Module Name: Managing Operations
Module Code Level Credit Value Module Leader
BSOM046 7 20 Andrew Gough
AS1 : When the World Ran Out of Everything
Submission dates: Please see NILE under Assessment Information
Feedback and Grades due:
Please see NILE under Assessment Information
Please read this assessment brief in its entirety before starting work on the Assessment Task.
Founded at the turn of the 20th Century as a maker of fine surgical instruments, Waterside Medical (WM) has evolved into one of the leading vendors of medical supplies in Europe.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, WM stepped up to deliver medical hardware and consumables to hospitals, surgeries and clinics, nursing homes and other primary care organisations.
Sales reached new heights, but stock shortages were common. Suppliers not only raised prices but also increased minimum order sizes, compounding the availability problems and creating severe cash flow issues for WM.
“We had enough to worry about just getting critical supplies to our customers”, explained the Head of Operations. “We had known for some time that we needed to review our inventory strategy. When I took this job, we used to try to aim for about ten weeks of stock cover, but we have just had to work with what we can get, as and when it arrives. Some items sell out really fast, but it can be really difficult to find room for some of the large deliveries as we seem to have lots of other items that are in the way.”
“Most of our Reorder Levels (ROL) and Reorder Quantities (ROQ) were set some time ago, long before these unprecedented times, but there was no point in looking at them before things settled down. We think we have a better forecast of what the “New Normal” is going to look like, so I’d like you to work through some sample data for me.”
“Finance reckon that is costs us €50 every time we place an order. Inventory holding is running at about 15% per annum, taking account of the cost of borrowing, insurance and all of the warehouse overheads.”
The Assessment Task
Please read the narrative of the case study above, noting the context of all the statements made.
You have been provided with a randomised sample of data covering 20 items from the company’s catalogue.
1. Prepare a spreadsheet-based ABC analysis of usage value. Classify as follows:
A items: top 20 per cent of usage value
B items: next 30 per cent of usage value
C items: remaining 50 per cent of usage value
2. Calculate the inventory weeks for each item, for each classification, and for all the items in total. Does this suggest that the operational manager’s estimate of inventory weeks is correct?
3. If so, what is your estimate of the overall inventory at the end of the base year, and how much might that have increased during the year?
4. Based on the sample, analyse the underlying causes of the availability problem described in the text.
5. Calculate the Economic Order Quantities (EOQs) for the A items.
6. What recommendations would you give to the company?
The word count limit for this assessment is 1800 words (+/- 10%). In line with normal practice, tables, figures, references and appendices are excluded from this word count. Exceptionally, the checklist itself will not be considered as forming part of the word count.
On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:
a) Recognise, analyse and critically reflect on key concepts, managerial frameworks and techniques available to operations managers.
b) Demonstrate conceptual and practical understanding of the opportunities and constraints that organisational characteristics place on operations managers and on operational decision making in the supply chain context.
f) Demonstrate ability to relate theory to practice and to identify and proactively anticipate broader implications for selected issues across contexts.
Your grade will depend on the extent to which you meet these learning outcomes in the way relevant for this assessment. Please see the grading rubric on NILE for further details of the criteria against which you will be assessed.
Specific support sessions for this assessment will be provided by the module team and notified through NILE, You can also access individual support and guidance for your assessments from the Learning Development team. The Skills Hub is another useful source of online support for assessments and academic skills.
Academic Integrity and Misconduct
Unless this is a group assessment, the work you produce must be your own, with work taken from any other source properly referenced and attributed. For the avoidance of doubt this means that it is an infringement of academic integrity and, therefore, academic misconduct to ask someone else to carry out all or some of the work for you, whether paid or unpaid, or to use the work of another student whether current or previously submitted.
For further guidance on what constitutes plagiarism, contract cheating or collusion, or any other infringement of academic integrity, please read the University’s Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. Also useful resources to help with understanding academic integrity are available from UNPAC .
N.B. The penalties for academic misconduct are severe and can include failing the assessment, failing the module and expulsion from the university.
To submit your work, please go to the ‘Submit your work’ area on the NILE site and use the relevant submission point to upload your report. The deadline for this is 11.59pm (UK local time) on the date of submission. Please note that essays and text based reports should be submitted as word documents and not PDFs or Mac files.
Written work submitted to TURNITIN will be subject to anti-plagiarism detection software. Turnitin checks student work for possible textual matches against internet available resources and its own proprietary database. Work
When you upload your work correctly to TURNITIN you will receive a receipt which is your record and proof of submission. If your assessment is not submitted to TURNITIN, rather than a receipt, you will see a green banner at the top of the screen that denotes successful submission.
N.B Work emailed directly to your tutor will not be marked.
Late submission of work
For first sits, if an item of assessment is submitted late and an extension has not been granted, the following will apply:
• Within one week of the original deadline – work will be marked and returned with full feedback, and awarded a maximum bare pass grade.
• More than one week from original deadline – grade achievable LG (L indicating late).
For resits there are no allowances for work submitted late and it will be treated as a non-submission.
Please see the Assessment and Feedback Policy for full information on the processes related to assessment, grading and feedback. You will also find the generic grading criteria for achievement at University Grading Criteria. Also explained there are the meanings of the various G grades at the bottom of the grading scale including LG mentioned above.
The University of Northampton’s general policy with regard to extensions is to be supportive of students who have genuine difficulties, but not against pressures of work that could have reasonably been anticipated.
For full details please refer to the Extensions Policy. Extensions are only available for first sits – they are not available for resits.
For guidance on Mitigating circumstances please go to Mitigating Circumstances where you will find detailed guidance on the policy as well as guidance and the form for making an application.
Please note, however, that an application to defer an assessment on the grounds of mitigating circumstances should normally be made in advance of the submission deadline or examination date.
Feedback and Grades
These can be accessed through clicking on the Feedback and Grades tab on NILE. Feedback will be provided by a rubric with summary comments.