The main target of the module supply management is to educate students to have the first understanding to take up the job of a commodity buyer in the strategic sourcing department of a firm. Specifically, after the completion of the course and its components tactical buying, strategic sourcing, assignment, experiment and research project, students can:
- explain the year cycle of purchasing (taking into consideration the commercial, economic and legal aspects of purchasing)
- describe how the sourcing process works, from demand identification over contracting to performance evaluation.
- describe the tactical and strategic issues at the commodity level.
- know how to prepare for negotiations, make strategic decisions, and claim and create value in negotiations.
- advise management on how an integrated purchasing organization operates, including the skills to apply this knowledge and draft decision memo's for management regarding purchasing decisions
- set up and carry out purchasing processes (in a serious game), exceeding those of their non-specialized peers, which provides them with advantages in applying for a job in a purchasing department.
- describe, reflect and apply social interactions between individuals and firms relevant for supply management using behavioural methodologies in academic research in an experimental setting.
- set up the academic research that meets the basic standards of a literature study to identify interesting research questions relevant to both practice and academia. In addition, a student will be familiarized with the basics in developing propositions and hypotheses and methodologies. Students write an academic paper.
The relationships between a firm and its suppliers are crucial in acquiring essential resources for achieving firm-level competitive advantage. It is argued that the nature of competition has shifted from interfirm competition toward supply chain versus supply chain struggles. In an average industrial firm in Central Europe, 60% of the turnover is purchasing volume. For firms to be successful, it is thus essential to professionally manage their main cost block. Therefore, the supply management function of a firm plays a vital and increasing role in attaining firm-level competitiveness. However, there are few opportunities for students to prepare for taking a job in purchasing, and the course supply management – SUM is one of them.|
The SUM module will mainly consist of four integrated components, content-wise covering the year cycle of a purchaser and preparing an understanding of the work of a “commodity buyer”, i.e. a buyer responsible for sourcing a particular group of materials:
Tactical buying: This component covers demand identification over supplier selection till negotiation and contracting. This part also covers how to prepare for negotiations, what to consider and strategic decision making, how to negotiate, create and claim value, and how to maintain a good relationship while staying firm on positions.
Strategic sourcing: This component covers the supplier performance evaluation as input for new commodity group strategy formulation and the required organisational and operational knowledge for its implementation. Tactical buying and strategic sourcing represent the central knowledge transfer part of the elective.
Supply management experiments/game: The students conduct experiments that cover topics from the “tactical buying” and “strategic sourcing” components. This skill development component aims to familiarise students with behavioural methodologies and provide a deeper understanding of the social interactions involved in supply management. The experiment stream includes a serious game.
Project Research on leading topics: The project will form the backbone of the module. The students can apply the knowledge and skill gained in the individual components described above and expand it on particular topics in the project. Students will research leading topics in practice and academia such as preferred customer status, public procurement, sustainable procurement, innovation-driven procurement, purchasing – r&d interface and strategic supply management. The end product has the form of an academic paper, which the students write in a group. The groups will be supervised by content tutors who are experts in the defined topics and theoretical methods. Towards the end of the module, the groups will present their findings at a closing seminar. In this seminar project, the students will receive training from tutors in a professional business presentation.
Assumed previous knowledge
|(additional) requirement(s) for minorstudents: Basic knowledge required about subjects like Organisation, Operational Management, Strategy, Marketing, Bookkeeping and Finances and Statistical Computer Skills. Please see the module description.|
IBA students who did not choose this module as an elective yet, can choose this module as a minor.
|Bachelor International Business Administration||Required materials|
Recommended materials-Instructional modes
|Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, 7th edition. Handfield et al, ISBN 978-0-357-44214-2|
|Further material divulgated in class|
|Assignments & experiments|