AD680: Global Service Sector and Supply Chain Strategy


Fall, 2009

Dr. Roger D. H. Warburton

Associate Professor, Administrative Sciences

Metropolitan College

Boston University

 1.       Course Overview

 1.1       Description from Course Catalog

MET AD680              Global Service Sector and Supply Chain Strategy

This course provides an overview of the service and supply chain management sectors. Both sectors involve increasing globalization and innovation, while dealing with increased competition, differentiation of consumer preferences, and the interactions of multiple firms. The economies of most industrialized nations are dominated by the service sector, and the management challenges include measuring its performance while constantly changing and innovating. Supply chain management is a critical component of global strategy, and the course covers methods, such as inventory control, and global strategies for on-shore and off-shore manufacturing. This class uses both quantitative and qualitative tools to help manage this complex environment. 4 cr.

1.2       Introduction

            This course provides an overview of the dynamic field of supply chain management: the entire flow of information, materials and services from raw materials through suppliers, operations, factories, warehouses, and distributors to the end customers. Competitive strategy involves getting the right products to the consumers (i.e., the marketplace) at the right quality, at the right price, and in the right quantities.

            While supply chains have existed from the beginning of time, the fierce competition in today’s global markets, along with shorter and shorter product life cycles have forced business enterprises to invest in and focus attention on their supply chains. Advances in technology are also driving improvements in supply chains, e.g., offshore supply, transportation alternatives such as overnight delivery, instantaneous communication of the status of shipments, and sophisticated information technology systems.

1.3       Prerequisites         

a)         Courses:


b)         Student Competencies:

                        Independent Research (APA Paper Format)

                        Facility with: MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point

c)         Other Materials

                        Beer Game Simulation

d)         Blackboard

            Students are expected to check the Blackboard site for this course on a regular basis.


2.       Basic Information

2.1       Schedule

       The course will be taught as a 3 hour class each week, divided by two 10 minute breaks into 3 roughly equal sessions.

 2.2       Delivery Mode

            This is a face to face class.

2.3       Instructor:     

Dr. Roger Warburton

Warburton PictureDr. Warburton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Administrative Sciences at Boston University’s Metropolitan College. Dr. Warburton teaches courses in Project Management, Operations Management, and Supply Chain Management.

Dr. Warburton conducts research in two fields: Project Management and Supply Chains. In Project Management he developed an innovative approach to the calculation of cost and schedule projections. Dr. Warburton’s supply chain research focuses on the practical challenge of inventory control. He also publishes and lectures internationally about U.S. manufacturing, challenging the obsession with manufacturing everything offshore.


                        (617) 358 – 3583

            The easiest and fastest way to contact me is always via email.

Office:                        Room M13, 808 Commonwealth Ave

Hours:            Tuesdays                    2:00 - 4:00 pm

                        Wednesdays              2:00 - 4:00 pm

                        and by appointment.

3.       Text & Materials 

3.1       Required Texts

The text has not been chosen yet. We will most likely just use my class notes, which will be available before each class.

3.2       Other Required Materials

 a)    MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Power Point

b)         Boston University Library Link

c)         Blackboard

 4.         Course Learning Objectives

 4.1       Course Goals and Objectives

            This course focuses on the Service Sector and Supply Chains from the strategic perspective. The Supply Chain is the system of suppliers, manufacturers, transportation, distributors, and vendors that exists to transform raw materials to final products and supply those products to customers. That is, the supply chain deals with managing all of the material and information outside of the factory walls.

            The course will enable the student to understand what a supply chain is, why supply chains are important, how all the parts interact, and the techniques and challenges of managing supply chains. The course will focus on understanding supply chains from the strategic perspective highlighting the importance and impact of the supply chain throughout the corporation. The course will also include how Logistics subsystems fit into the overall supply chain.

            The course will cover the fundamental theoretical concepts, including inventory control and economic ordering policies. Case studies will reinforce the theoretical concepts.

 a)         Purpose & Importance

            The purpose is to define and analyze the major issues in supply chain management, including: definition of a supply chain; the role of inventory and orders; supply contracts; the value of information and the bullwhip effect; vendor-managed inventories and other distribution strategies; third-party logistics providers; managing product variety; information technology requirements; offshore production and international issues.

             The course will also cover the influence of the supply chain on major functional activities such as product design, information systems, manufacturing planning, inventory management, financial planning, forecasting, sales, and quality management. Finally, business-to-business and international issues in supply chains will be discussed, including global market forces, risks, regional differences and outsourcing.

 b)         Objectives

            Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

·         define all the parts of the service sector and supply chain and their strategic objectives

·         apply supply strategic management concepts and technology to different industries, and new situations

·         apply innovative techniques and theories to optimize both service sectors and supply chains

·         evaluate and discuss service and material flows across multiple organizations .

