Supply Chain and Operations Management

Individual Assignment – Rationale:
During the study of this module, we have discussed a variety of topics within the domain of operations and supply chain management, including operations strategy, performance evaluation, project management, process design, service/product design, supply chain network design, layout design, supply chain management, to name a few.
In learning these topics, we have taken different activities, such as case studies, group presentations, problem-solving exercises, field observations, and simulation games to help us not only to understand the concepts and theoretical frameworks in the book, but more importantly, to be able to think independently and critically, and apply the theories from books to real-life problems.
This individual assignment is designed to provide you an opportunity to demonstrate just that – your capability as a critical and independent thinker. You may also want to take this opportunity to demonstrate to the examiners your great understanding in the topics, abilities to apply the theories to real businesses, and conduct research on your own.
Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. Some of the key statements on the company’s website are ‘We are in it for the long haul for our customers and for our world. Our customers can be found in virtually every corner of the earth, and we realize our success comes directly from helping our customers be successful’.
The Caterpillar Foundation, founded in 1952, is helping to make sustainable progress possible around the world through support of environmental sustainability, access to education and fulfilment of basic human needs.
The company has a long history of innovation and using leading edge technology to provide customer solutions. Whether they are researching ways to move more dirt with less fuel, developing products that generate fewer emissions or exploring autonomous vehicle solutions, their strength is integrating customer feedback with ideas and actions to ensure our customers’ success now and in the future: (
You are a new operations manager at Caterpillar and you are required to apply methodologies that will assist with the management of change within the organisation as globalisation has destabilized Caterpillars market shares. You are now tasked with writing a plan in the form of a report to the Caterpillar board of Directors/Executives highlighting the following:

1. Formulate and illustrate an operations strategy that will integrate with the resource requirements and marketing functions for Caterpillar.
2. Critically assess managerial skills and competencies required for management of supply chain and operations in a rapidly changing commercial and technological environment for the company.
3. Explain how to plan and manage an operations function and report on the optimum layout for specific types of process work flows and process technologies.
4. Evaluate and make appropriate recommendations to the board in your plan methodologies that will assist with the management of change within operations management in order to improve quality and lean management of operations and also improve the overall competitiveness of the business, .

The report should be written following a logical structure, with an introduction section at the beginning and a summary/conclusion section at the end, followed by references (compulsory) and appendix (optional). You should ensure the information acquired from various sources are critically evaluated and appropriately referenced.

Presenting Assignments for Marking
The report must be professionally presented and appropriately referenced using the Harvard system of referencing.
Assignments must be presented in the following format:
• Word-processed in Arial font, 12 pitch and double-spaced.
• Margins must be as follows: Top; 1.0 inch (2.5cm), Bottom; 1.0 inch (2.5 cm), Left; 1.25 inches (3.2 cm), Right; 1.25 inches (3.2 cm).
• All pages must be numbered.
• All tables and figures must be labelled and referenced.
Please also remember that your report can be enhanced or damaged through layout, for example placing all tables and drawings in Appendices can hamper the flow of discussion. Decisions therefore need to be made about the most appropriate place to use tables etc to support your case.

Word Limit:
2,500 words, using the standard format described above. Please note that you will lose marks if you exceed this word limit by more than 10%. The specified word count refers to the main body of the report and does not include front cover, title page, contents page, tables and figures, references, or appendices.
Criteria for Assessment
Your Assessors are looking for:
Academic writing and Harvard referencing (10%)
Content and depth of knowledge and application of theory (50%)
Critical analysis (30%)
Presentation and organization (10%)

Instructions for Submission
Students must submit their work via Turnitin on the 214LON module webpage by 5pm – Monday in week 11.

Any work submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of 0%.

Use of Turnitin

1. Whenever requested by your module leader, you should upload a WORD copy of your work onto the relevant icon on your module web for plagiarism checking. If you do not do this then your work will not be marked.
2. Drafts of assessed work for any particular module should only be uploaded onto the draft icon on that module web, as this draft icon will be configured so that the final submission will not flag up overlaps with the draft submission. If you submit a draft onto any other module web then Turnitin will identify any overlaps with your final submission as plagiarised.
3. You should never submit anyone else’s work onto Turnitin under your own name and you should never ask anyone else to submit your work onto Turnitin under their name.
4. Normally students are only allowed to submit one draft of an assessment via Turnitin. If the guidance on plagiarism has been followed, and the student has written the work themselves, this should be sufficient.


Assessments must be all your own work and must not have been copied in part or in whole from any other source, such as books or the internet, or from other students’ work. If you wish to use another author’s exact words in a short quotation this must be clearly marked up in inverted commas with the exact source given, including page number, so that the reader can clearly see which words have been copied and are not your own. Just quoting references used at the end is not sufficient.

Please see your course handbook or the Faculty website for more information on referencing and university regulations on plagiarism.


Sample Solution