Nestlé’s Supply Chain Network

Workshop Session:

How to prepare ‘Research Report’?

  • What is a research report?

»  Reports are written at the end point of a research process, in order to assess and make recommendations to improve particular policies and/or practices in their organisation. Research for reports can be either secondary research based on the work of others, or primary research designed and conducted by the author themselves.

§   Generally, a well-written report demonstrates your ability to:

»  Describe or identify a particular research or management problem

»  Find research that gives you a greater understanding of the problem

»  Evaluate the quality and applicability of your research that gives you information about your problem, and

»  Recommend possible courses of action to resolve the identified problem.

§   Structure of a research report

Preliminary sectionThis section includes all the initial information required before the actual discussion takes place. (see details following this table)
Body of reportThis is where the main discussion takes place. It begins with the introduction and ends after the conclusion and recommendations
Supplementary materialThis section includes additional information that supports the discussion and is referred to in the body of the report. See details below.
  • Executive Summary

»  This is an overall summary of the entire report. It should:

»  Introduce the topic of your report

»  Indicate the main subjects (major findings) examined in the discussion section of your report

»  State your conclusions

»  State your recommendations

§   The Executive Summary is always on a separate page. This is a summary of the entire report so you cannot write this until you have finished the report. This is one of the last things you will write.

  • Table of contents

»  This is an ordered list of the different sections and subjections of your report. It must include numbered section headings and subheadings, with their relevant pages. This indicates the reader where various sections of your discussion can be found.

§   List of tables and figures

»  The list of tables and figures provides the reader with a guide to finding information that is presented in the form of diagrams/tables. It should include the numbers (labels), titles and pages location of each of your tables and figures. The list of tables and figures should also be on a separate page.

  • Introduction

»  The introduction should generally include 3 key types of information.

  • Background – sets the context for the report and provides brief background information required for the reader to understand  the report. For example, this may include an outline of the issue faced by the organisation and advise the reader about history or origin of why the report was requested in the first place. Why it is important? Who was involved in the preparation and how?
    • Aims and/or objectives – This tells the reader what the aims/objectives of the report are. It indicates what key questions the report is trying to answer and what it is trying to achieve. Why was it written?
    • Scope – This identifies for the reader what areas/ideas are covered in the report and helps to explain how the report is organised.

§   Key Findings and Discussion

»  This section is where information relevant to the topic is presented.

It must be fully referenced throughout, using various resources to support ideas. This is an analysis NOT just copying content from other sources. Copying content from other sources is not analysis (and can lead to plagarism issues). It should be organised logically, using topic headings, subheadings and minor subheadings to break it into sections and sub-sections based on the ideas being discussed. All headings must be numbered sequentially.

§   Conclusion

»  Based on your analysis, succinctly state your conclusions and briefly supply your reasons. The purpose of the conclusion is to provide a summary of the major findings. It effectively attempts to answer the key questions posed in the introduction. Your conclusions need to be separate from your recommendations.

§   Recommendations

»  Recommendations should state what actions should be implemented based on the finds of the report. You may list these in bullet points or small paragraphs.

»  These can be included as a separate section after the conclusion.

Supplementary Section

  • Reference list

»  This list includes the full publication details of all books, articles, websites and other sources referred to in your report. Your Reference list should only include sources that have been cited in the text.

§   Appendices

»  This is where other information which has been referred to in the main part of your report is attached. This information is relevant but not necessarily essential to the main part of your report.

»  Do NOT download and attached printed pages from websites, this information should be included in your Reference list.

»  Appendices may include the following items:

  • Charts, tables and data
    • Pamphlets and specifications

This 2000 words assignment is designed to give you the opportunity to review aspects of the design and management of the supply network in an organisation of your choice.

The organisation may either produce manufactured goods or services (or a combination of both).

You must nominate an organisation or select a relevant case study by agreement with the lecturer by the beginning of Week 5. Contact me to discuss and hand in your one-page summary in the class/week 5.

