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The key to real Customer Value is effective Supply Chain Management

Assessment Overview

The final assessment for this module is an Individual coursework assignment on Supply Chain Management (100%)

Note: appendices are not included in the word count for this report. Format is a formal written report of maximum word limit of 2500 words (word limit to be stated on the front cover) including diagrams (e.g. organisation charts) and tables. Report should comprise Title Page, Parts 1 – 3.

Also (not included in word count): References (essential) and Appendices (if needed).

Key Components and Task:

‘The key to real Customer Value is effective Supply Chain Management”.

  • Discuss the above statement, using one or two at most, examples of real companies that have either achieved (or failed) to deliver customer value via their chosen supply chain strategies.
  • For this reassessment assignment, you must not use the same examples as you have in your first submission. Your selected companies need to be from different industrial sectors.
  • The main objective of this assessment is to: enable students to demonstrate knowledge of effective supply chain strategies in the pursuit of customer value. Support this statement using real examples of companies operating in today’s global competitive environment, showing the importance of effective SCM strategies in successfully delivering customer value.

Provide a critical analysis of how effective supply chain strategies can deliver customer value in your selected companies.

  • In other words, critically argue using literature, how your selected companies have delivered or failed to deliver customer value via their specific supply chain strategies. These strategies could be in the design, manufacturing, distribution, or retail of the product/service
  • Support this with one or two examples from companies (likely to be high profile companies, e.g. Apple; Amazon.com, Caterpillar; Samsung Electronics etc, etc) how their chosen supply chain strategies have delivered or failed to deliver customer value.
  • Short Conclusion.

Special Instructions:

  • Prepare an individual assignment (no shared work).
  • SCM theory from the course text and relevant Journal publications is essential.
  • Full references and sources of all materials must be stated
  • Use your student ids for anonymity (i.e. no student names on the assignment itself).
  • Students are expected to access and utilise academic articles which are accessible via the Brunel library homepage (e.g. using the “e-Journals Gateway” or the “Emerald database”).
  • References should be taken in the main from Journal publications. I will accept some web references, but I would like these to be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • I would expect over 80% of references to come from journal publications. The remaining >20% to come from web sites and textbooks.
  • I would expect a minimum of 20 references for this assignment.
  • Please Note: You should also all be aware of the University’s policy on Plagiarising. Anyone caught plagiarising will be dealt with SEVERLY.
Example Answer (Plagiarised, Do Not Copy)
Effective supply chain management is indeed crucial for delivering real customer value. One example of a company that has excelled in this regard is Amazon. By optimizing its supply chain through advanced technology and logistics, Amazon has been able to offer customers a wide range of products with fast and reliable delivery, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

On the other hand, a company that faced challenges in delivering customer value through its supply chain strategy is Chipotle Mexican Grill. In 2015, Chipotle experienced a series of food safety issues that originated from its supply chain, leading to a significant decline in customer trust and loyalty. This incident highlighted the importance of robust supply chain management in ensuring product quality and safety, ultimately impacting customer value perception.

  1. Amazon:

    Amazon is renowned for its customer-centric approach and efficient supply chain management. The company has invested heavily in technology and logistics to streamline its operations, resulting in an extensive network of fulfillment centers, advanced inventory management systems, and innovative delivery solutions such as Prime Now and Amazon Fresh. These investments enable Amazon to offer customers an unparalleled level of convenience, choice, and speed when shopping online.

    One key aspect of Amazon`s supply chain strategy is its emphasis on data-driven decision-making. By analyzing vast amounts of data, including customer preferences, purchasing patterns, and inventory levels, Amazon can forecast demand accurately and optimize its inventory across its network. This ensures that popular products are readily available, reducing stockouts and enhancing customer satisfaction.

    Furthermore, Amazon`s logistics infrastructure, including its own fleet of delivery vehicles and partnerships with carriers, enables the company to provide fast and reliable shipping options, including same-day and next-day delivery for Prime members. This speed and reliability contribute to a positive customer experience, fostering loyalty and repeat purchases.

    Overall, Amazon`s relentless focus on supply chain efficiency and customer satisfaction has solidified its position as a leader in e-commerce and set a high benchmark for other companies.

  2. Chipotle Mexican Grill:

    Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its focus on fresh ingredients and customizable menu options, faced a significant supply chain crisis in 2015. The company experienced multiple outbreaks of foodborne illnesses linked to its restaurants, tarnishing its reputation and eroding customer trust.

    The root cause of Chipotle`s supply chain woes was traced back to issues within its food sourcing and handling practices. In an effort to maintain its commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Chipotle sourced produce from numerous suppliers, making it challenging to track and monitor food safety standards effectively. Additionally, inadequate food handling protocols at some locations further exacerbated the situation.

    As a result of these food safety incidents, Chipotle experienced a decline in sales and foot traffic, highlighting the critical link between supply chain management and customer value. The lack of robust controls and oversight in Chipotle`s supply chain not only compromised product quality and safety but also damaged the brand`s reputation, leading to a loss of customer confidence.

    In response to the crisis, Chipotle implemented comprehensive reforms across its supply chain, including stricter food safety protocols, enhanced supplier vetting processes, and increased transparency into sourcing practices. While these measures have helped Chipotle regain some of its lost credibility, the incident serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of prioritizing supply chain integrity to uphold customer value and brand reputation.

The examples of Amazon and Chipotle illustrate the significant impact of supply chain management on delivering real customer value. Companies that prioritize efficiency, reliability, and quality control in their supply chains are better positioned to meet customer expectations and sustain long-term success in the marketplace.

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