Case Study Format Program: Supply Chain Management Extension Certificate Case Study Format & Methodology You must use this format to prepare your case study analysis and recommendations for course assignments. Organization Background This section provides the context for the issue / organization being examined. It is necessary and important that the class be given a feel for the type of organization and industry being examined, the marketplace in which that industry operates, and the overall business environment in which the discussion and analysis will take place.
Defining the Issue It is extremely important that the Learner / group clearly articulate what the problem / situation is to the class. It is essential that the immediate issue / situation, and other broader issues being examined, relate specifically to Supply Chain Management (SCM) material or service related issue(s). The key concern(s), problem(s), decisions(s), challenge(s) or opportunity (ies) must be clearly articulated and detailed in order to ensure that the remainder of the discussion is meaningful and actionable.
This issue(s) / situation must clearly be important to the organization, a source of major competitiveness or significant profitability / loss. The urgency of the situation must also be clearly articulated. Analyzing Case Data This is where a considerable part of the discussion should be contained: causes and effects (i. e. fishbone diagrams); constraints and opportunities; and, quantitative and qualitative assessments.
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People, materials, methods, equipment, money, and other factors all lead up to effects that must be examined and determined to be valid or invalid. From there, constraints or opportunities which will impact the analysis need to be examined and factored in to possible courses of action. Decision Criteria It is imperative that criteria be clearly established against which all possible alternatives will be measured or compared against. These criteria provide the basis for evaluation and assessment. They can be classified as quantitative as well as qualitative.
Such criteria may include: profit; cost; return on investment (ROI); market share; capacity; risk; and / or, cash flow, to name a few. Qualitative criteria may include: competitive advantage; customer satisfaction; employee morale; corporate image; ease of implementation; synergy; ethics; safety; and / or goodwill, to name a few. There may be other criteria that the Learner / group have determined are essential to the decision making process. Ensure that the criteria chosen are clearly articulated and described.
Alternative Analysis and Evaluation Each alternative must be clearly identified. The key advantages and disadvantages of each alternative must be listed and thoroughly discussed. The compare and contrast (pro and con) assessments of each alternative must be done against the decision criteria previously listed and discussed. A matrix format may be used in order to more accurately compare each of the alternatives. If multiple decision criteria are being used, weighting of each of the criteria must be applied.
It is also important to look at the short and long term results of each alternative, and to assess the best, the worst, and the most likely outcomes for each alternative. Qualitative and quantitative analysis will be required. It will also be necessary for the student to use the various supply chain management tools and techniques learned throughout the certificate program to determine those possible outcomes. © Mount Royal University Continuing Education, Supply Chain Management Extension Certificate, 2013 1 Action and Implementation Plan
Based on the predicted outcomes and the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each alternative, the most logical conclusion and alternative should be the one selected by the Learner / group. However, a combination of alternatives may be the more reasonable approach, utilizing the strengths of various alternatives and eliminating, where possible, the weaknesses of the selected alternatives. The proposed actions and implementation plan must minimize the disadvantages while taking advantage of as many of the strengths as possible.
The action plan must be specific and include: who, what, when, where, and how. A contingency plan would also be useful in case things do not go as expected. The implementation plan should include a set of milestones and a schedule for everyone to measure their success against. Assumptions, Presentation & Organization It is important for the Learner / group to clearly identify all assumptions being made when they have been used, and to clearly articulate why case data was unavailable and / or not used.
This reflects real life where not all of the information is available to make the most accurate decision possible. If the assumptions are not exactly correct, the implementation plan and contingency plan must be flexible enough to be able to react to any necessary changes. All assumptions used must be reasonable and be as “true-to-life” as possible. © Mount Royal University Continuing Education, Supply Chain Management Extension Certificate, 2013 2
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