You must provide one page summary stating (i) their reasons for selecting the organisation or case study, together with (ii) the particular supply chain issue you are proposing to address.

In the research report you will be expected to identify relevant supply network issues, identify and clarify problems and discuss possible solutions.

Main Task in the Report

  • Based on the course material, course textbook, associated research and, where appropriate, drawing on examples from personal experience, students are required to:
  1. Select a supply network, e.g. a company and their suppliers, service providers, intermediaries and customers;
  2. Describe the relationships in the network, e.g. integration of tasks, product flows, information flows, responsibilities, etc.;
  3. Identify selected opportunities/challenges in that network and critically analyse these, e.g. the company is not able to deliver their products in a timely manner because the information systems are not well integrated;
  4. Based on your findings, propose appropriate solutions.

One-page summary

  • You must provide one page summary stating
    • reasons for selecting the organisation or case study,
    • the particular supply chain issue you are proposing to address.
  • In the research report you will be expected to identify relevant supply network issues, identify and clarify problems and discuss possible solutions.

Discuss each task in Research Report

1.     Unpacking the Question

  • Identify one management problem in the chosen case.
    • Referring to at least five refereed journal articles, identify and critically evaluate two arguments or themes in the research in relation to the identified problem.
    • Finally provide recommendations to deal with the problem in the light of your critical analysis.
  • Turning your topic into questions
    • You should think of your report as your answer to a series of questions that might be posed by your future employer. Sometimes, you may be given the questions you are required to answer, but more commonly, you will be required to develop these questions yourself.
Primary question/s:What is the problem in your chosen case study? What should the company do to address the problem?
Secondary questions: (descriptive)What are the circumstances, or the context surrounding this case study? What are two arguments or themes outlined in the literature, in relation to this problem? Which of these two arguments is more valid, or relevant in relation to your chosen case?
  • Researching Information for the business case topic
    • Professional Logistics & SC Magazines: CIPS, Supply Chain Digest (scdigest.com)
    • Business Magazines & Economics Daily Newspaper: Business Week, Fortune, FT, etc.
    • Business-focused Journals: HBR, California Management Review
    • Logistics & Supply Management Journals: International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management; Supply Chain Management: An International Journal; Journal of Supply Chain Management; Journal of Business Logistics, etc.

Planning your report

  • Step 1: On your first piece of paper: Brainstorm ideas
    • Step 2: On your second sheet of paper: Identify your key points
    • Step 3: On your third piece of paper: Formulate a logical argument
    • Step 4: On your fourth piece of paper: Organise your supporting evidence
    • Step 5: On your final piece of paper: Finalise your plan

Easy Isn’t It??

Workshop Session:

How to prepare ‘Research Report’?

  • What is a research report?

»  Reports are written at the end point of a research process, in order to assess and make recommendations to improve particular policies and/or practices in their organisation. Research for reports can be either secondary research based on the work of others, or primary research designed and conducted by the author themselves.

§   Generally, a well-written report demonstrates your ability to:

»  Describe or identify a particular research or management problem

»  Find research that gives you a greater understanding of the problem

»  Evaluate the quality and applicability of your research that gives you information about your problem, and

»  Recommend possible courses of action to resolve the identified problem.

§   Structure of a research report

Preliminary sectionThis section includes all the initial information required before the actual discussion takes place. (see details following this table)
Body of reportThis is where the main discussion takes place. It begins with the introduction and ends after the conclusion and recommendations
Supplementary materialThis section includes additional information that supports the discussion and is referred to in the body of the report. See details below.
  • Executive Summary

»  This is an overall summary of the entire report. It should:

»  Introduce the topic of your report

»  Indicate the main subjects (major findings) examined in the discussion section of your report

»  State your conclusions

»  State your recommendations

§   The Executive Summary is always on a separate page. This is a summary of the entire report so you cannot write this until you have finished the report. This is one of the last things you will write.

