: Walgreen’s corporate memorandum
Topic: Walgreen’s corporate memorandum
Research Project Objective: The purpose of this research project is to provide the student with an unstructured and open-ended learning exercise in which he or she must decide which, as well as how, operations management (OM) concepts and research techniques may be applied to a “real world” management decision making scenario. Besides having to select and apply appropriate research methodologies, the student must also decide how best to document and interpret/recommend the research findings and then “submit” the findings to upper level management.
Project Overview: This is a formal research project involving a thoughtful and detailed analysis of operations data and information from an actual business or organization (hereafter referred to as “organization”) of the student’s choosing. This research project should incorporate some of the tools and techniques covered in this course. The project report is due on the last day of regular class before the scheduled final exam.
Two (2) Project Deliverables: There are 2 deliverables in the case study project.
Deliverable #1: The student should submit at her/his earliest convenience on or before Thursday, February 18th an informal project outline (about 1 page in length, either typed or handwritten) containing the following information –
1) the specific name, address, and industry type of the organization selected for the case study project,
2) a list of the operations management issues, options or problems which management needs to decide or resolve, and that will be addressed in the case study research project,
3) three (3) selected chapters from the course textbook, the content of which will be used to analyze the organization. The student is urged to skim review ALL chapters of the textbook before selecting the 3 chapters for this case study research project. NOTE: The student must receive prior instructor approval of the project outline before conducting the actual case study project.
Deliverable #2: After outline approval, the student will conduct an operations management analysis of the organization using tools, techniques and marketing concepts contained in the 3 selected text chapters. The OM analysis will be written up as a formal technical corporate memorandum. This case study memorandum is due on Thursday, April 28th which is the last day of class before final exam week. The required format and components of the Deliverable #2 technical memo are described below.
Deliverable #2 Overview: Deliverable #2 (hereafter referred to as the “technical memorandum”) should be well organized, typed, and bound (clipped, stapled, use of a report cover, etc). Please use 12 point font. Use of color and graphics is encouraged. For readability and good writing structure, use descriptive section headings and labels where appropriate and number all included tables, graphs, etc. Paginate the memo. Please be aware that the intended audience of this report are the nontechnical management sponsors of this research project. YOU (the student) are playing the role of the Operations Analyst while the COURSE INSTRUCTOR (Dr. Shao) is playing the role of the Operations Manager to whom the operations analyst reports. Since this is a simulated real world services research exercise, you will receive a course assignment grade instead of a salary, performance bonus or job promotion that you would normally receive if this research was conducted and deemed successful by real world management.
TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM – REQUIRED SECTIONS:
Your submitted technical memorandum must include the following sections:
a) Title Page – The front sheet, including report identification info such as report title, author name, course name, affiliations, etc.
b) Cover Letter to Management (1 page) – As page 1 of the technical memo, a cover letter or note should be included or affixed before the main body of the research content and discussion. The cover letter should be written in a professional “corporate style” format and addressed to your “boss”, who has funded the research. The cover letter should be affixed as the first page of the actual technical memo report. It should be addressed to upper management and clearly explain the nature and purpose of the research that is contained in the memo. The memo should also include a short 1-2 paragraph executive summary containing research highlights and key findings. You may wish to research online various formats and styles of corporate memo cover sheets and then select any style that you prefer (many include company logos).
c) Table of Contents (1 page) – containing a complete list of all section titles, tables, graphs, page numbers, included appendices, etc.
d) An Introduction (1-2 pages) – a discussion explaining the nature of the business problem (or opportunity) and relevant environmental factors (e.g., competition, emerging technology, customer or market issues, labor concerns, new laws or regulation, etc.) which have prompted the need for the current research. Sources of all specific environmental facts included in this section should be cited in the list of references.
e) Operations Management Analysis (10 page minimum) – The student will analyze the organization using methodologies and concepts found in the 3 selected chapters from the course textbook. For readability and clarity, the use of descriptive section headings, bullets, tables, diagrams, and/or graphs would be helpful devices to use in this section. Use of original tables and/or graphs is highly encouraged.
g) Recommendations (1 to 2 pages) – Based on the above analysis and findings, this section should include a list of recommended action items to management, as well as areas for further OM research.
h) Reference List (1 page minimum) – a bibliography listing of all research sources used in the case study project including descriptions of the OM techniques used in the case study (e.g. sections of your textbook); complete citation(s) of your research sources (e.g., detailed Internet web site addresses, phone or visit interviews, etc.).
i) Appendices (10 page maximum) – please number any Appendix attachments you may decide to attach to your technical memo.
GRADING RUBRIC – As noted in the course syllabus, this case study project is worth 20% (or 20 points) of your overall class grade. Grading for the case study (i.e., your technical memorandum) is broken down as follows: