Strategic Procurement.

Assignment Brief

A proactive strategic procurement operation can give the organisation it represents a competitive advantage by reducing waste in the value chain. For an organisation of your choice, you are asked (a) to critically examine the Procurement function, (b) by considering 2-3 areas below investigate how the Procurement function can be improved and compensate external turbulences in the markets.

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– Procurement Strategy

– Strategic Sourcing and Outsourcing

– e-procurement

– Sustainable Procurement

– Supply Risk

You will also need to take the following into account when completing your assignment:

– Quality of executive summary (does it give a brief complete summary of your paper for an executive to read?)

– Establishment of relevant theory (e.g. what do we mean by global sourcing?)

– Allocation of credit and sources used (have I included references and citations to the material I have used?)

– Clarity of argument

– Overall report presentation including spelling and grammar

– Adherence to the 3000 words limit (+/- 10%)

– Fully referenced using the Harvard Referencing System (or APA)

Expectations

The analysis should draw on an extensive literature research on the topic of Procurement Management.

As a master’s level assignment, the student will be expected to generate a report which has the following characteristics:

· Properly formatted professional paper including Title Page, Contents, Introduction, Main Section (listing the main points), Recommendations (if needed), Conclusion, References, and Appendix (as needed).

· Has a clear logic, flow and focus, addressing all parts of the assignment question.

· Clear presentation of data and utilisation of the Harvard Referencing Standard.

· Evidence of critical analysis supported by the existing body of academic and professional resources. Supporting data should be sourced from a wide range of sources including academic databases, consulting reports and professional bodies.

· Evidence of engagement with module content and personal research will be sought.

· Evidence of an understanding of the operation and challenges of running a multinational business with a specific focus on culture, employee engagement and leadership.

· The presented theories and best practices should be supported with examples.

The “Academic Writing” thread in the Web Forum for the module provided more details.

Personal feedback

2530 is below the requested word count. There is no penalty applied, but it is a pity not using the entire space available to present more theories and examples for a stronger expression of understanding.

The Introduction is a single long paragraph. Given the limited space allocated, I recommend using shorter paragraphs with one idea each throughout the paper. This will render the text and the analysis easier to follow. This will also make it easier to i) ensure that each idea is expressed clearly, ii) check that each paragraph is in the right place and iii) ensure that each paragraph adds value to the overall analysis.

“Procurement refers to an act by which a company sources and obtains goods and services required to satisfy its business plans.” – references to the literature could already be used to support the definitions.

“Functions of procurement” – This section should use the literature to present findings from the research done on the topic instead of “opinions”.

“Sourcing – Purchasing goods, services, and work from an external source is vital for a procurement department.” – Is there a difference between “Sourcing” and “purchasing”? How are these related to “procurement”? A proper and clear use of the mainstream terms is mandatory for a proper demonstration of understanding.

The structure of the paper could be clearer and could use a few statements at the beginning of each section to explain its purpose and how it fits in the overall analysis.

“The reduction of wastes in the value chain is one of the strategies that a company can adapt to survive external forces facing a company. For example, to go on par with other well and competing companies, a firm has to reduce waist (Rauch et al. 2010).” – These two sentences repeat the same thing.

“For instance, in lead-time, a company has to be keen to deal with delays.” – What do you mean by “deal with delays”?

“That is possible by utilizing the time available to order and have goods delivered (Meehan and Bryde, 2011).” – This is a very simplistic statement that seems to indicate a misunderstanding of the concepts discussed. What do you mean by “time available”?

It would be better to already introduce the case study company from the beginning and apply the theories through clear examples along the way. What is the company manufacturing (or what services is it delivering)? What is being sourced for the manufacturing process? What are the inventory levels kept and how are these adapted to the lead time? The discussion could use more details for a proper demonstration of understanding.

Page 6 starts a long paragraph with many generic statements about logistics. The should also be a clear discussion for each on how exactly they could be addressed. For example, what could the company do about “traffic jams”?

The paper ends without any discussion of a case study company as requested.

The Conclusion could be stronger by avoiding generic remarks (for which the place is in the Introduction before the context and scope of the analysis is defined), avoiding the introduction of new content (which has not been properly discussed in the body) and focusing on summarizing the main points of the analysis and expressing the understanding gained from this research and report.

The List of References indicates a reasonable literature review that should be extended with more books and articles on the main topic of the course and assignment to ensure a very good analysis. A broad literature review would provide a solid base for the expression of critical analysis through combination and comparison of information from different sources. The researched material should be used more throughout the paper.

Overall, this is a rather limited submission that could be improved with a closer observation of the assignment objectives, clear structure, better use of a wider literature research, clear presentation with confident use of the terms, and strong examples and recommendations focused on a detailed case study.

General comments about the paper:

The midterm had an Abstract as well, why not include one here as well as continued practice for the dissertation which will grade the Abstract as well?

The Introduction could be clearer. It should set the context of the paper, define the scope of the analysis and give an indication of the structure. There is no mention of the case study company.

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