             In pursuing these objectives, the course will:

1.   Use in class materials, text and cases

2.   Combine innovative theory and practice

3.   Combine the strategic with the tactical

4.   Use relevant concepts to analyze and assess complex supply chains situations

5.   Immerse the student in a simulation of a supply chain

 4.3       Course Expectations and Delivery Mode

            The course will be conducted by means of a sequence of class lectures. There will be one lecture each week. In each week will cover one or more core concepts.

            Homework will be in the form of Essay Questions and Exercises. Each week students will be assigned a research topic, which will be the focus of an in class discussion. Every student will be expected to contribute every week. There is a major Final Research Project that will be in APA format. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the key features of the course, as well as the practical application of tools and techniques.

 4.4       Schedule

 a)         Class Schedule

            The class content and schedule is listed in the table below.

 4.5       Assignments

            The homework schedule is listed in the table below.

AD680 Class Schedule








An introduction to distributed services and global supply chains.
Onshore vs. offshore manufacturing.
Company strategy vs. cost reduction.




Introduction to Supply Chains
Definitions & Terminology




The Teco Case
Transportation & Warehousing, Global Logistics




Introduction to Services
Teco Presentations




Managing Inventory
Forecasting, EOQ, Safety Stocks




New SC Concepts: Push-Pull  




Mid Term




Supply Chain Dynamics
Ordering, Inventory Control & Deficits




Beer Game




Bullwhip & Information in the Supply Chain
Phoenix profit offshore model








Strategic Alliances IT:




No Class -- Thanksgiving




MRP, ERP, SCM, DSS International Issues




Last Class

Project Presentations




Final Exam

a)         Class Assignments


Midterm Exam

 Research Project

            One of the objectives of the course is for the student to be able to apply the important analytical techniques to a specific service sector and supply chain. In this context you are going to analyze a company of your own choice. An important aspect of the project is that there needs to be a significant contribution from a data analysis. You will need to obtain some data. Therefore, it is wise to select an organization you know quite a bit about, or that you have access to.

 Two of the major evaluation criteria for the paper are:

1)         How well do you apply the analytical concepts and techniques of the course to the company of your choice.

2)         The quality and originality of the recommendations (and how well they tie to your analysis) of the company.

            The paper must follow APA Format. The maximum length of the paper is 10 double spaced pages, excluding references and abstract. You may attach as many pages as appendixes of data, tables, etc. as you need. Charts and graphs are mandatory, and should be included in the paper to support your analysis.

 Final Exam

 4.6       Course Grading

            You can expect to be challenged in this course, and excellent, research quality work will be rewarded with an ‘A’. Grades do not follow a prescribed curve.

             This is a Boston University course; that means something. One thing it means is that we recognize and reward excellence. Excellence is uncommon, even rare. Your grade, then, will reflect the standards of excellence set by Boston University, in which only truly distinguished work will receive the highest grade.

             Student participation is defined very clearly as contributing to the discussion each class.

             Course grading will consist of evaluations of the homework, midterm, final and a project, weighted as follows:

Homework:                      35%

      25%                 Assignments

      10%                 Discussion Topics

 Midterm:                          20%

The objective of the midterm exam is to establish that all students have learned the terminology and the fundamental technical aspects of supply chains. Therefore, the mid-term exam will be a closed book exam containing a combination of essay questions and calculations.

 Project:                             25%

      Project will be in 3 phases: Proposal, Data, and Final.

The project will be an individual (not a team) assignment.

Final Exam:                     20%   

The final exam will be an open book exam consisting of essay questions and calculations.

While there is no fixed number of grades at any level it is important to note that high grades reflect an excellence in the understanding of class material and organization of thought. In addition, an important aspect of any class is the shared thoughts and insights of the class members. Grades will also reflect an individual’s contributions to the class.

 4.7       Homework, Exams and Discussions

            Homework will be in the form of Essay Questions and Exercises. Each week students will be assigned a research topic, which will be the focus of an in class discussion. Every student will be expected to contribute every week.

            There is a major Final Project that is expected to cover all of the major topics of the course, as well as use of the tools and techniques of the course. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the key features of the course, as well as the practical application of tools and techniques. The project is to be completed in three parts, a proposal of what the student intends to do, a data collection phase, and the final completed project.

            For this course, there is a set of weekly written assignments. In addition, there will be weekly discussion topics that students are required to participate in.

5.         Requirements, Policies and Standards

 All the usual department policies and standards apply.