Matthew W Ford
Northern Kentucky University College of Business



MGT 305
MGT 307
MGT 415
MGT 490
FIN 450



% Diff
QC .xls


MGT 307 News & Info (Updated 12/10/2012 05:27 PM)

That's a wrap!  The Fall 2012 edition of MGT 307 is now history.  Best of luck to all graduating seniors.  To all others, have a safe and happy break.

The MGT 307 Wall of Achievement  has been updated.  Congratulations to all top performers!

Here is the 'rubric' that guides my assessment of your professionalism during the term.  You should be able to approximate where you stand...

Baffled by how to calculate the percentage difference between two values?  You'll need to learn how to be a better manager.  Click here for a tutorial.

Fall 2012 potpourri (archives).   The myth of super hero CEOs...More consolidation in banking industry may be coming...Intel may build processors for Apple...Big jump in delinquent student loan debt...McDonald's monthly same store sales decline for first time in nine years...Top 10 b-school professors in the world...Early economic impact of Sandy...Can rail save US infrastructure?...The new Cisco...Upside surprise in BLS Sept jobs report...US manufacturing orders rise...iPhone 5 sets first-day sales record...CEO succession planning at Ford...Federal Reserve announces new round of stimulus...German constitutional court backs EU bailout plan...US productivity reported as +2.2% in Q2...PG directors dealing with time constraints...Chinese economic growth continues to slow...Truck driver shortage means higher shipping costs...Supply threats, including tropical storm Isaac, drive oil, gas prices higher...Google sues Apple for patent infringement...1938 retro Fortune article on Corn Products (Ingredion Inc today)...Seven secret shopping deals...Oil trades near three month highs...GM plans reorganization around global functions...Germany considers easing Greek bailout terms...Deceptive phone sales data...Fire at Chevron oil refinery in California.

Memo Center  
General thoughts on memo writing Prototype memo with comments
Model memos written by students Key to my abbreviated comments written on your memos
Making great tables Making great graphs
Citing your work Gathering credible information

Due dates for upcoming assignments appear below.  Assignments must be submitted in memo format and stapled.  No late work will be accepted.

Due Date Assignment Topic
9/10/12 *REVISED* Economic Shipping Policy A1 Logistics Mgt
10/1/12 *REVISED* Make or Buy? A2 Supplier Selection
10/10/12 *REVISED* Supplier Report Cards A3 Supplier Evaluation
10/29/12 *REVISED* Ordering DVDs A4 Inventory Policy
11/5/12 Little's Law A5 Inventory Policy
11/28/12 *REVISED* Asset Management Metrics A6 Supply Chain Evaluation
12/3/12 Risk Mgt A7 Risk and SCM

A reminder that all assignments and forums must be completed in teams of three or more.  A team leader must be designated for each project.  On submitted reports, all team members must be listed.  Only those listed on the submission will receive credit.  NO EXCEPTIONS!  The member who served as team leader should be noted as well.

Here are the inventory-to-sales data to be shown in class.  Is a higher or lower value here considered 'good?'  What is the long term trend?  What are some things that operating managers have been doing to influence this trend? 

Here's a useful site for tracking commodity prices (something that purchasing managers routinely do).  Commodities are broken into various categories including energy (e.g., crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, unleaded gasoline), grains (e.g., corn, soybeans, wheat), softs (e.g., sugar, cotton, coffee), industrial metals (e.g., copper, aluminum), and precious metals (e.g., gold, silver).  There is also the Commodities Research Bureau Index (CRB).  What has been the overall direction in commodity prices over the past few years?

Here's background info and membership form for the gratis student membership to ISM.  You'll need to provide a copy of your current class schedule.  And a stamp.  One useful outcome of this membership: an organization/affiliation for your resume.

Need access to a z tableHere's one.  If this one doesn't work for you, there are other formats.  Make sure you find one that you can work with.

Here's a website that provides great background on the Bullwhip Effect.  It includes a short simulation of the Beer Game that you can play to get a flavor of the 'boom/bust' nature of many supply chain decisions. Also, here's the beer game video we viewed in class.

