Student is required to answer Any Three (3) questions and complete all sub questions of those three questions in Section A.
- Why are customer service and its related strategy so important for companies operating in supply chains? Do you think that customer service is more important than lower cost to the customers?
- How ABC analysis can improve Inventory Management in a firm?
- Explain the importance of selecting appropriate suppliers for effective supply chain management.
- What is the special relationship between marketing and logistics? Is this relationship becoming more or less important? Why?
- Using the quadrant technique, categories the importance of the following items for an automobile manufacturer: engine, tires, gasoline, paper for the employee newsletter, a uniquely designed and engineered muffler, and a rail car service to dealers. Describe the rationale for you used to ascertain each categorization.
- Explain the role and importance of reverse logistics in contemporary supply chains.
- Discuss the reasons why multinational organizations are considering a near-shoring or re-shoring strategy especially at this time of COVID19.
- Why would a company such as Nestle, which produces a wide variety of consumer goods, use third party logistics (3PL) distribution services?
Contains One (1) compulsory question.
iComputer Pty Ltd is an Australian retailer that sells personal computers, smart devices and accessories. In the last 10 years, the company has experienced a phenomenal growth. It now operates more than 15 retail outlets in various shopping malls. The growth of the company was partially attributed to the popularity of the smart device such as Apple’s iPads, Samsung’s Tablets. Although the business growth was positive in the last few years, the financial performance of the company was disappointing. Despite the huge volume of sales, the annual net profit for the company had only experienced approximately 5% increment in the last 3 years.
During the recent management meeting, the finance manager, Mr. Cash, highlighted that operations, inventory, procurement and wastage costs are at an all-time high. He explained to the owner of the company, Mr. Rich, that the company’s high consumer demand and business growth had led to fast expansion of iComputer retail outlets in the last 10 years. However, their company lacks the IT capabilities to cope with the growth of operations.
The irony is that, despite being an electronic retailer, iComputer has no formal technology platform to manage their supply chain. Inventory levels are often excessively high. The sales manager, Mr. Selling, often complains that the inventory frequently experienced stock-outs on the popular models. On the other hand, promotions have to be run regularly to sell excess unpopular products. It has been noted that their products even though may have a long shelf life, but technology advancements and newer models result in the depreciation of pricing for models.
Replenishment is a manual and time-consuming process in the company. During this time, the company had been dependent on primitive Point-of-Sale (POS) in their retail outlets. All pricing and purchases have to be typed into the POS manually. Individual retail supervisors had to call the head-office when their stocks were running low. At the head-office, employees would have to record the restocking request on pre-printed forms. From forecasting, inventory control, order fulfilment to invoicing and payment, everything has been done by hand on pre-printed forms, with this information later entered into Excel spread sheets. The executives will use the information in the Excel spread sheets to understand how much supplies inventory the company needs to ensure all the retail outlets demands can be met.
With plans to launch their retailing online, Mr. Rich realised the severity of their situation and turned to his IT manager, Mr. ITSavvy, “We need to do something about this. We need a platform to consolidate inventory level, replenishment data, point of sale data and invoices. It would be extremely difficult to operate in the long run without supply and demand information visibility”
- Propose and explain three (3) ways to solve iComputer’s supply chain problems. Answers may include supply chain techniques, strategies or technologies.
- Based on the iComputer’s case, discuss the consequences due to: i) overstocking and ii) stock-out of inventory. Explain, with examples, which situation is better for iComputer.