Assessment Information/Brief 2022/23

Module title Operations and Information Management

Assessment title Assessment Portfolio
Weighting within module This assessment is worth 100% of the overall module mark.
Submission deadline date and time See OnlineCampus

How to submit
You should submit your final assessment before the due date through the OnlineCampus platform.

Assessment task details and instructions

OmegaCo is a medium-sized company that produces high-quality handmade fruit juice for customers in their own country. Most of these customers are small retailers and cafes that have used OmegaCo for a number of years, normally placing orders by telephone and paying by cash on delivery. There is little visibility of future orders, which means that the lead time for delivery can be over two weeks, and this means that some orders are cancelled at short notice due to changes in customer demand. In addition, OmegaCo has seen the market for their products reduced by nearly 20% over the last year, as consumers react to the increasing rate of inflation and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, OmegaCo relies on a small number of local suppliers for the materials (various fruits, sugar, glass bottles etc) they require and struggles to maintain effective relationships due to their difficulty in managing the supply and demand of their own products.

As OmegaCo has a strong brand image, the company has recently been bought by ZetaCo, which is a large organisation as they can see future opportunities in competing in global, more price-sensitive markets. This will require a change in strategy to one that focuses on the efficiency of production and the development of stronger and more professional customer and supplier relationships. A new focus will be needed to improve OmegaCo’s manufacturing, marketing, and supply chain capabilities and capacity. ZetaCo is prepared to invest significantly in making these changes, particularly through digital transformation, as their initial market research shows that there is a sizeable market for quality products, but costs need to be managed effectively and efficiently.

Your task
You are a technical consultant and have been sent by ZetaCo to review OmegaCo’s operations and information management processes and ways of working. This review takes the form of a report that includes the different tasks shown below with mark weightings against each one.

1. Develop a SWOT analysis of the current situation at OmegaCo (10 marks).

2. Based on your SWOT analysis, discuss how a more effective and efficient management of capacity, quality and both suppliers and customers could help ZetaCo meet its new performance objectives (40 marks).

3. Select one of the process areas from part 2 (e.g. capacity, quality, supplier or customer management) and, using Business Process Model (BPM) techniques, develop and present two BPM models that show how these could be improved by capturing the existing and the proposed business processes (20 marks).

4. Conduct research into a suitable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution and develop an evaluation table, which shows a set of evaluation characteristics and the analysis of two commercial/off-the-shelf products and two Open Source Software alternatives (20 marks).

5. Select one Industry 4.0 technology and discuss the benefits of implementing this into OmegaCo (10 marks).

Additional instructions
1. Follow a report format, with a title and contents page, Executive Summary (that gives a brief and complete summary of your paper for an executive to read), brief introduction, individual sections and sub-sections that address the assignment brief tasks, page numbers, brief conclusions and appendix section (if used). If you are uncertain about how to present and structure a report then please refer to the Induction module and/or ask your tutor.
2. Use diagrams, illustrations, tables, graphics etc. wherever these are helpful. If you do use these, please do not put them in the appendices if they are part of your discussion. Appendices are the appropriate places to put supporting material, however, remember if the reader is satisfied with the main points of your discussion; the supporting information within the appendices may not even be reviewed.
3. Try to use theory explicitly at all stages, but do not spend too much time describing a theory. While you must be explicit about the theories, models, techniques etc. that you use, you can assume that the reader is familiar with them. What the reader requires is evidence of your ability to understand and apply the theory and learn from it in order to support the development of your findings and/or ideas.
4. You must cite all sources on which you have relied, for example textbooks, journal articles, web pages etc. using the Harvard Bibliographic referencing system. If you do not cite all sources, then you may be accused of plagiarism, and that may endanger your success in passing the module. If you are in any doubt about how to reference your work, please obtain guidance by looking at the Induction forum and asking for guidance from your instructor.
5. All submissions should be word-processed (letter size 12, times new roman, 1.5 space) and fully referenced.
6. The word count for each task of the assignment brief should be based on the mark weightings for each one.

Assessment Criteria
You should look at the assessment criteria to find out what we are specifically looking at when marking the submissions. This reflects the Level 7 assessment criteria.