Here is the info for the FORTUNE student subscription.  We'll refer to FORTUNE often during the semester.  I think you'll find the ROI here useful. 

Supply Chain Management

MGT 307

Fall 2012

Matt Ford
BC 333
Office hours: 12 - 1:30 pm, 5 - 6 pm M W; by appointment                        
(859) 572-1319
(859) 572-5150  (fax)
(859) 572-6559  (department) 

Our Vision

The Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University will be the first choice of students, faculty and other stakeholders in our region.  We will be known for the excellence of our students, faculty, and staff as well as our alumni as business and community leaders.

Our Mission

Our mission is to prepare our graduates for successful careers as ethical and effective business and community leaders in the global economy.  We pursue this mission with dedicated and caring faculty committed to active learning, rigorous scholarly inquiry of all types, and public engagement.

Course Objectives

MGT 307 is an elective designed to introduce students to key decisions and issues in supply chain management.  Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify key elements of supply chain management (SCM).
  • Explain strategic ramifications of various supply chain choices.
  • Demonstrate awareness of excellent supply chain operators and best practices.
  • Recognize, analyze, and critique key managerial decisions related to SCM.

Catalog Description           

3 credit hours.  An upper level undergraduate course designed to familiarize students with the scope of supply chain management in organizations.  Exposure to key dimensions of supply chain management, including those related to purchasing, logistics, information systems, asset management, and supply chain configuration will be provided.  Focus will be on key managerial decisions required to effectively design and manage a supply chain.

Prerequisites:  MGT 300, MGT 305, junior standing


Managing supply chains. Harvard Business Review Press, 2011.

The visual display of quantitative information, 2nd ed. Edward Tufte, Graphics Press, 2001.

Course Policies

b) Grading Components and Determination

Exam I


Exam II




Reading Q&A 15%
Class Forums 15%



Exams.  A combination of short answer, essay, and problems.  You’ll have some choice.  Bring bluebooks.

Assignments.  Choose two of the assignments posted during the term (selection criteria to be discussed).  Memo format (to be discussed).  Some choice permits selection of topics that interest you.  You’ll also get feedback on business writing style.  Work in groups of three or more on each assignment.

Reading Q&A. At least five 20 minute in-class exercises based on selected readings from our textbooks.  Format of the Q&A may vary from multiple choice quizzes to short essays to small case analysis.  The readings will be assigned at least one class in advance of the in-class exercise.  However, the date of the in-class exercise will not be announced in advance, and may range from one to three classes after the reading assignment.  Therefore, if you are not in class on the day of the in-class Q&A, then you will receive no credit for that exercise.  No exceptions!

Class Forums.  There will be three class forums during the term.  Forums are in-class discussions centered on an important OM topic.  You will prepare a written brief on the topic ahead the discussion (50% of the grade) and then participate in the discussion (the other 50% of the grade).  Work in groups of three or more.

Professionalism.  My assessment of your degree of engagement during the term.  I will focus on mannerisms that you should exhibit as an effective manager.  The extent to which you demonstrate engagement, respect, persistence, teamwork, and reliability will weigh heavily on your professionalism mark.

Extra Credit.  Will be possible as term unfolds.  More later.

Course grading policy follows a conventional +/- scale.  Percent of total class points between: 93-100 A, 90-93 A-, 87-90 B+, 83-87 B, 80-83 B-, 77-80 C+, 73-77 C, 70-73 C-, 67-70 D+, 60-67 D, <60 F

b) Attendance

Attendance will not be formally taken.  However, your attendance and participation will impact your professionalism mark.  Moreover, due to the nature of our class discussions, you WILL struggle if you miss a lot of class.

c) Student Rights and Responsibilities

Maintenance of academic standards and integrity includes the obligation not to cheat or plagiarize.  A student who uses a dishonest or deceitful means to obtain a grade is guilty of cheating; a student who submits another’s work as one’s own without adequate attribution is guilty of plagiarism.  Identical work will earn a grade of zero. 

