management

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Role and purpose of purchasing department

Q1. If being a member of purchasing department of your company, would you collect and analyse the data about your supplier well in advance on your specific required investment or end up taking deliberate decisions at the end of the time?

Well planned decision always

Deliberate decision always

Sometimes planned and sometimes deliberate

Q2. Being a part of purchasing team in your company, understanding your company’s internal structure is vital.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q3. Can you remember all your supplier names for a particular commodity group?

Yes

No

Few

Q4. Do you know your company’s average turnover with supplier1?

Yes

No

If yes, average turnover = _____ $.

Q5. Do you think having well informed about your company’s internal structure as well as your supplier’s internal organization helps you to reduce investments costs and have better bargaining deals giving a competitive advantage to your organization. (Starrenburg, n.d)?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q6. Information is the driver that serves as ‘glue’ to create a coordinated supply chain management decisions like inventory, transportation and facility.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q7. With the use of IT systems in the purchasing department your organisation has enabled you to better access capabilities and timelier information helping in decision makings.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q8. Do you think internet acts as a supply base for your suppliers and it provides buyer organization like yours with information about well suited and better oriented suppliers according to organisation’s requirements?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q9. Do you think the online auctions have reduced your direct purchasing costs and give value added services like joint planning and integration?( Rhee et al., 2009)

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q10. If you being a manager of your purchasing department, do you consider the role of IT to be more critical for business than any other sector?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q11. How much do you rate the role of software tools play in ensuring the overall success of your purchasing strategies and initiatives of your company (1=low, 5=high)? (srm_comprehensive_ey.pdf)

1

2

3

4

5

Q12. The general management of your organization should support the purchasing department and sort out issues at management meetings regarding your supplier relationships.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q13. How is your purchasing strategy alignment with your corporate strategy (1=poor; 5=good)?

1

2

3

4

5

Q14. Do you think with the increase in the total quality management? Concurrent engineering, in-time inventory concepts, supplier selection and outsourcing becomes important to enhance your purchasing strategy?

1. Extremely important 2. Important 3. Indifferent 4. Less Important 5. Unimportant

Q15. How well you agree that the commodity strategy helps your company’s overall business strategy ?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q16. Do you refrain from exchanging your company’s sales forecast on the fear of giving away vital information?

Yes

No

N/A

Q17. How well you plan your purchasing strategies with your supplier

(1=poor planning; 5=excellent planning)?

1

2

3

4

5

Q18. Successful and strategic relations happen with creativity, communication, coordination and joint ventures? (Starrenburg, n.d)?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q19. Do you think joint action reflects a move towards much closer relationship with your supplier involving focal activities in a cooperative way and joint action serve as a safeguard for transaction specific investments?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q20. Do you think purchasing department investing in relationships reduces risks of opportunistic appropriation? (Zaheer, 1995)

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q21. How well your company provides planning and forecasting mechanisms that helps reducing uncertainty caused by environmental elements (poor=1; good=5)? (Zaheer, 1995)

1

2

3

4

5

Q22. When an organization possesses valued resources like capital, knowledge, information, services, assets, status or affiliation, rewards and benefits are generated for its partners that are not easily replaced and so partner is dependent on the firm. How far is this true form your company’s perspective?

Very true(very much dependent)

True(dependent)

Not known

Not dependent

Q23. Do you think dependency affects your performance by any means?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q24. Is your company too much dependent on your supplier2?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q25. If the buyer is too much dependent on the supplier, his positions seems to be weakened and instead of being able to ensuring demanding lower prices, ensuring supply becomes the priority.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q26.Do you agree that ‘trust’ acts as a strategic advantage and reduce opportunism within the transaction cost framework and achieve efficient governance?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q27. Are you sincere, stand by your words and fulfil roles and obligations with your supplier?

Always

Never

Most of the times

Sometimes

Q28. Is your supplier’s sincere, stand by its words and fulfil its roles and obligations?

Always

Never

Most of the times

Sometimes

Q29. Are you straightforward with your suppliers in your decisions? (Zaheer, 1995)

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q30. From a transactional cost view, trust should be associated with a lower level of hierarchical governance as it serves as a substitute for hierarchical control. (Zaheer, 1995)

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q31. Do you think your organization and your supplier work closely with each other forming cooperative norms, the norms being shared expectation and belief and work together to achieve mutual goals?

Yes

No

Not always

Q32. How many times have you been unsuccessful in regulating cooperative norms for achieving mutual goals?

