MODULE: Managing Operations and the Supply Chain 2019-2020
Assignment Brief
Assignment title:
Human Factors in Supply Chain Forecasting
Weighting:
60%
Purpose of the Assessment
This assignment is designed to enable you to demonstrate an understanding of the role of human judgement in adapting and amending the output of objective forecasting methods.
Assessment Task
You will conduct a review of the academic literature on the subject of human factors in forecasting.
Following your review, you are to analyse a given set of data to establish an objective quantitative forecast. You will then use your judgement to vary that forecast under an alternative business scenario.
You will be expected to illustrate your discussion with examples from academic journals, the trade press and other authoritative sources.
Assessment Breakdown
1. Prepare a literature review on the subject of human factors in supply chain forecasting.
Ensure that you include references to at least 10 peer-reviewed articles, no more than ten years old. You may also find relevant reviews in the trade press and from other authoritative sources.
(50% of word count)
2. The supplied spreadsheet contains historic sales data from a long-established consumer products company. The company’s advertising budget has remained largely static over many years, though the type and nature of advertising has altered significantly over time.
Use the data to forecast the expected sales performance for the next seven quarters, until the end of 2020, describing your analytical approach in detail. Include any graphs generated.
Produce forecasts based on (a) advertising and (b) GDP. In your judgement, which produces the better forecast?
Consider the future business context suggested by the economic forecasts. The company wishes to increase profitability, so that it can invest in new product development. A 20% cut in advertising spending has been proposed.
What would be the effect on sales of cutting the advertising budget by the proposed 20%?
In your judgement, is there scope to cut advertising by more than the 20% proposed?
(50% of word count)
Assessment Guidance
The quality of your presentation and academic referencing is very important. Please, use the Harvard Referencing System.
Within your assignment your tutor will be looking for content that addresses the key elements of the assignment brief.
Try not to overcomplicate your answers. Keep to simple processes that you know well.
Look at the Check list at the end of this brief. It shows the subheadings to use and offers a guide as to how the marks will be distributed.
Use the percentages as a guide to how to distribute your word count.
Academic Practice
This is an individual assignment. The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage.
Support and guidance on assessments and academic integrity can be found from the following resources
Assessment Submission
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.
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.
When you upload your work correctly to TURNITIN you will receive a receipt which is your record and proof of submission.
If your assignment 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.
Your assignment must be word processed and presented in a report format with simple sub-headings. The word count should be 2400 words ±10% (tables, diagrams and appendices are excluded from the count).
The Assignment report should have a Front Sheet showing your name, your student number, the module name, the module number, the assignment title, the module tutor’s name, the date and the word count
N.B Work emailed directly to your tutor will not normally be marked. The only exception to this is when you are instructed to do so because TURNITIN is down.
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 – maximum grade achievable LG (L indicating late).
At the second opportunity deadline (resits) work submitted late will be awarded a LG grade. There is no opportunity to submit work late for a bare pass.
Extensions
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. The module leader can, where appropriate, authorise a short extension of up to two weeks from the original submission date for first sits only. There are NO extensions for resits. The TWO weeks means 14 calendar days including weekends and any University closed days.
Mitigating Circumstances
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.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity
Unless this is a group assignment, the work you produce must be your own with work taken from any other source properly referenced and attributed. The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage.
If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism or any other infringement of academic integrity, please read the University’s Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. For help with understanding academic integrity go to UNPAC and follow the Top Tips for Good Academic Practice on the student hub.
Please note that the University of Northampton puts all written assignments through detection software which detects if work has been plagiarised (copied) from other students (past or present and whether at UON or any other university), books, journals or internet sources. Copied materials WILL be detected. The penalties for copying work from another source without proper referencing are severe and can include failing the assignment, failing the module and expulsion from the university.
BSOM046 OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
ASS’T 1 “Report Content Checklist”
STUDENT NAME AND REPORT FRONT SHEET:
LITERATURE SEARCH (50%)
– Prepare a literature review on the subject of human factors in supply chain forecasting.
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION (50%)
– Use the supplied data to forecast the expected sales performance for the next seven quarters, until the end of 2020, describing your analytical approach in detail. Include any graphs generated.
Produce forecasts based on (a) advertising and (b) GDP. In your judgement, which produces the better forecast?
Consider the future business context suggested by the economic forecasts.
What would be the effect on sales of cutting the advertising budget by the proposed 20%?
In your judgement, is there scope to cut advertising by more than the 20% proposed?
MAX WORD COUNT 2400 +/- 10%
Learning outcomes
The learning outcomes being addressed through this assignment are:
1. Interpret key concepts, managerial frameworks and techniques available to operations managers so as to enable strategic decision-making processes.
2. 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.
3. Demonstrate ability to relate theory to practise and critically assess organisational problems in order to design specific responses to address the issues identified.
Rubric Assignment 1: Human Factors in Supply Chain Forecasting
Learning Outcomes addressed through this assignment No submission / no evidence Fail Pass Merit Distinction
Work submitted is of no academic value / nothing submitted Evidence included or provided but missing in some very important aspects. Clearly demonstrates evidence of achieving the requirements of the learning outcomes Of high quality, demonstrating evidence which is rigorous and convincing, appropriate to the task or activity Of very high quality, demonstrating evidence which is strong, robust and consistent, appropriate to the task or activity
Interpret key concepts, managerial frameworks and techniques available to operations managers so as to enable strategic decision making processes.
Results are presented incompletely with no real interpretation or analysis
Results are presented fully and clearly with some limited internal analysis and interpretation
Results are presented fully and analysed and interpreted effectively with clear links back to the objectives and the literature with reflection on limitations. Complex and sophisticated analysis & interpretation of the material, excellent integration with literature and objectives, and critical discussion of value and limitations of data.
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.
Your answer did not explain, evaluate and discuss the issues raised by the question in sufficient depth.
Much more depth of analysis is required at degree level. Clear evidence of solid independent research; clear evidence of extensive background reading and use of a wide range of appropriate sources, including journal articles; Engagement with relevant primary sources. Evidence of independent research and competent use of a good range of sources, including journal articles; confident handling of relevant primary sources. High volume of relevant material used effectively from an extensive and original range of sources. Work demonstrates extensive wider reading and independent research of the subject with an exemplary balance of primary and secondary sources
Demonstrate ability to relate theory to practise and critically assess organisational problems in order to design specific responses to address the issues identified Your arguments or points were not clearly expressed, and / or your answer did not have an appropriate structure.
Your arguments or points were sufficiently clearly expressed and your answer sufficiently well-structured to pass the assignment.
Most of your arguments or points were generally clearly expressed and your answer was well structured.
Your arguments and points were clearly expressed and your answer was well structured.
Academic / Professional quality Poor command of academic / professional conventions appropriate to the discipline. Sound command of academic / professional conventions sufficient and appropriate to the discipline Rigorous command of academic / professional conventions appropriate to the discipline. Authoritative
command of academic / professional conventions appropriate to the discipline.