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留学生作业需求:Operations Management Report

时间:2010-11-28 12:01:25 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien

Operations Management Report

1.0 Introduction
Thesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is a leading British retailer of clothing, food, homeware and financial services with over 895 stores in more than 40 territories around the world. (Marks & Spencer-UK Stores, 2009)Thesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
During those glory days, M&S experienced a wrenching time which has become particularly vulnerable in its core customer base-women aged between 35 and 55. Its profit margins seemed to be untenable and the loyalty of its customers was also severely eroded in 1998. Besides, as rival retailers continuously sourcing their materials from low-cost countries, the increasing cost of using British suppliers exerted a burden on M&S, but M&S was rather slow to switch to overseas suppliers. These combined factors pushed M&S into a wrenching time. The clothing sector represents a large proportion of the UK retail turnover and poor performance will result in a negative effect on its profit in this area. In recent years, M&S has been struggling and rebranding to regain its reputation. With reference to the strategic review of M&S, the UK retail management team developed an operational plan to built up the strengths of M&S and exploit new growth opportunities which concentrating on improving its product appeal, availability and value to rebuild relationships with the core customer base-womenswear. Based on the case study of Marks& Spencer, this paper will make an illustration on three M&S clothing ranges, namely Perfect and Classic ranges, Autograph range and per una range through analyzing three questions.
1
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University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 2004-5 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license.
How Theses Get Written:
Some Cool Tips
Dr Steve Easterbrook
Dept of Computer Science
University of Toronto
sme@cs.toronto.edu
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 2
Outline
 Part 1: Writing your thesis
 (1) Context: What is a thesis (for)?
 (2) How Do I Get Started?
 (3) What Should My Thesis Contain?
 (4) How Do I Get Finished?
 (5) Summary
 Part 2: The Examiner’s View#p#分页标题#e#
 (1) “Uh oh, not another thesis to read…”
 (2) “What’s this one about?”
 (3) “Now there must be some corrections…”
 (4) “Let’s see, what can I ask the candidate?”
2
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 3
What is a thesis?
 An argument
 An exposition of an original piece of research
 The product of an apprenticeship
 Probably the largest (most self-indulgent) piece of
work you’ll ever do
 Something that could be published:
 E.g. at least one paper in a scholarly journal
 but you will probably never publish the whole thesis
“A thesis for the PhD must form a distinctive contribution to the knowledge
of the subject and afford evidence of originality shown by the discovery of
new facts and/or by the exercise of independent critical power.”
(University of London regulations)
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 4
Examination Issues
 Your examiners need to appreciate your research:
 Choose your examiners well
 Target your thesis at them
 Keep abreast of their work
 Talk to them regularly
 Ask around about what is the norm for your university
 E.g. at U of T, it is normal to interact regularly with your thesis committee
 Your examiners need to be told about your research:
 If it’s not in your thesis, they won’t find out about it
 No matter how good your research is, you MUST write a good thesis
3
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 5
How do I get started?
 Do this today:
 Decide your title
 Write your title page
 Start a binder
 (Look at some theses in your area)
 Plan your argument…
 You can change things later
 But you can’t change it unless you have something to change!
I do really mean today!
Before you go to bed tonight.
Tomorrow is too late!
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 6
For example:
Look, I’ve just
done 1/126
of the task!
This changed
a few times…
I just copied
this format#p#分页标题#e#
from another
thesis
Okay, so this
wasn’t my
first choice…
4
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 7
Plan Your Argument
One sentence for each: Example
Introduction
(area of study)
“The success of a software development project depends on
capturing stakeholders’ needs in a specification ...
The problem
(that I tackle)
“However, specifications often reflect the analyst’s own bias,
rather than the inputs of the many different stakeholders…
What the literature says
about this problem
“Current methods described in the literature fail to address
identification and integration of multiple views.
How I tackle this problem
“By treating the specification activity as a dialogue between
stakeholders, we can model each perspective separately.
How I implement my
solution
“We provide a set of tools for exploring disagreement between
perspectives, and use these tools as the basis for a computersupported
negotiation process.
The result
“This approach is shown to significantly improve traceability and
validity of specifications and overall stakeholder satisfaction.”
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 8
Plan Your Argument
One sentence for each: Example
Introduction
(area of study)
“The success of a software development project depends on
capturing stakeholders’ needs in a specification ...
The problem
(that I tackle)
“However, specifications often reflect the analyst’s own bias,
rather than the inputs of the many different stakeholders…
What the literature says
about this problem
“Current methods described in the literature fail to address
identification and integration of multiple views.
How I tackle this problem
“By treating the specification activity as a dialogue between
stakeholders, we can model each perspective separately.
How I implement my
solution
“We provide a set of tools for exploring disagreement between
perspectives, and use these tools as the basis for a computersupported
negotiation process.
The result
“This approach is shown to significantly improve traceability and
validity of specifications and overall stakeholder satisfaction.”
5
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 9#p#分页标题#e#
Another Example…
One sentence for each: Example
Introduction
(area of study)
“A Ph.D. is examined by submission of a thesis...
The problem
(that I tackle)
“Many students fail to complete their theses within the
regulation four years...
What the literature says about
this problem
“Empirical studies indicate that late submission is highly
correlated with delaying the start of the write-up...
How I tackle this problem
“A model of PhD study that encourages an early start to
the thesis writing task is clearly desirable...
How I implement my solution
“Such a model encourages the student to plan a structure
for the thesis and collect material for each chapter
throughout their study...
The result
“Application of this model dramatically improves
submission rates.”
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 10
Plan your thesis
 Convert this argument into a chapter outline
 At least one chapter per sentence
 ...maybe more than one for some sentences
 Start a binder with a division for each chapter
 Collect material in this binder
 Set out clearly what each chapter should say
 Don’t be afraid to change your mind
 As you write the thesis, your ideas will evolve
 Don’t wait for them to stop evolving:
 It’s much easier to change an outline that you’ve written down than one you
haven’t.
6
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 11
 Of course, your plan will
evolve as you proceed with
the research
 …and you may find that exactly six
chapters doesn’t quite work for you…
Here’s one of
my attempts…
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 12
Don’t omit any of these:
Title (and title page) - conveys a message
Abstract - for the librarian
Contents Listing - shows the right things are there
Acknowledgements - get your supervisor on your side!
Introduction - says “I am going to look at the following things”.
Review of Previous Work - show you know the subject
Philosophy of Approach - show you can pick out important ideas succinctly