0

1-2

3-4

More than 4 times

Q33 Cooperative norms constitute prerequisites for inter-organizational activities demonstrating solidarity, flexibility and information sharing (Shaohan and Zhilin, 2008)?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q34. By converting money, commodities, raw materials and people skills from your organization in specific assets and capabilities, you do generate economic rents?

Yes

No

N/A

Q35. Have you ever encountered uncertain conditions and faced trouble with your transactional specific assets by maintaining close relationship with your supplier?

Yes

No

N/A

Q36. Specific assets also have a positive effect on joint actions, flexibility, and solidarity and information exchange. But it is argued that this concept works only when each party may share some benefits otherwise leads to a clear lack of motivation for such initiates in future (Starrenburg, n.d)?

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q37. Are you being able to do cost savings and negotiations with your supplier when you maintain a close relationship?

Yes

No

N/A

Q38. How far is your supplier located from your organization?

Near

Far

Very far

Different country

Different continent

Q39. Do you select your supplier based on distance in location?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q40. If the distance is closer there are many advantages like reduced transportation cost and lessened uncertainties. The more the distance, language and cultural barriers have to be considered and in case of legal problems, the judicial system will be unfamiliar and legal advice on contracting will not be readily available.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q41. Have you ever been effected by fluctuations in demand that has reduced your ability in making plans?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q42. As we see that many high technology industries are characterized by boom phases that are very quickly followed by rapidly falling prices and times of over capacity, the signalled demand does not represent the true market demand. Does it possible to plan and share true demand information that will have positive effects on companies to coordinate their procurement, production and investments plans?

Yes

No

Can’t say

Q43. Single sourcing relies on only one supplier even though alternatives are available;

Switching to a different supplier is possible but may take some time. In the case of multiple sourcing the buyer is in the comfortable position of being able to switch between suppliers easily. What kind of a sourcing would you prefer with your supplier?

A.

Sole

Single

Multiple

B.

Local

National

Global

Q44. What out of the possible entities would you usually outsource?

Components

Modules

Entire systems

Q45. There is increasing complexity if modules or even the whole systems are being sources. However, increased outsourcing can be interpreted as increased degree of integration and coordination and gives opportunity to gain access to better expertise.

1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Indifferent 4. Disagree 5. Strongly disagree

Q46 As delivery mode is a function of integration between buyer and supplier and what would be your mode to get the goods delivered when ordered?

Demand synchronous

Just In Time delivery

C

Creativity

Considerable research shows that innovation has been examined rather than creativity in inter-organizational relationships but the factors affecting the adoption and implementation of these creative ideas differs. Informal activities seem more effective at generating creative ideas where as formal activities are more successful in implementing them. () proposes that inter-organizational governance stimulate inter-organizational creativity. The three main conditions fostering inter-organizational creativity are resources, motivation and creative process. The role of governance mechanisms like authoritative governance (Power) plays a major role in facilitating creativity and provides clear directions for the necessary activities and processes to be undertaken by parties. Various researches show that relationships governed by the use of power are characterized by limited communication, high conflict and lower cooperation – all conditions inhibiting creativity. Though power can ensure the allocation of the rents to some extent, power asymmetries in such relationships can give rise to opportunistic behaviours creating uncertainties about the division of benefits arising from creative thinking and thus the unilateral use of power may discourage the generation of creative ideas(Wang et al, 2008)

Hypothesis1: Power has direct negative effects on (a) complementary resources, (b) knowledge-sharing routines, (c) management support, and (e) open mindedness in buyer-seller relationships.

Risk management and Collaborative learning

Knowledge transfer between companies in a supply chain is a core competence and a source of competitive advantage and could be seen as means of risk management. The various studies have showed that collaborative learning within and between organizations was a key strategic requirement for building competiveness in an uncertain environment. Both the parties in a relationship should see these learning activities as a quasi-firm with its own organizational structure and goals and its own culture and communication mechanism. Organizational learning could be divided into single and double loop learning. When an error is detected without affecting the values of the system, is defined as single-loop learning and when the mismatch is corrected examining and altering the governing variables of the system, it is defined as double loop learning. Single loop learning is used mostly in simple and operative actions whereas double loop learning is related to complex and strategic organizational process. Both types of learning are essential for competitive advantage and thus increase the performance of the customer relationship management (Hallikas et al., 2005).