Criterion / Mark range 90-100 80-89 70-79 60-69 50-59 40-49 0-39
Task 1 – SWOT Analysis (10%) Outstanding clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Outstanding critical understanding of the relevance of the issues, Very good application and synthesis of secondary sources. Excellent clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Excellent critical understanding of the relevance of the issues, Very good application and synthesis of secondary sources. Very good clarity of focus on the task and required structure Very good critical understanding of the relevance of the issues. Very good application and synthesis of secondary sources. Good clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Good critical understanding of the relevance of the issues, with some omissions or unnecessary issues, Very good application and synthesis of secondary sources, with some limitations. Focus evident and satisfactory structure. Satisfactory Critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, Satisfactory application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources, with some limitations. Poorly focused, with poor structure. Poor critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Poor application and synthesis of academic content and limited use of secondary sources. Little or no focus evident and very poor structure. Little or no critical understanding of subject matter. Very poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources.
Task 2 – OM link to performance objectives (40% Outstanding clarity of focus on the task, structure and argument. Outstanding critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas, relevance of issues. Outstanding application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Excellent clarity of focus on the task structure and argument. Excellent critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues. Excellent application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Very good clarity of focus on the task, structure and argument. Very good critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues. Very good application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Good clarity of focus on the task, with some omissions or unnecessary issues. Good structure and argument. Good critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues with some limitations. Good application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Focus evident and satisfactory but with some omissions and unnecessary issues. Satisfactory structure and argument. Satisfactory critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Satisfactory application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Poorly focused, with significant omissions and unnecessary issues. Poor structure and argument. Poor critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Little or no focus evident and very poor structure and argument. Little or no critical understanding of subject matter is demonstrated and poorly expressed ideas. Very poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate.
Task 3 – BPM (20%) Outstanding clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Outstanding application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Excellent clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Excellent application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Very good clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Very good application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Good clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Good application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues, with some limitations and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Satisfactory clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Satisfactory application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues, with limitations and/or omissions and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Poor clarity of focus on the task and required structure. Poor application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues, with limitations and/or omissions and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Little or no focus evident and very poor structure. Very poor clarity of focus on the task and required structure Very poor application and synthesis of academic content, relevance of issues, with significant limitations and/or omissions and use of secondary sources as appropriate.
Task 4 – ERP (20%) Outstanding clarity of focus on the task, structure and argument. Outstanding critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas, relevance of issues. Outstanding application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Excellent clarity of focus on the task structure and argument. Excellent critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues. Excellent application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Very good clarity of focus on the task, structure and argument. Very good critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues. Very good application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Good clarity of focus on the task, with some omissions or unnecessary issues. Good structure and argument. Good critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues with some limitations. Good application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Focus evident and satisfactory but with some omissions and unnecessary issues. Satisfactory structure and argument. Satisfactory critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Satisfactory application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Poorly focused, with significant omissions and unnecessary issues. Poor structure and argument. Poor critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Little or no focus evident and very poor structure and argument. Little or no critical understanding of subject matter is demonstrated and poorly expressed ideas. Very poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate.
Task 5 – Industry 4.0 (10%) Outstanding clarity of focus on the task, structure and argument. Outstanding critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas, relevance of issues. Outstanding application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Excellent clarity of focus on the task structure and argument. Excellent critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues. Excellent application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Very good clarity of focus on the task, structure and argument. Very good critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues. Very good application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Good clarity of focus on the task, with some omissions or unnecessary issues. Good structure and argument. Good critical understanding of the subject matter, issues, and expression of ideas. relevance of issues with some limitations. Good application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Focus evident and satisfactory but with some omissions and unnecessary issues. Satisfactory structure and argument. Satisfactory critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Satisfactory application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Poorly focused, with significant omissions and unnecessary issues. Poor structure and argument. Poor critical understanding of the subject matter, with limited awareness of issues, and expression of ideas. Poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate. Little or no focus evident and very poor structure and argument. Little or no critical understanding of subject matter is demonstrated and poorly expressed ideas. Very poor application and synthesis of academic content and use of secondary sources as appropriate.

Assessed intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:

1. Critically analyse the theory, concepts and models of operations and information management.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of operations and information management in international operations.
3. Analyse and critically evaluate the ways in which operations and information management are adapted in view of specific market culture and customer requirements.
4. Analyse and critically evaluate the role and importance of operational excellence in various aspects of competitive advantage.
5. Evaluate critically the fundamental principles of quality and environmental management systems.

