INDIVIDUAL FINAL EXAM
SPECIALISATION COURSE OPERATIONS AND SUPPLY CHAINS
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This exam is a closed book exam: you are not allowed to have books, articles, notes etc. on your desk.
Please take care of your handwriting. You need to be very specific about which question you are answering - it is noticed here that often one question exists of several sub questions. Please explain all your answers and write down your name and student number on each sheet of the answering paper. Try to answer the questions in a well-structured way (!). It is allowed to answer the questions in Dutch.
Exam Specialization course Operations and Supply Chain Management 17th April 2008
1. In their book, Slack and Lewis take the concept of strategic reconciliation as a starting point for operations strategy. They discuss four perspectives on operations strategy, namely top-down, bottom-up, market requirements and operations resources.
a. Explain the concept of operations strategy, starting from the four perspectives and discuss the concept of strategic reconciliation – based on the model of Slack and Lewis. (10 points) b. Operations strategy is different to operations management. These differences can be related to four elements, namely time-scale, level of analysis, level of aggregation and level of abstraction. Explain these differences starting from these four elements. (4 points)
1. Several articles address different approaches to operations such as Lean Manufacturing, Agility and the Socio Technical Approach.
a. Explain and compare the main elements of Lean Manufacturing (Lean Operations) and Agile Manufacturing (Agility). (8 points) b. In the Socio Technical Approach the idea of self organisation is very important. What are the four principles of self organisation? Explain these principles. (4 points)
2. Supply chains have their own dynamic behaviour patterns which tend to distort the smooth flow of information up the chain and product moving down the chain. A well-known and often occurring phenomenon with respect to supply network behaviour is the so-called ‘bull whip effect’ or ‘supply chain amplification’.
a. Explain the phenomenon called ‘the bull whip effect’ and discuss and explain at least three causes of the bull whip effect. (5 points)
Slack and Lewis discuss three types of pro-active actions which operations use in managing supply chain dynamics: coordination activities, differentiation activities and reconfiguration activities.
b. Discuss these three types of activities and use examples to explain the activities. (6 points) c. Compare the risk pooling strategy, being a strategy to reduce or hedge uncertainty, to the above-mentioned types of activities to deal with supply chain dynamics. Does it fit in one of these activities (4 points)
In the enclosure you can find the case Bonkers Chocolate Factory. The next questions are either “theoretical” (testing your theoretical knowledge) or “practical” (testing you ability to apply different theoretical concepts or models on a practical setting). The practical questions refer to the case Bonkers Chocolate Factory as will be indicated in the question.
3. Slack and Lewis discuss changes in capacity levels as an important decision related to capacity strategy. In deciding on changing capacity levels the first decision is when to make the change. According to Slack and Lewis there are three generic timing strategies: capacity leading, capacity lagging and smoothing with inventories.
a. Explain the three generic strategies for timing capacity change. (3 points) b. Discuss one advantage and one disadvantage of each generic timing strategy. (6 points) c. Which of these strategies apply most for the situation of Bonkers Chocolate Factory? Explain your choice and underpin with arguments. (3 points)
4. According to Slack and...
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