This is a group assignment intended for a group of between 3 and 5 members. You are an operations management consultancy team which has been retained by your client, the organization featured in the case study document accompanying this assignment brief.
The case materials contain five operations management problems with contextual information that will help you to understand them better and work towards a solution. For some of the problems you will also be provided with raw process data which you can use to solve problems quantitatively.
You should address as many problems as there are team members; i.e. a minimum of three and a maximum of five. Each team member has an allowance of 1,500 words which can be used in the response to each problem. You can work individually on the problems but you will need to collaborate on the final report which will bring the solutions together and make recommendations to your client.
You will submit a final written report and receive individual marks which balance individual contribution and overall team achievement.
The only data that you will need are contained in the case materials.
There is scope to use models and frameworks found in peer-reviewed academic literature, but remember that the focus of this assignment is on practical evaluation rather than conceptual or theoretical discussion.
You are required to make specific recommendations to your client; unlike the previous assignment for this module, the focus here should be on practical recommendations rather than evaluation.
Remember that visual communication is extremely important in the operations field. Visual elements such as charts, diagrams and tables can summarize a great deal of information and communicate it in a very clear and impactful way.
In writing your consultancy report, you are encouraged to use the MS Word template provided in the virtual learning environment (VLE) site for this module. The required structure, content and available marks are explained below in ‘Assessment Criteria.’
|ASSESSMENT CRITERIA Section||Assessment criteria / points to consider||Marks available|
|This is a collaborative section and should be worked on together by the group.|
You should ‘set the scene’ by characterizing the case operation and describing its innate characteristics – concepts such as the ‘Four Vs’, the cumulative capability model, the service package, the supply chain and Slack and Lewis’s operations strategy matrix might all be relevant here.
Operational problems and solutions
|This is an individual section: each team member should take one of the five operational problems given in the case materials and develop a response to it. An effective response to the problem will start with the specific context of the case study. For most of the problems in the case, you are given a dataset which you can analyse and a prompt from the client about what they think the problem is.|
Fifteen marks are available for identifying and correctly applying a feasible method for analysing the data and structuring the problem/solution.
Fifteen marks are available for evaluating the implications of the analysis for the problem given to you by the client – in other words, what practical measures does the analysis suggest in order to solve the problem.
Twenty marks are available for a critical discussion of the problem and its solution. This may well include consideration of strengths and weaknesses of the method chosen to analyse the data and structure the problem/solution, as well as the advantages of other potential methods which might be more useful given more data, time etc.
This is a very practical problem-solving exercise and general discussion is not required – everything here should be relevant to the problem presented by the client and the need to develop real-world solutions.
|In this section you should build on the Introduction and Evaluation sections already completed, in order to provide your client with a set of detailed recommendations for operational improvement.|
These should relate in the first instance to the specific problems you have been asked to solve by the client, but you can and should go further and make more general recommendations for improving operational systems (e.g. quality control, resource levelling, process design, layout and flow, stock control, training etc as relevant to the specific needs of the case operation).
Formatting and referencing
|You should aim to meet the following expectations in terms of formatting and referencing:|
§ Correct and thorough use of Harvard referencing. This includes in-text references and an alphabetized bibliography.
§ Appropriate and consistent choice of visual elements, including correct selection of graphs and tables in relation to their explanatory purpose
§ Legible and consistent presentation of data in graphs and tables including clearly labelled and denominated axes
§ Organized and logical approach to structure, including table of contents, list of figures and tables, numbered pages, numbered sections and subsections, bibliography.
§ Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG): UK English consistent with good practice in business and management applications.