Transferable Skills and other Attributes
1. Identify and utilise appropriate methods for collecting and analysing data related to operations and information management issues.
2. Locate, summarise and synthesise a range of information from published literature and electronic sources on operations and information management.
3. Use and evaluate a variety of tools for improving organisational performance.
4. Improve research skills, and data analysis and presentation. Manage time to meet deadlines in both group discussions and in preparation of in-class activities.
Word count
The maximum word count is 3000 words (+/- 10%). Your word count is from the introduction to conclusion sections. Therefore, it does not include title page, contents page, Executive Summary, reference section, appendices etc. If the assignment exceeds these limits; the work in excess of 3000 is not marked.
Feedback arrangements
You can expect to receive summative feedback
• Two working weeks (excluding University Seasonal Closing) after the submission date.
• Marks and written feedback will be available on OnlineCampus; you will need to log into the full site to access the written feedback.
• Please email the teaching team should you require specific feedback following the release of your results.
Formative feedback will be provided following a midterm draft .
Academic integrity and referencing
Students are expected to learn and demonstrate skills associated with good academic conduct (academic integrity). Good academic conduct includes the use of clear and correct referencing of source materials. Here is a link to where you can find out more about the skills which students need:
Academic integrity & referencing
Referencing

Academic Misconduct is an action which may give you an unfair advantage in your academic work. This includes plagiarism, asking someone else to write your assessment for you or taking notes into an exam. The University takes all forms of academic misconduct seriously.

Assessment information and support
You can obtain support for this assessment by attending the live sessions and participating in the online class discussions. These provide you with good opportunities to ask questions to provide clarity and direction on the subject and addressing the assessment brief. You can e-mail the tutor and visit the module OnlineCampus section for regular updates that can directly support your learning in the subject and in developing your assignment.

You can find more information about understanding your assessment brief and assessment tips for success here.

Assessment Rules and Processes
You can find information about assessment rules and processes in Blackboard in the Assessment Support module.

Develop your Academic and Digital Skills
Find resources to help you develop your skills here.

Concerns about Studies or Progress
If you have any concerns about your studies, contact StudentCare.

Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMCs)
If personal mitigating circumstances (e.g. illness or other personal circumstances) may have affected your ability to complete this assessment, you can find more information about the Personal Mitigating Circumstances Procedure here. Independent advice is available from the Students’ Union Advice Centre about this process. Click here for an appointment to speak to an adviser

In Year Retrieval Scheme
Your assessment is not eligible for in-year retrieval.

Reassessment
If you fail your assessment, and are eligible for reassessment, you will need to resubmit. Details and guidance for resubmissions will be issued to you by our Admin team following the completion of your four modules of your programme.
For students with accepted personal mitigating circumstances, this will be your replacement assessment attempt. Students should be aware that there is no late submission period at reassessment (this includes those students who have an accepted PMC request from a previous attempt).

We know that having to undergo a reassessment can be challenging however support is available. Have a look at all the sources of support outlined earlier in this brief and refer to the Personal Effectiveness resources.

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Improving Operations and Supply Chain Management at OmegaCo

