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Embed code for: Mid term exam MBA 532 winter 16
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Name __STEFAN GLUFKE__
Mid-term, Winter 2016
You may use the book, packet, Learning Suite, and your notes.
This is an individual assignment. Work independently. There should be no discussion about the exam until all students have completed the exam.
Complete the entire exam in one three-hour session.
Type your answers in the Word doc and submit your completed exam to email@example.com. I will reply to your email to let you know I got it.
The exam is due no later than midnight, Saturday, February 27th, 2016.
Statement of Integrity:
In completing this exam, I have followed all ethical norms as stated and implied in BYU’s Honor Code. I have been completely honest in following the instructions and doing my own work.
Signature (your typed name serves as signature)
Start Time: 8:17 am
End Time: 11:06 am
Elapsed Time: 2 h 49 min
100 points possible. Each question is worth 10 pts. This is a short answer exam – meaning you should be able make your point in a paragraph or two or a list.
Why is it important for supply management professionals to be involved in new product development? How would you approach design engineers who are resistant to including purchasing in the process?
These professionals can help by identifying commercially available materials, help with specifications by bringing suppliers together, forecast cost, since about 80% of the cost is defined in early stages of the project development and shorten the project length by anticipating relationship with suppliers. Through Early Supplier Involvement (ESI), these professionals can even drive changes in project concepts due to the selection of right materials or equipment, before much work has been put in it, avoiding waste of time. They contribute to a lower overall cost of the project by helping select materials and equipment that are not over specified for what they are needed.
In order to approach resistant engineers, supply manager should start showing high management the benefits of involvement in new projects and getting their approval for it and then meeting with engineering manager and team of engineers to create a strategy on how their work should flow. By doing this they create a broad consent over what the responsibilities of each person should be.
Discuss the importance of defining expectations and using standardized contracts when sourcing professional services (e.g., SOWs and SLAs). How is this different from sourcing direct materials and components?
The expectations tend to be clearer for purchasing material than for services because according to the text, “services are considered to be more intangible, heterogeneous, perishable, and inseparable from their source of production”. So it is important to clearly point out the expectations of both buyer and supplier in the contract. However, a long and comprehensive contract with all issues extensively addressed can be a burden to both parties. Because of that, the text also exemplifies that “when the costs of contracting for contingencies associated with transaction uncertainty are high versus the perceived loss potential, the buyers may choose to face the potential consequences of problems after the fact” and choose to have simpler contracts in those cases.
If a company wanted to develop the same type of relationships that McDonald’s has with its suppliers, how would you suggest they begin? What would cause a supplier to want to participate?
They should start approaching small suppliers that were willing to grow together with your company. These vendors should be willing to adapt their products to your needs. After having selected the suppliers, you should strive to create a relationship of trust with them. For example, McDonald’s helped its suppliers develop new methods of production and introduced many innovations to their processes. McDonalds cared about its suppliers by patrolling them scrupulously. McDonald’s brought their loyalty as they could trust that as long as they were adherent to the specifications and were basically competitive on price, they could depend on McDonald’s order. By doing this a vendor would want to participate in this company’s business.
How would you convince a group of finance managers to hire more sourcing management professionals?
Sourcing management professionals can help finance managers to forecast trends in cost of supplies. These costs most of the times represent the largest expenses a company has and they have high impact in the company’s bottom line and cash flows. These professionals can also work side by side with finance people when negotiating contracts with suppliers. These contracts can save much money as they get discounts by adjusting payment dates. These discounts can increase the company’s profitability.
What steps would you take to prevent your firm from experiencing the same quality issues suffered by Mattel? Provide your top three suggestions in order of importance.
Their quality issues were both through its Chinese supplier (painting with lead in it) and also through a problem in project design (falling magnets).
- Intensify quality control and tests both for suppliers and for development teams.
- Improve specifications and contracts, ensuring more control over the supplier’s sub-contracts.
- Avoid putting too much pressure on price only. Rather than that, try to work out this issue with the supplier.
Based on the article “The Power of Trust in Manufacturer-Retailer Relationships,” when would a buying firm benefit in the long-term from exploiting a position of power?
A buying firm can benefit in the long term by improving the relationship with the supplier through partnership. This increase in trust prevents the company to be haunted by the supplier if the position of power changes and to have them resisting by creating associations or buying groups. In a partnership they both benefit.
We discussed two methods for selecting a supplier, weighted factor analysis and analytical hierarchical process analysis. Compare and contrast the two approaches. Which do you prefer and why?
The WFA is easier to explain to those that will participate in the selection process. It is just a matter of assigning a score to each vendor. While the AHP requires more calculations and it is harder to explain and to understand the results. I prefer using AHP because I believe the results can be more accurate. When you compare two suppliers instead of assigning a score to one supplier individually, you can focus on the differences between them and you don’t need to be concerned on a scale, because all your answers will be normalized at the end.
In your assessment, what was the root cause of the delayed production and delivery of Spin Master’s e-chargers? If you were Alex Perez, how would you address this for future projects?
The schedule was really tight and no assess was made to check if the supplier would be able to deliver on time. This is one of the pitfalls buyers fall into as they trust too much the supplier. Another reason was changing suppliers. It takes time, effort and money to switch suppliers. Many times it is better and cheaper to develop them. In this case there was pressure to deliver on time, and that brought to another decision that hurt the Spin Master again, which was selecting a supplier that lacked in the plastics knowhow.
If I had done something differently I would have done quick assesses on both of them to understand their strengths and weaknesses and based on that, selected both suppliers each of them producing what they were best at.
After the difficulties experienced in outsourcing to Wolfsberg, Thomas Medical Systems developed an outsourcing/purchasing policy. If you were tasked with making improvements to the policy, what would you recommend? Provide your top three suggestions (tie suggestions specifically to the weaknesses in the policy).
- Create procedure for assessing the supplier. In this case there was no assess.
- Make sure there was a clear scope and avoid making successive changes in it
- Specify the type of relationship between TMS and the supplier (transactional vs partnership).
You have been charged with developing a supplier score card for your organization. How would you design the score card to avoid the weaknesses in the Metalcraft scorecard? (Address at least three of the weaknesses from the Metalcraft case).
- There should be a way for the suppliers to reconcile about things they might have done wrong.
- There should be joint goals for all the departments involved with that supplier.
- There should always be an escape to your policies. If you can’t follow through a policy, maybe it is better not having a policy at all.uppliers. These contracts can save much money as they get discounts by adjusting payment dates. These discounts can increase the company’s profitability.
- Specify the type of relati