Plan of Attack - show you approached the problem in a systematic way
Description of the work - details, so that others can follow what you did#p#分页标题#e#
Critical analysis of the results - show you know its limitations
Future Work - show you know what’s missing
Conclusions - repetition of the intro, but with reference to the detail.
References - Cover the field; examiners will look for the key references
Appendices - Nitty Gritty details that would clutter your eloquent description
7
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 13
Say everything thrice
 In the thesis as a whole:
 Within each chapter / section
 Within each paragraph…
 Each paragraph describes a single idea
 The first sentence introduces the idea (linking it with the previous one)
 The last sentence concludes the idea (linking it with the next one)
 But it’s not repetition, it’s linking and rationale.
 If you do it right, the reader won’t notice any repetition
Details of the work
(Body)
What the thesis said
(Conclusion)
What the thesis will say
(Introduction)
The details
(Body)
What this section said
(Summary)
What this section says
(Signposting)
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 14
Bibliography
 Keep a database of complete references
 Use a consistent citation style
 Use a tool
 Bibtex, Refer, Endnote, ProCite, or whatever.
 Attention to detail is important
 Get the spellings right
 Keep complete references
 page numbers, volume numbers, editors names, locations and dates for conference
proceedings, etc.
 Find out what the local rules are for citation style
 If there are no local rules, use [Author, Year] format
 This improves readability by saving the reader flicking to the back
 Assume the reader is familiar with the main references
 But that doesn’t mean you should skip them!
8
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 15
How do I get finished?
Answer: by not getting stuck.
You’ve written most of it ...
... but for the bits you’re avoiding ...
... you keep rewriting other bits ...
... doing more reading ...
... tinkering with the layout ...
... seeking cute quotations ...
Q: Why are you stuck?
A: Because you’ve set yourself too hard a task.
 Don’t be afraid to change your plan if it proves too hard.#p#分页标题#e#
 Be savage in cutting irrelevant bits.
 Learn how to notice symptoms of “being stuck”, and ask for help…
STOP
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 16
Reviewing
 Get other people to read your drafts
 Peers will give friendly comments (and may have the most time!)
 Supervisor will steer you
 Other academics will spot things your supervisor has missed.
 Above all:
 …get the bugs out before the examiners see it.
9
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentThesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
ation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 17
Summary
 Start writing today (never tomorrow)
 Make up a title page for inspiration
 Write down your argument succinctly
 Turn the argument into a chapter plan
 Maintain a binder of stuff to put into these chapters
 Don’t be afraid to change the plan
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 18
The Examiner’s View
 Uh oh, not another thesis to read...
 Your examiners are busy people
 Examining theses is a chore, but:
 “It might help me keep up to date with an area of research”
 “It might inspire me”
 “I might learn something”
 “I might gain a new colleague”
 Note: the reading will be done in trains, planes, and
departmental meetings!
10
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 19
Examiner’s first question
 What’s this one about?
Examiners have little time available, so they want to extract the most juice in
the shortest time:
 This may be enough to decide whether it’s worth a PhD.
 Then:
1) What questions now spring to mind?
2) ...read through...
3) Were the questions answered?
abstract bibliography conclusions contents listing
Typical scanning order of a new thesis:
What’s it
about?
Does it cite
the right things?
Has it been
published already?#p#分页标题#e#
What was
achieved?
do I believe it?
Are all the
pieces there?
Is the
argument clear?
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 20
Has it been published already?
 Peer-review publications are crucial
 The research community’s most important validation criteria
 Sure-fire recipe for success:
 Identify the top peer-reviewed conferences and journals in your area
 Ask the experts to help you identify these
 Concentrate on conferences - faster turn-around
 Publish your research at them
 Plan to have pieces of work ready for each conference submission deadline
 Always take the reviewers comments seriously
 If they didn’t understand your work, it’s your fault, not theirs!
 If you can’t convince the reviewers, you won’t convince your examiners.
 If you’ve published in the right places…
 …you have nothing more to worry about
 Your examiners cannot ignore the outcome of the peer-review process
 (Unless you picked wacko examiners … see slide 4)
11
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 21
Corrections
 “Now there must be some corrections…”
 Some examiners don’t feel they’ve done the job unless they find some
corrections to do.
 Typical corrections
 Typographical / grammatical errors
 Poor presentation
 Missing statements / references
 (Superfluous / redundant statements)
 Missing pieces of work
 Whole sections missing … for example:
 research questions
 critical review of literature
 research methodology
 presentation of results
 validation of results
 discussion and conclusions
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 22
Thesis defense
 “Let’s see, what can I ask the candidate?”
 The examiners may have decided before the exam whether to pass you.
 Defense, oral, viva, exam, ...
 viva = “viva voce” = “lively discussion”
 The exam is to check it’s your work...
 Talk fluently about the work;
 show you’ve thought about it (which you have!).
 This is easy
 after all you’ve spent four+ years talking about it!
 ...and a chance to clarify things that aren’t clear in#p#分页标题#e#
the thesis.
 These are areas where corrections are likely.
12
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 23
Summary
 Know your audience
 Help them understand:
 Keep it short;
 use signposts;
 get the contents right.
 Make sure you’ve covered the bases
University of Toronto Department of Computer Science
© 1992-2005 Steve Easterbrook. This presentation is available free for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license. 24
What the examiners are looking for
[Adapted from Brown, G. and Atkins, M. (1988) Effective teaching in Higher Education. London: Routledge]
 Review of literature
 To what extent is the review relevant to the
research study?
 Has the candidate slipped into “Here is all I know
about x”?
 Is there evidence of critical appraisal of other
work, or is the review just descriptive?
 How well has the candidate mastered the technical
or theoretical literature?
 Does the candidate make the links between the
review and his or her methodology explicit?
 Is there a summary of the essential features of
other work as it relates to this study?
Methodology
 What precautions were taken against likely sources
of bias?
 What are the limitations in the methodology? Is
the candidate aware of them?
 Is the methodology for data collection appropriate?
 Are the techniques used for analysis appropriate?
 In the circumstances, has the best methodology
been chosen?
 Has the candidate given an adequate justification
to the methodology?
 Presentation of results
 Have the Thesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
hypotheses in fact been tested?
 Do the solutions obtained relate to the
questions posed?
 Is the level and form of analysis appropriate
for the data?
 Could the presentation of the results been
made clearer?
 Are patterns and trends in the results
accurately identified and summarized?
 Does the software appear to work
satisfactorily?
 Discussion and Conclusions
 Is the candidate aware of possible limits to
confidence/reliability/validity of the work?
 Have the main points to emerge from the
results been picked up for discussion?
 Are there links made to the literature?
 Is there evidence of attempts at theory#p#分页标题#e#
building or reconceptualisation of problems?
 Are there speculations? Are they well grounded
in the results?
2.0 Question One

