SCM 620 – Strategic Sourcing Case Analysis

A Framework for Analyzing Supply Chain Management Cases

(See the Case Information file posted in Blackboard pages 1 – 17 for further detail)


Step 1.  Analyze the existing situation

Supply chain structures

Supply chain performance

The business context

No need to spend much space in the report on this issue.  Assume that I’m the person within the organization that is asking for the analysis to be done.  As such, I’m familiar with all of the background information.  Only mention things that are directly relevant to some of the steps below


Step 2.  Identify the major issues and problems

Make sure you have the real problem – not just symptoms (getting the problem right is half the battle.)

Most of the cases have both an immediate, short-term problem or scenario as well as a longer-term, underlying problem that will need to be dealt with.  Be sure that you are addressing both types of problems in your analysis


Step 3.  Generate and evaluate alternative solutions

Brainstorm alternatives – include obvious and obscure

As a team you should be able to identify at least 4 potential alternatives for each identified problem.

Perform appropriate qualitative and quantitative analysis to understand and compare alternatives

When necessary, make and state assumptions


Step 4.  Recommend and justify a solution

Be sure to address how this proposed solution will fix the problem(s)

Don’t just punt by delaying a decision and recommending further analysis.  Make a decision and recommend a course of action


Step 5.  Suggest an implementation strategy where appropriate

What one thing are you going to focus on to help correct the problem within the next two weeks? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?

What barriers might you run into during implementation and how would you propose that these barriers be overcome?

Don’t try to do too much, too fast.  Putting forward a slew of generic solutions that will be expensive and take years to fully implement isn’t what I’m looking for.  For example, don’t just tell me that you’d like to 1) get new management 2) install a new IT system 3) hire a bunch of new employees, 4) spend millions of dollars on improvements, 5) sell the company, and 6) start a brand new company.  These suggestions might help fix a lot of problems that most companies face, but I need to see something more detailed and well thought out.  

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