Students are fully responsible for learning the course content and material disseminated in the class.  Absences do not release you from this responsibility.   Please see the NKU Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 

d) Syllabus Changes and Current Information: Class Website

Dates and assignments documented in this syllabus are subject to change at my discretion, meaning that this paper version of the syllabus will become outdated as the term progresses.  While I’ll try to announce significant changes to our syllabus during class meetings, the electronic version of the syllabus posted on the class website will be constantly updated and provides a definitive reference.  Indeed, our class website is your best source for current course information.  Refer to it often…

e) End of Semester Online Course Evaluations

Northern Kentucky University takes Instructor and Course Evaluations very seriously. It is an important responsibility of NKU students as citizens of the University to participate in the instructor and course evaluation process. During the two weeks prior to the end of each semester classes, you will be asked to reflect upon what you have learned in this course, the extent to which you have invested the necessary effort to maximize your learning, and the role your instructor has played in the learning process. It is very important that you complete the online evaluations with thoughtfully written comments. 

Starting Spring semester 2011, the students who complete an evaluation for a particular course (or opt out of doing so in the evaluation) will be rewarded for their participation by having access to their course grade as soon as that grade is submitted by the instructor.  On the other hand, any student who does not complete the course evaluation (or opt out of doing so in the evaluation) should expect to incur a two week delay in  access to his or her course grade beyond the university's official date for grade availability.

To complete online evaluations go to Click on "student login" and use the same username and password as used on campus.

f) Other Policies

·         You are training to be effective managers.  Be responsible for your development.

·         Manage conflicts and deadlines like the workplace.  Plan and notify ahead.  Avoid surprises.

·         No exceptions to class policies or deadlines unless obtained from me in writing.

·         No grades given over phone or email. 

·         No operation of electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, laptops) during class.

·         No assignments accepted via email unless we have made arrangements in writing in advance.

·         All written work greater than one page must be stapled (not clipped, folded, etc).

·         Hardcopies of work are due in class on the due date.  No late work will be accepted (this includes excuses due to ‘lab printer problems’).  Give yourself time to deal with unforeseen problems.

Tentative Schedule

Week of

Topic Useful Links Assignments and Extra Credit


Definitions, history, key elements Study note guide 

memo tips

sample memos

Professionalism tips

calculating % difference

model memos

NKU Blackboard

Syllabus pdf



Logistics & transportation US Productivity data

Shipping containers

Transportation sector info

WR:Mattoon Mapquest

BOL Example

Reading Q&A Assignments



Logistics (cont'd)

memo tips; Sample memo


Empty Container City

Riding the Money Train

Picture History of Railroads

Economic Shipping Policy A1


Supply chain configurations

Top 25 Supply Chains

Novak & Eppinger (2001)

From Farm to Fork

Class Forum 1



Distribution channels

US capacity data

Student resource page

Veggie Tales 





AT&T Supplier Management

Infineon Supply Mgt

Raytheon Supplier Rating System

Make or Buy? A2

Network Building EC


Purchasing (cont'd)

Purchasing Mgt Job video

Commodity Prices

Here Comes $500 Oil

Supplier Report Cards A3

Class Forum 2



Exam I   RQA 3



Inventory mgt

Inventory:sales graph

z table1, z table2

EC Credit Markets


Inventory mgt (con'd) The Struggle to Get Lean

Ordering DVDs A4

EC SCM Innovation

10/29 Material handling and warehousing

Beer Game/Business Cycle I

Beer Game/Business Cycle II


11/5 Information management in supply chains

Bullwhips and Beer site

Scanning the Globe

Wireless Grapes

Little's Law A5



11/12 Asset management

Resume thoughts

Apple's SCM Prowess

Class Forum 3

EC Golden Rectangle

11/19 E-commerce

Railroad/logistics update


11/26 Managing supply chain risk

A Meditation on Risk

Risk is His Business

An Executive Risk Handbook

Fear of a Black Swan

Supply Chain Risk Mgt

Asset Management Metrics A6


12/3 Power in supply chains; Global SCM

Why Wal-Mart Wants to Take the Driver's Seat

Cool & Henderson (1998)

Risk Management A7

Last day to submit revised assignments

12/10 Exam II during final exam week Campus exam schedule


mgt 307 potpourri archives





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