Introduction to Supply Chain Management

Question 1: Chapter 1 Introduction to Supply Chain Management

1) Consider the supply chain for a desktop computer from raw material suppliers to you as the ultimate user.

  1. What are the components of the supply chain for the computer?
  2. What are the different firms involved in the supply chain?
  3. What are the objectives of these firms?
  4. Provide examples of conflicting objectives in this supply chain.
  5. What are the risks that rare or unexpected events pose to this supply chain?

In addition, Prof. Cheng has claimed that supply chains for various goods evolve over time.  Do you agree or disagree? Briefly explain.

Question 2: Chapter 2 Inventory Management and Risk Pooling 

Mr. Henry Cameron DiCaprio is thinking of entering the fine jewelry business.  What concern him are the fierce competition and volatile demand in jewelry markets.  In terms of logistics operations, DiCaprio needs to develop strategies to overcome challenges such as variability in customer demand and lead time.  He also needs to make decisions regarding customer service level.

H.C. DiCaprio has contacted you to seek suggestions regarding the following matters:

  1. How can DiCaprio cope with huge variability in jewelry demand?
  2. What is the relationship between service and inventory levels for jewelry products?
  3. What is the impact of lead time, and lead time variability, on jewelry inventory levels?
  4. What factors should DiCaprio consider when determining a target service level?

Question 3: Chapter 3 Network Planning 

When U.S. was experiencing recession, media reported that a number of U.S. lead companies, especially those in the manufacturing sectors, shut down factories in America.  While the attention by media and general public focused on the negative impacts of these actions on jobs and local economies, shutting down facilities would also profoundly affect the supply chain structures associated with the focal firms.

Considering the on-going development regarding (potential) consolidation projects (or mergers) among big companies, if a proposal is approved and the project gets through, how will it affect pertinent supply chain structures?

In addition, instead of reacting to economic downturn, why is it important for a firm to periodically review its logistics network design as a proactive supply chain management strategy? How do a firm’s requirements for its logistics network change over time?

Question 4: Chapter 14 Information Technology and Business Processes 

Compare the capabilities required to achieve supply chain excellence according to

  1. Decision focus;
  2. Data aggregation level;
  3. Time to implement;
  4. The number of users involved in the analysis.

As well, describe how the capabilities shall be developed and sustained within a company (see Figure 14-10 and pertinent discussion).

Question 5: Chapter 13 (Chopra &Meindl) Transportation in a Supply Chain 

Many firms develop a distribution strategy that consists of a number of layers of storage locations to serve sales outlets.  For instance, Wal-Mart designs its networks so that a regional distribution center (DC) supports several large retail stores.

Explain how the company can use such a network to reduce transportation costs while replenishing inventories frequently.

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