SG5011 Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Management

Case Study:

Pick from three: Samsung, McDonald’s, M&S (Marks & Spencer’s)

Word count: Approx. 1700 words and appendices

Choose three of the presentations that you will have given in seminars. Use the theory demonstrated in these to assess the sustainability of the organization* and demonstrate how the use of IT can help maximize performance.

(*The organization will be different from the organizations covered in the seminars. The list of organizations for the coursework will be provided by the module leader and it will be posted on the module site through the ‘Announcement Section’.)

The following assignment instructions provide a more detailed explanation of the requirements for your submission.

This assignment requires you to:
a) Assess existing practice using operational planning, operations

theory, concepts, and tools.
b) Compare the operations with best practices.
c) Suggest a reason for your findings.
d) Identify how IT helps or could help deliver efficient operations.

Your research should focus on establishing the nature of operations in your chosen case study.

The body of your assessment should focus on reapplying those tools and theories to your chosen organization in order to establish the extent it demonstrates good practice.

If you choose to structure the main body of your work in a different way, make sure you provide similar coverage of the material.

Introduction : (Approx. 175 words)

  1. Introduce the key topics of the report (This will include the organization concerned, its key operational plan & activities, and how stakeholders and their requirements are identified by the organization).
    A common error is for students to think this relates to the historical development of the issue when its past often has little relevance to current situations. This background material should make the purpose of the report relevant. You may find it appropriate even at this early stage to use theoretical concepts.
  2. Explain the purpose of the report. This should be phrased in the terms you would expect to use if the report was to be handed as a professional consultancy report to the organization concerned and other readers.
  3. Outline the structure of your response.
  4. Define any key terms (this might have been achieved in “1” above).
  5. Be engaging and professional. By this, you should try to avoid the trap

of starting the report with the words “in this report, I am going to …” or similar.

Main Body: (Approx. 1350 words)

Keep the headings informative, and remember that “main body” is not appropriate.
Section 1: Outline the product and service including delivery, quality

standards, and supply chain, an associated process, and the usage of ICT. You should aim at only including descriptions that you will rely on to substantiate your analysis.

Section 2: Analysis of the organization:

  • Using diagnostic tools (Ex. Performance Measures-QSDFC,

Quality audit, servicescape, etc)

  • Comparing with theory

Show the extent that the operation is demonstrating good practice.

  • Indicate Good practice and/or
    • Indicate where there is room for continuous improvement

and change / the operation deviates from the theoretical

model of good practice. Section 3: Explain your findings:


This should:

If your analysis suggests that the organization is only demonstrating good practice, your analysis will need to be thorough and this section will not be needed.
If your analysis suggests that the operation deviates from good practice / theoretical models, then this section should explain the reasons for this.

(Approx.175 words)

  1. Briefly referring back to your task
  2. Summarise the key issues raised in sections 1 – 3 the main body.
  3. Summarise your findings

It should not:

  1. Contain any information that has not been discussed in the main body,
  2. Summarise the topics covered – e.g. “this report reviewed the

operations undertaken and identified where improvements can be

made.” without summarising the actual content (a common mistake).

  1. Contain any recommendations.

Care should be taken with grammar and spelling and your work should be referenced in accordance with Cite them Right.
Provide your word count at the end of the report:
If you prepare a good answer, you will probably find the word limit quite tight:

  • Do make sure that you make sure that all your content is relevant.
  • Do not repeat anything that is covered in your appendices.
  • Refer your reader to each appendix when discussing the

associated concept.

  • Remember: You are not just presenting the information. You should

try to persuade your reader that you are right.

Marking criteria Weight

Provision of necessary background information – 10%

The application of concepts and tools – 30%

Analysis of the operation – 20%

Overall presentation including referencing – 10%

Appendices*: 30% (*Marks for the best two presentations will be added by the seminar tutor)

Assessment criteria explained.
Provision of necessary background information.

The extent to which it fits the subsequent analysis.

Application of concepts and tools

The accuracy and understanding of the concepts and tools that are demonstrated.

Analysis of the operation

Your conclusion, including the supporting reasoning. Could this report be given to the company concerned? Would they consider it demonstrates sufficient understanding of their particular situation?


Structure, writing style, and referencing technique

More detail regarding the assessment criteria and associated standards will be available on Moodle.

Assessment Standards

First (70% or above) – Ideas critically analyzed
The argument is clear, succinct, and well supported.
Evidence of a wide range of reading and some independent thought.

Upper second (60-69%) – Critical consideration of relevant ideas.
Arguments are precisely defined and appropriately referenced.
The work is structurally sound and well written.

Lower second (50-59%) – Reasonable understanding of the relevant concepts, but some inconsistencies in the application.
Arguments are referenced, but disjointed.
Poor structure, spelling, or grammar.

Third (40-49%) – Generally descriptive work with limited evidence of a critical consideration of ideas.
Inadequate referencing.
Weaknesses in structure, spelling, and grammar.

(below 40%)
– Uncritical
Poorly referenced
Argument indicates little use of relevant literature. Chaotic structure and generally badly written
No reference to theory