Hypothesis2: Collaborative learning in supplier relationships differs with the type risk involved and enhances the performance of customer relationship management

2) Target population and sampling method

The target population of the survey study should be managerial employees in a purchase department of the buyer organizations who are involved in the purchasing activities and project management practices to some degrees. The survey questionnaires can be send to randomly selected mid to senior level personnel requesting their cooperation and a brief explanation of the survey (Jung and Wang, 2006). Basically, the target population for the above survey is small and medium companies for which the supply chain and supplier relationship management performance is considered to be a key activity in their business processes and therefore excluding the firms that mainly offer services such as consultancy, financial services and entertainment. The industries where a specific supplier buyer relationship is involved should be emphasized like petrochemical industry, automotive industry, the retail sector, textile and fashion industry, chemical industry, food industry, pharmaceutical industry and beauty and hygiene industry. Survey should basically direct to company’s supply managers at the first instant and as few companies do not have formal function of supply chain manager, survey instrument should be directed to the executives responsible for purchasing, operations or manufacturing. This survey should target multiple respondents because though general managers could have an overview and general knowledge of the company’s purchasing behaviour, a comprehensive understanding of an over performance of the purchasing functional area and the terminologies used in them is necessary to correctly answer the questions. (Diaz et al., 2008). The survey instrument should be pilot tested in two phases. The sampling frame is nothing but a list of directions and guidelines for identifying the target population (Zhao and Jin, 2006). Thus the survey instrument should be tested using a focus group consisting of managers from different firms representing the different industrial backgrounds and different industrial environments. The initial survey instrument should be pre-tested using a focus group consisting of managers from 4 or 5 companies representing the different industrial and as well as academic colleagues to comment on all aspects of the content, design and scaling. The detailed feedback will result in several minor changes to the layout of the questionnaire. After the modification it should then target around 10 companies and again the feedback is obtained regarding the ease of filling out the instrument in terms of time and complexity. A selected number of non-respondents also should be contacted in order to inquire into reasons for their non participation. Considering all these factors, the instrument should be fine tuned in terms of interrelated answers and inconsistencies and make sure what information has to be asked again to the respondents (Diaz et al., 2008).

Suitable method for delivering the survey

The most commonly used methods for delivering the survey are telephone surveys, written surveys sent by mail, one-on-one interviews, online surveys and email surveys. Though each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, each method can be effective if administered in the right path. Online web survey method is suggested for the above survey instrument as it is highly cost effective for gathering data from large sample bases. Online research can be a better means of data collection when surveying populations that have similar demographics of online users (Direct Opinions, 2009). These web surveys have major speed, cost and flexibility but have significant sampling limitations too by which it is possible to restrict the groups and just target the intended respondents. They are extremely fast and when a questionnaire posted on a popular and intended website can gather several thousand responses within anticipated time. Many targeted people respond to an email invitation to take web survey will do it the same day. Practically costless and large samples do not cost more than the smaller ones. It can use complex question skipping logic and randomizations which gives an edge over other methods. Larger answers to an open ended question can be expected and the targeted population will give more honest answers to the questions. Apart from few disadvantages like having no control over who replies and people quitting in the middle of a questionnaire and not reflecting population as a whole online survey is well suited for undertaking this survey instruments.( Creative Research Systems, 2007)

Cover Letter

Date: 18th April, 2010

I am a student at The University of Manchester studying how Supplier Relationship management impact organization’s purchasing and transactional cost performance. The study also explores critical variables that moderate the performance of supplier relationships. The results will show which activities can help buyers be more effective and managing relationships with their suppliers.

This online survey is a short questionnaire that asks few questions about your company’s relationship with an important supplier. The result of this survey will be helpful in proposing few suggestions on enhancing the supplier relationship management, the buyer’s performance measures and moderating atmospheric and environmental factors that either weaken or strengthen the relationship between collaboration and the buyer’s performance

 

Your company has been asked and has agreed to participate in this study and all of the supply managers within your organization are being invited in taking part in this survey. However, your employer will not be informed about who did and did not participate in the study and no individual responses will be shared with your employer.

I do not know of any risks to you if you participate in this survey and I guarantee that all your responses will be confidential. No company, supplier or individual names of the participants will be revealed in any reports resulting from this research. Only aggregate data will be reported.

 

 

Your participation is voluntary and this survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact, Ph. 07942844429 or email pacchileo@gmail.com. A summary will be sent to you in 2 months.

If you prefer to reply to this survey by postal mail or fax, please request you to print and send your responses to:

Student Id: 7554780

The University of Manchester

Manchester

UK M145WF 

Thank you again!

 

 


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