  • Table of contents

»  This is an ordered list of the different sections and subjections of your report. It must include numbered section headings and subheadings, with their relevant pages. This indicates the reader where various sections of your discussion can be found.

§   List of tables and figures

»  The list of tables and figures provides the reader with a guide to finding information that is presented in the form of diagrams/tables. It should include the numbers (labels), titles and pages location of each of your tables and figures. The list of tables and figures should also be on a separate page.

  • Introduction

»  The introduction should generally include 3 key types of information.

  • Background – sets the context for the report and provides brief background information required for the reader to understand  the report. For example, this may include an outline of the issue faced by the organisation and advise the reader about history or origin of why the report was requested in the first place. Why it is important? Who was involved in the preparation and how?
    • Aims and/or objectives – This tells the reader what the aims/objectives of the report are. It indicates what key questions the report is trying to answer and what it is trying to achieve. Why was it written?
    • Scope – This identifies for the reader what areas/ideas are covered in the report and helps to explain how the report is organised.

§   Key Findings and Discussion

»  This section is where information relevant to the topic is presented.

It must be fully referenced throughout, using various resources to support ideas. This is an analysis NOT just copying content from other sources. Copying content from other sources is not analysis (and can lead to plagarism issues). It should be organised logically, using topic headings, subheadings and minor subheadings to break it into sections and sub-sections based on the ideas being discussed. All headings must be numbered sequentially.

§   Conclusion

»  Based on your analysis, succinctly state your conclusions and briefly supply your reasons. The purpose of the conclusion is to provide a summary of the major findings. It effectively attempts to answer the key questions posed in the introduction. Your conclusions need to be separate from your recommendations.

§   Recommendations

»  Recommendations should state what actions should be implemented based on the finds of the report. You may list these in bullet points or small paragraphs.

»  These can be included as a separate section after the conclusion.

Supplementary Section

  • Reference list

»  This list includes the full publication details of all books, articles, websites and other sources referred to in your report. Your Reference list should only include sources that have been cited in the text.

§   Appendices

»  This is where other information which has been referred to in the main part of your report is attached. This information is relevant but not necessarily essential to the main part of your report.

»  Do NOT download and attached printed pages from websites, this information should be included in your Reference list.

»  Appendices may include the following items:

  • Charts, tables and data
    • Pamphlets and specifications

This 2000 words assignment is designed to give you the opportunity to review aspects of the design and management of the supply network in an organisation of your choice.

The organisation may either produce manufactured goods or services (or a combination of both).

You must nominate an organisation or select a relevant case study by agreement with the lecturer by the beginning of Week 5. Contact me to discuss and hand in your one-page summary in the class/week 5.

You must provide one page summary stating (i) their reasons for selecting the organisation or case study, together with (ii) the particular supply chain issue you are proposing to address.

In the research report you will be expected to identify relevant supply network issues, identify and clarify problems and discuss possible solutions.

Main Task in the Report

  • Based on the course material, course textbook, associated research and, where appropriate, drawing on examples from personal experience, students are required to:
  1. Select a supply network, e.g. a company and their suppliers, service providers, intermediaries and customers;
  2. Describe the relationships in the network, e.g. integration of tasks, product flows, information flows, responsibilities, etc.;
  3. Identify selected opportunities/challenges in that network and critically analyse these, e.g. the company is not able to deliver their products in a timely manner because the information systems are not well integrated;
  4. Based on your findings, propose appropriate solutions.

One-page summary

  • You must provide one page summary stating
    • reasons for selecting the organisation or case study,
    • the particular supply chain issue you are proposing to address.
  • In the research report you will be expected to identify relevant supply network issues, identify and clarify problems and discuss possible solutions.

