be very large, however you should avoid analysing small businesses.
  • You can select a part of a company or supply chain.   
  • You can choose a supply chain for one product, or you can choose a supply chain for a range of products that have the same supply chain and that are from the same company.

Be careful with your selection as the correct choice/selection will help you to achieve good marks, and a wrong choice will lead to bad marks in the assignment.

-Case Selection – where to start:

  • See what is out there
    • There is reasonable amount of accessible information (such as newspaper articles, case studies, company reports)
    • Look for interesting newspaper stories or TV programmes about supply
    • Consider what other information will widen this
      • ‘How its made’ clips
      • The Company website: Is it just an advertising platform (biased) or does it contain useful information? Be careful.
      • Look at the sector in general is there a reasonable amount of information about similar (competing) companies and the sector.  This information can be used to fill gaps in your knowledge of your chosen company.
    • Look at Financial times, Guardians, etc..
  • You will NOT find all the information in one place, so you need to read/study wider as much as you can. You will find many information about your selected supply chain case in many different places so don’t focus on one website or one article. What you need is to investigate /search/read wider so that you know everything about your selected supply chain case and fill the gaps you don’t have about it.
  • We advise you to look at 2 or 3 supply chains in detail before you start and then you will choose 1 of them. This is because you can be in the safe side, so that if the supply chain you have chosen is not suitable then you have an alternative one to use so that you don’t feel stressed and you don’t leave the assignment because you don’t have an alternative.
  • Have a look to the file named “some suggested sources of information on a company/product”.

-How to start looking at your chosen supply chain case:

Before you start, toy have to profile the selected supply chain. You need to be able to look at the supply chain as a whole, draw it, and analyse it. A typical supply chain will involve the following stages:

  • Raw MaterialsWhat is your product made from?Where is this material found?How long does it take to extract?How does it get to the next stage?
  • ManufactureWhat is the manufacturing process?How long does it take?How does the product get to the next stage?
  • Warehouse and Distribution
    • How easy is the product to ship?
    • How easy is the product to store?
  • Retail
    • Is demand seasonal?
    • How often are you stores replenished?
    • How easy is the product to store?
  • Consumer
    • How often is this product bought?
    • Is the product expensive?
    • How easy is the product to store and transport home?

-Before you start: Draw your supply chain and evaluate (analyse) the market it is in:

  • Map out your supply chain and consider who the key players are and where they are located
  • Are Logistics providers involved with shipping
  • Consider the market that you are in;
    • Classification of the product type e.g. FMCG etc.
    • Look at the competition in the market
    • Are your suppliers working for other chains
  • Who is the dominant player in the supply chain
  • Where on the PLC is your product?

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Remember: it is an analysis report, so the key thing is that HOW YOU WILL ANALYSE THE SELECTED SUPPLY CHAIN. You have to be intelligent in the analysis of the selected supply chain in order to provide a fully well-prepared correct answer for each question. When the lecturer reads your answer, the lecturer must feel that you have analysed the supply chain correctly because you have provided the best answer for each question.During your analysis of the selected supply chain, sometimes you will not find some deep data or details, so you will need to you use your thinking and judgement in that situation, and it has to be correct.

-We have forbidden some supply chains cases that you are not allowed to/CANNOT choose:

  • Zara & Inditex
  • Civil or military aircraft (Boeing, Airbus, etc)
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream
  • Nutella
  • Patagonia – clothing
  • Adidas sports shoes
  • Apple – any Apple products!!!


  • Some supply chains are too detailed to get a clear picture
    • Some supply chains have been covered extensively in the past
    • Some Supply Chains have been covered extensively on Operations Modules


If you want to read about these 4 topic areas, then you can find each one of these topics in this book, as each chapter is related to one topic. Also read the lecturers&Seminars slides that you have taken.

Core Text: (essential book):

Name: Martin Christopher, Title: Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Edition: 5th Edition, Year: 2016. Published by:Pearson.

The cover of the book looks like:

A close up of a sign

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