As customers become more interested in quality and design, shoppers are opting for higher-priced items (Wheatcroft & Patience, 2000). In order to regain the loyalty of its core customers, M&S has to concentrate on designing and supplying a collection for the fashion conscious woman apart from classically stylish clothes. The range Per una is “ring fenced” within the M&S system which can be produced to a different standard. The Autograph, another range was created by top designers in order to offer fashion items at High Street. M&S also planned to recover the confidence of its customers by emphasizing the quality and fit of its clothing. A number of ranges and sub-brands are introduced to appeal to different lifestyles, including The Perfect Collection and The Classic Collection, apart from per una and The Autograph.
In order to satisfy different customer needs, the three M&S ranges are designed with different aims. The Perfect Collection concentrates on core customers for classically stylish merchandise, including plain, white shirts, black roll-neck sweaters and jeans for women and men. These basics with many items machine washable, non-iron and tumble-dry friendly, are aimed at the customer who has a busy lifestyle and looks for quality and value with a reasonable price. The Classic Collection is aimed at more mature customer who pays more concentrations on design, comfort, long-lasting style and versatility of the products. The core of The Classic Collection is designed to ensure that every piece favors the natural body shape with different sizes. The Autograph range created by top designers, is aimed at offering fashion items at High Street prices which bring unique and exclusive designs to M&S customers. The Autograph range belongs to top designer collections. After his innovative designs and methods, Davies made a subsequent success in developing the George range of clothing at Asda supermarkets whose sub-brand was labeled Per una. Per una, the high quality range is aimed to provide superb designs at very affordable prices whose target customers are fashion conscious women aged between 25 and 35, sizes 8-18.

