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Operations Management Consultant Assignment

Writing Your Assignment

Writing Yours Assignment:
• This assignment must be completed individually.
• You must use the Harvard referencing system.
• Your work must indicate the number of words you have used.Written assignments must not exceed the specified maximum number of words.When a written assignment is marked, the excessive use of words beyond the word limit is reflected in the academic judgement of the piece of work which results in a lower mark being awarded for the piece of work (regulation 6.74).
• Assignment submissions are to be made anonymously. Do not write your name anywhere on your work.
• Write your student ID number at the top of every page.
• Where the assignment comprises more than one task, all tasks must be submitted in a single document.
• You must number all pages.


Submitting Your Assignment:
In order to achieve full marks, you must submit your work before the deadline. Work that is submitted late – up to five working days after the published submission deadline - will be accepted and marked. However, the element of the module’s assessment to which the work contributes will be capped with a maximum mark of 40%. 


Work cannot be submitted if the period of 5 working days after the deadline has passed (unless there is an approved extension). Failure to submit within the
relevant period will mean that you have failed the assessment.


Requests for short-term extensions will only be considered in the case of illness or other cause considered valid by the Director of Studies Team. Please contact
[email protected]. A request must normally be received and agreed by the Director of Studies Team in writing at least 24 hours prior to the deadline. See rules 6.64-6.73:


Mitigation: The deadline for submission of mitigation in relation to this assignment is no later than five working days after the submission date of this work. Please contact the Director of Studies Team - [email protected]. See rules 6.112 –6.141:



Assigment Task:
This is an individual assignment.
You are an operations management consultant. You have been retained by the organization featured in the case study document accompanying this assignment
brief. The case study document contains some background information about the case company and then three specific problems. Each problem is at a different level of operational aggregation (supply chain, operation, process). Each problem is presented as a primary source: an email from, or perhaps an exchange of emails between, key staff members within your client organization. For some of the problems you will also be provided with raw quantitative data which you can use to solve problems statistically or graphically. All of the information provided for each problem will be useful in solving it – do not neglect the contents of the
email(s) and the background information you have about the case company.

Submitting Your Assignment

It is your task to fully understand each problem before you apply operations management tools to solve it. Do not simply assume that the problem as stated by
the client organization’s staff members is correct – they are not operations management specialists.

Further guidance:
You are required to make specific, executable recommendations to your client. The focus here should be on practical recommendations rather than theoretical
discussion or scholarly evaluation. Remember that visual communication is extremely important in the operations field. Visual elements such as charts, diagrams and tables can summarize a great deal of information and communicate it in a clear and impactful way. 


Reading Requirment
This is a practical task. Your independent research should therefore focus on highquality practitioner sources rather than purely academic material, although there may be some relevant academic journal articles available through the University Library’s journal databases. Relevant journals include, but are not limited to: Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Operations Research, Management Science, Production and Operations Management, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Supply Chain Management: an International Journal.


High quality practitioner sources include, but are not limited to:
? Resources provided by operations management PSRBs (professional, statutory and regulatory bodies) such as the American Society for Quality 
(ASQ), the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) and others.
? Practitioner forums such as iSixSigma, IOMnet and OperationsRoom.
? Classic ‘guru’ texts by (for example) Deming, Shingo, Ohno, Imai, Taguchi etc.
? Case studies in operations management, for example those published by MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School.


There is an expectation that an absolute minimum of ten relevant sources will be used in the preparation of this assignment. These should be visible in Harvardformat in-text citations and the assignment reference list.

You should ‘set the scene’ by characterizing the case operation and describing its innate characteristics – concepts such as the ‘Four Vs’, the cumulative
capability model, the service package, the supply chain and Slack and Lewis’s operations strategy matrix might all be relevant here.

Operational problems and solutions

Your response to all of the three operational problems will be marked holistically according to the following skills-based criteria:

Twenty marks are available for structuring the problem (what is the problem really? What is it a case of, in operational terms?), identifying and justifying a
suitable technical method for analysing the data/information provided, and deploying that method.

Twenty marks are available for evaluating the implications of the analysis for the problem given to you by the client – in other words, what practical measures does the analysis suggest in order to overcome the operational problems revealed by your analysis.


Twenty marks are available for a critical discussion of the problem and its solution. This may well include consideration of strengths and weaknesses of the method chosen to analyse the data and structure the problem/solution, as well as the advantages of other potential methods which might be more useful given
more data, time etc.

This is a very practical problem-solving exercise and general discussion is not required – everything here should be relevant to the problem presented by the
client and the need to develop real-world solutions Recommendations In this section you should build on sections (1) and (2) already completed, in order to provide your client with a set of detailed recommendations for operational improvement.


These should relate in the first instance to the specific problems you have been asked to solve by the client, but you can and should go further and make more
general, holistic recommendations for improving operational systems (e.g. quality control, resource levelling, process design, layout and flow, stock control, training etc as relevant to the specific needs of the case operation).


Formatting and referencing

You should aim to meet the following expectations in terms of formatting and referencing:
? Correct and thorough use of Harvard referencing. This includes in-text references and an alphabetized bibliography.
? Appropriate and consistent choice of visual elements, including correct selection of graphs and tables in relation to their explanatory purpose
? Legible and consistent presentation of data in graphs and tables including clearly labelled and denominated axes
? Organized and logical approach to structure, including table of contents, list of figures and tables, numbered pages, numbered sections and subsections, bibliography.
? Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG): UK English consistent with good practice in business and management applications.

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