Introduction to Supply Chain Management

First year module

Lecturer: Dr Joe Sanderson and Dr Yu Feung

In their attempts to achieve superior profitability for their firms, managers need to consider two key tasks. First, firms need to position themselves within supply networks (matching their internal capabilities with their external market opportunities), to maximise the revenue flowing into the organisation. Second, firms need to organise themselves so that as little of that revenue as possible flows out of the organisation and into the pockets of suppliers.

This module focusses on the second task, while linking it to the first. After briefly touching on the positioning issue, it then discusses the sets of issues relating to the boundary of the firm decision. Third, and finally, it examines the problems of supplier incentivisation. This involves discussing why some suppliers offer better deals than others, how negotiations should be handled, and relationships managed.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Explain what is meant by a supply network and indicate its significance to business management;
  • Articulate and critically appraise the different management strategies available to the firm in seeking to manage a supply network;
  • Show how the theoretical underpinnings of the module can be applied to concrete case examples.


  • Assessment by one 2000 word essay (100%).