supply chain and operations management

The assessment for this module comprises two parts:

  1. Group presentation (Week 7) accounts for 40% of the final mark for this module;
  2. Individual assignment (Week 11) accounts for 60% of the final mark for this module.

This document provides detailed requirements for the second part of assessment.


Individual Assignment – Rationale:

During the study of this module, we have discussed a variety of topics within the domain of operations and supply chain management, including operations strategy, performance evaluation, project management, process design, service/product design, supply chain network design, layout design, supply chain management, to name a few.

In learning these topics, we have taken different activities, such as case studies, group presentations, problem-solving exercises, field observations, and simulation games to help us not only to understand the concepts and theoretical frameworks in the book, but more importantly, to be able to think independently and critically, and apply the theories from books to real-life problems.

This individual assignment is designed to provide you an opportunity to demonstrate just that – your capability as a critical and independent thinker. You may also want to take this opportunity to demonstrate to the examiners your great understanding in the topics, abilities to apply the theories to real businesses, choose and define a good research topic, and conduct research on your own and write a good essay about it.





Within the scope of supply chain and operations management, choose one topic that you are most interested in. Write a report of 2,500 words to discuss this topic in-depth.

A recent investigation by Channel 4 dispatches on Sports Direct has branded the company as a ‘sweatshop’. The company allegedly offers zero hour contracts and are embroiled in a myriad of employee health and safety issues. The owner of Sport Direct, Mike Ashely has always defended these accusations. In a recent interview he implied that as a businessman the changing face of competition due to operational and technological forces are greatly influencing his strategic decision making about the company.  For the purpose of this assignment the company is now trying to change its current approach to operations management after a great damage to its reputation caused by the Channel 4 programme.


You are a new operations manager at Sports Direct and you are required to apply methodologies that will assist with the management of change within the organisation. You are now tasked with writing a plan in the form of a report to the Sports Direct board of Directors/Executives highlighting the following:


  1. Formulate and illustrate an operations strategy that will integrate with the product requirements and marketing functions for Sports Direct.
  2. Critically assess managerial skills and competencies required for management of operations and projects in a rapidly changing commercial and technological environment for the company.
  3. Explain how to plan and manage an operations function and report on the optimum layout for specific types of process work flows and process technologies. You should attempt to address how the plan will inculcate health and safety arrangements in the distribution and retail centres for the company.
  4. Evaluate and make appropriate recommendations to the board in your plan methodologies that will assist with the management of change within projects and operations management in order to improve the overall competitiveness of the business.


The report should be written following a logical structure, with an introduction section at the beginning and a summary/conclusion section at the end, followed by references (compulsory) and appendix (optional). You should ensure the information acquired from various sources are critically evaluated and appropriately referenced.


Presenting Assignments for Marking

The report must be professionally presented and appropriately referenced using the Harvard system of referencing.

Assignments must be presented in the following format:

  • Word-processed in Arial font, 12 pitch and double-spaced.
  • Margins must be as follows: Top; 1.0 inch (2.5cm), Bottom; 1.0 inch (2.5 cm), Left; 1.25 inches (3.2 cm), Right; 1.25 inches (3.2 cm).
  • All pages must be numbered in the top right-hand corner.
  • All tables and figures must be labelled.
  • Make sure you have cover page with the following information:
  • Your full name
  • Your student number
  • The module title and code
  • Your tutor’s name
  • Your assignment title
  • Date of submission
  • Word count

Please also remember that your essay can be enhanced or damaged through layout, for example placing all tables and drawings in Appendices can hamper the flow of discussion. Decisions therefore need to be made about the most appropriate place to use tables etc to support your case.




Word Limit:

2,500 words, using the standard format described above. Please note that you will lose marks if you exceed this word limit by more than 10%. The specified word count refers to the main body of the report and does not include front cover, title page, contents page, executive summary, tables and figures, references, or appendices (however no more than four pages of appendices).


Instructions for Submission

Students must submit their work via Turnitin on the 214LON module webpage by 5pm – Monday in week 11.


Any work submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of 0%.


Assessment Criteria

A detailed GradeMark scheme is available on Moodle. Mark on your assignment will be given on the basis of this scheme.


Use of Turnitin


  1. Whenever requested by your module leader, you should upload a WORD copy of your work onto the relevant icon on your module web for plagiarism checking. If you do not do this then your work will not be marked.
  2. Drafts of assessed work for any particular module should only be uploaded onto the draft icon on that module web, as this draft icon will be configured so that the final submission will not flag up overlaps with the draft submission. If you submit a draft onto any other module web then Turnitin will identify any overlaps with your final submission as plagiarised.
  3. You should never submit anyone else’s work onto Turnitin under your own name and you should never ask anyone else to submit your work onto Turnitin under their name.
  4. Normally students are only allowed to submit one draft of an assessment via Turnitin. If the guidance on plagiarism has been followed, and the student has written the work themselves, this should be sufficient.






Assessments must be all your own work and must not have been copied in part or in whole from any other source, such as books or the internet, or from other students’ work. If you wish to use another author’s exact words in a short quotation this must be clearly marked up in inverted commas with the exact source given, including page number, so that the reader can clearly see which words have been copied and are not your own. Just quoting references used at the end is not sufficient.


Please see your course handbook or the Faculty website for more information on referencing and university regulations on plagiarism.