2.1 Question Two

As for operation strategy, Slack defines it as the strategic decisions and tactics which set the role, objectives and activities of a firm (Childerhouse, P., 2001). It is based on the firm’s capacities, resources and processes which seeks to competitive advantage to win customers through satisfying their needs. Competitive factors that have significant effects on winning customers are called order winners. Improving these factors is likely to result in more businesses for the firm. If a firm strives for a competitive advantage, it must be able to understand and provide products and services which can generate order winners for its customers. (McCullen et al., 2000) Then, order qualifiers are defined as these factors that customers have a certain minimum expected level from and the firm should comply with. Therefore, order winning and order qualifying criteria should be taken into consideration when business decisions are made to win customers and drive the firms’ business growth. #p#分页标题#e#
In view of the failure in 1998/99, some critics claimed that overpricing and poor services are the main reasons resulting in falling sales. Others argued that customers were not satisfied with a decline in quality of some products. Retail analysts also pointed to a drop in product quality behind these falling sales. Wheatcroft further emphasizes that the main problems of the company largely result from a failure by M&S to deal with core problems referring to supplying chain design and operation (Wheatcroft & Patience, 2000). Every collection of these ranges has its own competitive advantage. For example, The Perfect and Classic ranges are characterized as their timeless essentials and long-lasting styles; The Autograph range concentrates on its unique designs within boutique environment; Per una range is known as its superb designs at very affordable prices. Then, in terms of order winners and order qualifiers for these three clothing ranges at M&S, I will make a brief explanation to them. Following table will provide a general view on these three clothing ranges at M&S.

