Supply Chain and Operations Management

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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, choose and define a good research topic, and conduct research on your own and write a good essay about it.





Within the scope of supply chain and operations management, choose one topic that you are most interested in. Write a report of 2,500 words to discuss this topic in-depth.

A recent investigation by Channel 4 dispatches on Sports Direct has branded the company as a ‘sweatshop’. The company allegedly offers zero hour contracts and are embroiled in a myriad of employee health and safety issues. The owner of Sport Direct, Mike Ashely has always defended these accusations. In a recent interview he implied that as a businessman the changing face of competition due to operational and technological forces are greatly influencing his strategic decision making about the company.  For the purpose of this assignment the company is now trying to change its current approach to operations management after a great damage to its reputation caused by the Channel 4 programme.


You are a new operations manager at Sports Direct and you are required to apply methodologies that will assist with the management of change within the organisation. You are now tasked with writing a plan in the form of a report to the Sports Direct board of Directors/Executives highlighting the following:


a)    Formulate and illustrate an operations strategy that will integrate with the product requirements and marketing functions for Sports Direct.

b)    Critically assess managerial skills and competencies required for management of operations and projects in a rapidly changing commercial and technological environment for the company.

c)    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. You should attempt to address how the plan will inculcate health and safety arrangements in the distribution and retail centres for the company.

d)    Evaluate and make appropriate recommendations to the board in your plan methodologies that will assist with the management of change within projects and operations management in order to 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.

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