Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management


Assessment 2— Position Paper (2000 words)

Agility of Defence Supply Chain

Christopher and Towill (2001) asserted that uncertainty was impossible to remove in a supply chain due to the type of product involved. They also stated that where demand was volatile and the customer requires variety, a high degree of supply chain flexibility or ‘agility’ was required. Oakden and Leonaite (2011, pp224 – 226)) argued, that while a ‘lean’ approach to manufacturing and supply chain management (as used so successfully by Toyota Motor Corporation since the early 1950s) lean was “not the answer to all challenges.” They further asserted that a focus toward a more agile approach to manufacturing and supply chain management was more appropriate in those circumstances where the requirement for flexibility in production and/or distribution was high and, critically, where there was a high degree of variety and in “engineer to order (ETO)” projects.

In many cases, manufacturers have focused on a lean approach by eliminating waste where it occurs in operations, particularly, avoiding over-production, reducing inventory, minimising product defects and minimising processes and operations that do not add value. Is this the best approach in defence industry? Is there a need to balance manufacturing and supply chain management by also focusing on agility? What does the future holds for defence companies (Gates 2004)?


References: • Christopher, M & Towill, D 2001 ‘An integrated model for the design of agile supply chains’, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol.31, No.4. • Oakden, R & Leonaite, K 2011 Supply Chains: Logistics Operations in the AsiaPacific Region, McGraw-Hill Aust. Pty Ltd., Northe Ryde, NSW, Australia. • Gates, E 2004 ‘The defence firm of the future’, Defence and Peace Economics, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 509-517.


Task Prepare a discussion paper (report) for consideration by senior management on the need for an agile approach to supply chain management in defence industry projects. Include an (Executive Summary) of no more than 1 page of A4 (1.15 spacing) as part of your presentation with key recommendations.

Research It is expected that you will use, as a minimum, five academic journal articles to present your report.

Journal articles References of suggested journal articles may be included in the Assignment 2 section of ‘Learning Resources Module’. But conduct your own research. Key words that can be used: agile supply chains, agility, agile defence supply chin, lean supply chain etc.



  • The paper will be presented in report format. • Please conform to the following: • Use Font 11 or 12 only.
  • References list after Conclusion. • Use Harvard Referencing style ONLY (refer to webpage for guidance on Harvard Referencing.)
  • Do not use foot-notes.
  • Use the word resources allowed. Print word count at the end of your assignment (after the Recommendations section).
  • Print your name and in header or footer on each page.
  • Number each page.


Assessment criteria Assessment of your assignment will take into account:

  • Relevance of your response to the topic set.
  • Clarity of meaning.
  • Supporting documentation for arguments (Note: it is not possible to over-reference to support your analysis and argument, but if you under-reference this will weaken your argument).
  • Proper acknowledgment of sources and appropriate referencing using Harvard Referencing.
  • Logical planning and sequence.
  • Use of inclusive language (i.e. not gender specific).
  • Overall presentation, including layout, spelling and punctuation. • Adequate research, reflecting engagement with relevant journals and other relevant sources.
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