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The Supply Chain Management Assignment

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Instructions: answer the following questions

(1) To achieve strategic fit, one needs understand how a firm can improve its supply chain performance in terms of responsiveness and efficiency for which the SC drivers need to be examined. In this regard:

(a) Identify the drivers of supply chain performance and briefly describe these drivers.

 (20 marks)

(b) Critically discuss how the full set of logistical and cross-functional drivers can be used to create strategic fit for a PC manufacturer targeting both time-sensitive and price-conscious customers. Support your arguments with examples.                                                         (40 marks)

(c) Discuss how a grocery retailer could use inventory to increase the responsiveness of his or her supply chain as opposed to an auto manufacturer who wishes to increase his or her supply chain efficiency through transportation.                                                                          (40 marks)

(2) Distribution plays an important role in terms of cost and customer experience in supply chains. Distribution is a key driver of the overall profitability of a firm because it affects both the supply chain cost and the customer experience directly. Firms adopt appropriate distribution networks to achieve a variety of supply chain objectives. In this regard, answer the following questions:

(a) Describe briefly the need for effective distribution networks in supply chains.   (15 marks)

(b) Critically identify the differences in the retail environment that may justify the fact that the fast-moving consumer goods supply chain in India has far more distributors than in the United States.                                                                                                                           (25 marks)

(c) Identify and discuss the appropriate distribution network suited for: (a) commodity items; and (b) highly differentiated items.                                                                           (30 marks)

(d) Discuss why electronic distribution networks can be more successful in the PC industry compared to the grocery industry.                                                                                   (30 marks)

(3) Effective supplier relationship management contributes to the competitive advantage of the firm. In this regard,

(a) Explain the importance of healthy vendor relationship for the critical success of supply chains.                                                                                                                         (40 marks)

(b) While describing the common vendor selection criteria, examine which vendor selection criteria should be given the highest priority to ensure critical success of supply chains.                                                                                                          `                                   (60 marks)

(4) Outbound-to-customer systems have received the most attention in many organisations. Many fulfilment models have been designed to serve customers effectively. In this regard:

(a) Critically discuss how can demand management help to unify channel members, satisfy customers and solve customer problems?                                                                (50 marks)

(b) Identify at least THREE retail fulfilment models and analyse the strengths and weakness of each of these models. Support your arguments with examples, where relevant.       (50 marks)

(5) Many firms focus on their core competencies to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. In this regard:

(a) Describe the notion of core competency.                                                               (20 marks)

(b) Evaluate why an organisation outsources its activity to a third party (3P).           (30 marks)

(a) Motorola had gone from manufacturing its mobile phones in-house to almost completely outsourcing its manufacturing. What are the pros and cons of its in-house manufacturing and outsourcing (contract manufacturing) approaches?                                                      (50 marks)

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