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 Toyota's outsourcing issues in international operations management


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Individual Case Assignment Instructions
The purpose of this assignment is to identify and apply IOM (International Operations
Management) concepts/tools to solve problems in managing international operations. To this
purpose, you should find an interesting IOM problem from the real business world and think
about how you can apply the IOM concepts/tools that you learned in this course to solve the
problem.
More specifically, each individual should:
 Find a problem in managing international operations from the real business world (from
his/her own work or from any business articles/cases)
 Identify specific IOM concepts/tools that can be applied to the problem
 Apply an appropriate IOM concept/tool or a set of appropriate IOM concepts/tools to
propose a solution to the problem
 Analyze the expected results that may be obtained when the solution is implemented.
The table in the appendix below will serve as the grading rubric for this assignment.
The report should be 10-15 pages in length including the cover and appendices, with 1” margins
on all sides, double-spacing, and 12 point font. The cover of the report should include title, class
code and name, section number, your full name, and date of completion.
The report must follow the outline below:
1. Abstract (150 words maximum)
– Summarize the entire report, including problem statement, IOM concepts/tools that
have been applied to the problem, and expected results of the proposed solution.
2. Background information
– Clearly state whether the problem is from your own work or from business
articles/cases. If it is from business articles/cases, provide its source (title, author,
name of the journal, date published).
– Briefly introduce the company background (e.g., name, products, business size,
location, internal/external interesting facts, etc).
3. Problem Description
– Describe the problem clearly and specifically.
– You should focus on a single problem, although you can introduce several other
issues for informational purposes. 2
– The problem may involve either operational decision-making or process
improvement in managing international operations.
– This section must include a problem statement starting with, e.g., “This paper
considers the problem of determining …”, “The main problem of the firm is how to …”,
etc, either in the beginning or at the end of the section.
4. IOM concepts/tools that can be applied
– Describe what specific IOM concepts/tools can be applied to the problem and why
they are appropriate to the problem. This section should make it clear that you
understand the concepts/tools you are about to use.
5. Application of IOM concepts/tools
– Choose an IOM concept/tool or a set of IOM concepts/tools among the ones provided
in section 4 and apply it to propose a solution to the problem.
– This section should include your work/calculations in details to show how you have
applied the IOM concept/tool(s) to develop the solution.
6. Analysis of expected results
– Analyze the expected results of the proposed solution.
– The expected results may include cost/revenue impact and/or improvement of
operational performance. You must be specific to receive full credit.
– Discuss the pros and cons of the suggested solution.
7. Conclusion
The meaning of a problem in managing international operations will become clearer as you
study this course. As you can see in the textbook contents and course schedule, an IOM
problem may involve global operations strategy, global sourcing, global supply chain
management, logistics network design for global operations, risk management in global
operations, information management for global operations, process design and improvement
for global operations, etc.
You are encouraged to find a problem from your own work if you work for a multinational
company, so that you may apply to your work the concepts/tools that you learned from this
course. However, if you want to find a problem from business articles/cases, you can find one
from any journals/newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, Harvard
Business Review, and so on. Or you can surf the Internet to find an interesting article/case.
Examples of the IOM concepts/tools that can be applied to your problem include Strategic
Importance and Criticality Matrix, third-party logistics, criteria for backward vertical integration
versus development of local suppliers, framework for supply chain structures, three approaches
for the orientation of facility networks, operational flexibility for minimizing operating exposure,
ERP/SCM systems, etc.3
Appendix: Expectations for the individual case assignment
Below Expectations Meets Expectations Exceeds Expectations
1. Identification of
problem in
managing
international
operations
Lack of understanding about
what problems are faced
when managing
international operations.
Problem description may be
vague.
Accurately identifies
problems in managing
international operations but
may omit issues of minor
significance.
Accurately identifies
problems in managing
international operations
and describes the problems
clearly and specifically.
2. Identification of
appropriate IOM
concepts/tools
Fails to identify appropriate
IOM concepts/tools that can
be applied to the identified
problem or selects
inappropriate IOM
concepts/tools.
Identifies appropriate IOM
concepts/tools that can be
applied to the identified
problem.
Identifies a novel approach
that combines multiple IOM
concepts/tools that can be
applied to the identified
problem.
3. Application of
IOM concepts/tools
Inappropriately applies the
selected IOM concepts/tools
to the identified problem.
Appropriately applies the
selected IOM concept/tools
to the identified problem
although the application
may lack some depth.
Applies the selected IOM
concepts/tools expertly in
detail and in depth to the
identified problem.
4. Analysis of results Superficial or absence of
analysis. May analyze results
that are not directly related
to the solution.
Provides some analysis of
results related to the
solution. May omit
discussion of some results.
Provides in-dept analysis of
all significant results related
to the solution.
5. Discussion of
implementation
issues
Limited discussion of
possible action plan(s).
Discusses specific action
plan(s) relevant to the
solution.
Provides specific action
plan(s) and in-depth
discussion of possible
implementation issues.






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