Perfect and Classic ranges Autograph range Per una range
Product range Classically stylish merchandise and more mature clothes Fashion items, womenswear, menswear and accessories collection Latest trends, individual cuts, fanatical attention to detail for fashion
-conscious women
Design changes Return to basics ; Skim and flatter the natural body shape Top designers
Collection within a designer boutique environment Design concepts coming in weeks, versatile and fast

Price Value-for-money prices High street prices Very affordable prices
Quality High-quality fabrics High quality Superb quality materials
Sales volumes SKU Sold widely, in Large quantities Available in selected stores In small numbers into selected stores
Order winners For core customers with a busy life, versatility, fitness, reasonable price and quality Fashionable, unique and exclusive designs Limited editions, special and more exclusive styles, competitive prices
Order qualifiers Timeless essentials reflecting one’s style and finesse Collection with no more than 60 of each color and way and style Superb designs at very affordable prices
Operations priorities Improving the segmentation of clothing,innovation Bringing cutting-edge design to a wider audience Improving and controlling the supply chain
2.2 Question There


cost speed quality flexibility dependability
Perfect and Classic ranges 3 5 3 4.5 3
Autograph range 5 3.5 5 3.5 5
Per una range 4 4 5 4 4

Generally, the lower the cost of producing their goods and services, the lower can be the price to their customers. The performance of operation will spend its money on staff costs, material costs, and facility, technology and equipment costs. Compared with these three clothing ranges, the cost of Autograph range is highest, for it is designed by top designers using high-quality materials. Speed means the elapsed time between a customer asking for a product or service and getting it, so Perfect and Classic ranges can meet customer’s needs quickly. Flexibility is associated with an operation’s ability to change which provides different types of requirement, such as mix flexibility, product or service flexibility. From above polar diagram, Perfect and Classic ranges have a wide range of products, so they are most flexible. Autograph range is characterized as its unique designs so it hardly has different quantities and wide range of products. Dependability means doing things in time for customers to receive their goods or services when they are promised. With an overview of these clothing ranges, every range of them has distinctive order winners and order qualifiers.#p#分页标题#e#

3.0 Conclusion

Marks & Spenser, the largest British clothing retainer suffered from a heavy blow whose glory days were difficult to recovery. According to BBC news, the overall UK sales were down 3.4%, including the benefit of M&S’ well published and unprecedented promotional days. And clothing was the worst performer, with sales 6.5% lower whose profit margin was also significantly lower, for Marks has been forced to reduce prices. Troubled British retailer M&S abandoned its European, American and Far East operations, which affected thousands of jobs. M&S has already regained its image and revamped its UK stores and product ranges through employing top clothes designers and promoting ambitious campaigns. However, the results were not satisfying, for the Strategy of M&S has become stuck in the middle, particularly, its clothing market is neither appealing to the younger fashion market nor older market for stylish clothing. Actually, the younger market is the largest sector of customers, so M&S brand should be fashionable but not completely re-brand as it are still well represented. A more fashionable corporate image is necessary to draw a new cliental in the youth market. Then, continuing the use of celebrities and new brands of clothing is urgent to ensure immediate marketing.

4.0 Reference

Childerhouse, P., Enabling Seamless Market-Oriented Supply Chains, PhD
Thesis, Cardiff University, 2001

Marks & Spencer - UK Stores M&S website, February 2009.

McCullen, Peter and Denis R. Towill, “Practical Ways of Reducing Bullwhip: the case of the Glosuch global supply chain”, International Journal of Operations Management, Vol 26, No. 10, 2000, pp 24-30.

Wheatcroft, Patience, Business Commentary, The Times, London, 13 September and 8 November 2000.


 

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