Discuss each task in Research Report

1.     Unpacking the Question

  • Identify one management problem in the chosen case.
    • Referring to at least five refereed journal articles, identify and critically evaluate two arguments or themes in the research in relation to the identified problem.
    • Finally provide recommendations to deal with the problem in the light of your critical analysis.
  • Turning your topic into questions
    • You should think of your report as your answer to a series of questions that might be posed by your future employer. Sometimes, you may be given the questions you are required to answer, but more commonly, you will be required to develop these questions yourself.
Primary question/s:What is the problem in your chosen case study? What should the company do to address the problem?
Secondary questions: (descriptive)What are the circumstances, or the context surrounding this case study? What are two arguments or themes outlined in the literature, in relation to this problem? Which of these two arguments is more valid, or relevant in relation to your chosen case?
  • Researching Information for the business case topic
    • Professional Logistics & SC Magazines: CIPS, Supply Chain Digest (scdigest.com)
    • Business Magazines & Economics Daily Newspaper: Business Week, Fortune, FT, etc.
    • Business-focused Journals: HBR, California Management Review
    • Logistics & Supply Management Journals: International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management; Supply Chain Management: An International Journal; Journal of Supply Chain Management; Journal of Business Logistics, etc.

Planning your report

  • Step 1: On your first piece of paper: Brainstorm ideas
    • Step 2: On your second sheet of paper: Identify your key points
    • Step 3: On your third piece of paper: Formulate a logical argument
    • Step 4: On your fourth piece of paper: Organise your supporting evidence
    • Step 5: On your final piece of paper: Finalise your plan

Easy Isn’t It??

Supply Chain Networks

Supply chain networks are an advancement of the common supply chains resulting from long-term evolution based on business needs and technological advancements. Organizations that had primary supply chains have been forced to develop them into complicated structures, which involve enhanced independence and connectivity with other organizations, forming a supply chain network (Nagurney, 2006). Supply chain systems highlight how organizations interact with each other, showing how information and materials flow across organizations. Currently, supply chain networks have become more global and dispersed with factors such as tax laws, material availability, skills, cost structures and new market entries being responsible for the redesign of supply chains by most corporations (Nedopil, 2010). The associated rise in market complexities, supply chain networks, channels and distributed facilities have significantly contributed to complexities in business planning and management. The shift to supply chain networks has resulted in the incorporation of end-to-end supply chain expenses, which include costs of warehousing, transportation, production, and purchasing. Although the technique may be considered as a planning initiative as far as supply chains are concerned, enterprises can also gain competitive advantage through the adoption of supply chain procedures in response to emerging issues in the business environment (Dani, 2015). To achieve business objectives through proper management of complex supply chains, enterprises have to invest in supply chain teams that would be responsible for overseeing the entire process. Since supply chains are always changing, supply networks attempt to make the chains agile enough so as to manage arising dynamics and future uncertainties (Lee & Vachon, 2016).

Nestlé’s Supply Chain Network

Nestle is a Swiss food and beverage company with operations around the globe and its headquarters based in Vevey. The company has a long history in the food industry dating back to the 1860s, considering that its formation in 1905 by merging of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, which was formed in 1866, and Farine lactee Henri Nestle also established in 1866. Due to the globalization of the company, it had to redefine the approaches towards supply management so as to achieve effectiveness in reaching the desired markets and in the end, achieve profitability (Fair Labour Association, 2012). The company defined supply chain management as a two-way management process, where the flow of products, and information from producers, wholesalers, suppliers, and warehouses reach the consumer. The company’s management believes that to achieve competitiveness, it is necessary that “the right product at the right price is in the right place at the right time,” an aspect that can only be achieved through an efficient supply network (Nedopil, 2010). Nestlé’s supply network consists of suppliers, service providers, intermediaries and the customers. Since the company’s core business is processing of agricultural produce, its raw material suppliers are farmers, with their numbers standing at 695,000 globally, and supported by another 165, 000 direct suppliers, who are all expected to comply with the company sourcing policy (Fair Labour Association, 2012). Since Nestle is a large corporation with extensive operations around the globe, it cannot effectively manage all transactions, hence forced to outsource services like transport, communication, and information technology, making transporters, IT and communication managers part of its supply network…

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