OmegaCo is a fruit juice manufacturer that has traditionally relied on telephone orders and cash on delivery for its business operations. However, changing market conditions necessitate a review and improvement of OmegaCo’s operations and supply chain management processes. This report will conduct a SWOT analysis of OmegaCo’s current situation, discuss how capacity, quality, supplier, and customer management could be improved to meet new performance objectives, present business process models for an area of improvement, evaluate ERP software solutions, and discuss implementing an Industry 4.0 technology.
Task 1: SWOT Analysis of OmegaCo (10 marks)
A SWOT analysis identifies OmegaCo’s internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats (Johnson, Scholes, & Whittington, 2008). OmegaCo’s main strengths are its strong brand image and production of high-quality fruit juices. However, weaknesses include a lack of visibility into future orders, long lead times, and over-reliance on local suppliers and cash payments. Opportunities exist in global, more price-sensitive markets that new parent company ZetaCo can access. However, threats include a 20% reduced domestic market and inflation/pandemic impacts on consumer demand. Overall, OmegaCo has a strong brand but must address internal inefficiencies to capitalize on opportunities and overcome threats in its changing business environment.
Task 2: Improving OM to Meet Performance Objectives (40 marks)
To meet ZetaCo’s new performance objectives focused on production efficiency and stronger supplier/customer relationships, OmegaCo must improve capacity, quality, and supplier and customer management (Slack et al., 2013).
Capacity management could be enhanced through demand forecasting and production planning software to increase visibility into future orders and reduce long lead times. This would allow OmegaCo to better match production to demand fluctuations and reduce order cancellations. Implementing lean manufacturing principles could also improve production efficiency and capacity utilization (Womack & Jones, 2003).
Quality management is crucial given OmegaCo’s reputation for high-quality products. Implementing a quality management system aligned with ISO 9001 standards could institutionalize quality processes, ensure consistent products, and satisfy global market requirements (ISO, 2015). Digital quality inspection and tracking technology could also improve quality oversight.
Supplier relationship management must become more strategic and collaborative through information sharing platforms. This allows OmegaCo to better forecast demand needs to suppliers and suppliers to more reliably deliver required materials on schedule. Developing backup supplier relationships could also mitigate supply risks.
Customer relationship management software could capture more order visibility through online ordering and payments. This provides real-time demand data for production planning. Implementing a customer loyalty program could also strengthen relationships and incentivize repeat business critical in a price-sensitive global market.
Task 3: Business Process Models for Improvement (20 marks)
This section presents two business process models – the existing and proposed process for supplier relationship management (see Figures 1 and 2).
Figure 1 shows the current ad hoc, reactive process where OmegaCo struggles to maintain supplier relationships due to difficulty forecasting demand. Suppliers are contacted by phone as needed with little advance notice of order quantities. This risks unreliable or delayed material deliveries disrupting production schedules.
Figure 2 proposes a collaborative process leveraging an ERP system and supplier portal. OmegaCo shares rolling 12-month forecasts with key suppliers through the portal. Suppliers can plan material production based on these forecasts. The ERP system captures real-time demand and production data to refine the forecasts shared with suppliers on an ongoing basis. This collaborative process aims to improve material delivery reliability and reduce supply risks critical to OmegaCo’s production efficiency objectives.
Task 4: ERP System Evaluation (20 marks)
Table 1 evaluates two commercial ERP systems – SAP and Oracle – as well as two open source alternatives – Odoo and Compiere – against key criteria. Both commercial systems offer full functionality but at high license costs. Odoo provides good functionality at no cost but with less customization options than commercial products. Compiere has basic functionality and a large community for support but is no longer actively developed. Based on functionality needs and budget, Odoo may be the best initial solution for OmegaCo to implement before considering an upgrade to a commercial ERP.
Task 5: Benefits of Industry 4.0 Technology (10 marks)
Implementing Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology could benefit OmegaCo’s operations (Schwab, 2017). Condition monitoring sensors on production equipment could detect maintenance issues early to prevent breakdowns disrupting schedules. Quality inspection IoT devices could automate checks and provide real-time quality data for oversight and process improvement. RFID tags on materials and products could enable automated inventory tracking for better demand forecasting and production planning. Overall, IoT implementation aligns with OmegaCo’s objectives of improving production efficiency, quality, and supply chain visibility.
Conclusion
This report conducted a SWOT analysis of OmegaCo’s current situation and discussed how improving capacity, quality, supplier, and customer management processes could help meet new performance objectives. Business process models demonstrated a proposed supplier relationship management improvement. An ERP system evaluation table analyzed options, and implementing Industry 4.0 technology was presented as beneficial. Addressing issues through these recommendations could position OmegaCo for success in global markets under new parent company ZetaCo.
References
ISO. (2015). ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems – requirements. International Organization for Standardization. https://www.iso.org/standard/62085.html
Johnson, G., Scholes, K., & Whittington, R. (2008). Exploring corporate strategy: Text & cases. Pearson Education.
Schwab, K. (2017). The fourth industrial revolution. Crown Business.

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A., & Johnston, R. (2013). Operations management. Pearson.
Womack, J. P., & Jones, D. T. (2003). Lean thinking: Banish waste and create wealth in your corporation. Simon and Schuster.

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