Purchasing and Supply Management
Purchasing & Supply Management (PSM) is an emerging new field in business management which reflects the worldwide trends of globalised trading and the concept of the extended supply chain. While traditional functions such as buying and logistics have traditionally been considered tactical functions within the firm, ‘PSM’ has grown to becoming a strategic activity which manages supplier relationships, enables network innovation, reduces cost, and mitigates the impact on society and the natural environment. As Purchasing & Supply Management is recognized as one of the cornerstones of 21st century competitive advantage, ‘PSM’ increasingly attracts considerable interest from both industry practitioners and academic researchers.
Please note that, with the exception of the recommended core text, all of the resources for this module such as lecture slides and PDFs are available on the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).
Students taking this module will get an understanding of purchasing and supply chain management in the UK and Europe, as well as global sourcing and supplier selection methods around the world. In addition they will learn about global brand names such as: Rolls Royce Engines, Tesco, IKEA, Volvo Car Corporation, Dell, as well as public government organizations e.g. defence, health.
One lecture and a tutorial session in this module is entirely dedicated to sustainability and discusses the implications of the ‘green’ supply chain on global trading. The module also incorporates ongoing research by the module leader on low carbon procurement and the implementation of closed loop supply chains.
As well as developing their team-working and report writing skills, students gain knowledge and an understanding of purchasing and supply chain management which is valuable for employment. The University of Exeter Business School has links with the Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), and any students considering pursuing CIPS qualifications should first consult www.CIPS.org
Full module specification
|Module title:||Purchasing and Supply Management|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
The aim of this module is to provide a sound introduction to the basic process, context, and theoretical elements of Purchasing & Supply Management by presenting a step-by-step approach in terms of how it has evolved in its current form. It emphasizes the importance of a strategic approach to managing supply networks often involving complex service-based delivery which spans both the public and private sector. The course also includes an introduction to Transaction Cost Economics and the Resource-based View as part of the decision making process over firm outsourcing and the decision to ‘make or buy’. Designed around 10 x 2 hour lectures, supported by 3 help sessions and an individual assignment, the module seeks to help students understand where ‘PSM’ fits in the overall global business decision-making models of today.
While designed from the perspective of ‘no previous knowledge on PSM needed’, some basic concepts of Operations Management (OM) will be included to help the student build a solid theoretical foundation on which to base further learning. Hence it is helpful, but not essential, for students to have completed the OM module beforehand. The module will use industry examples from recent research, teaching case studies and practical tasks in class. Essentially, the module asks how and why organizations purchase goods & services, choose to sub-contract particular activities and innovate with key suppliers. And, having done so, what drives these decisions in terms of theory and business practice?
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Describe the evolution of purchasing & supply management from tactical to strategic.
- 2. Discuss the significance of supply strategy in relation to examples from industry.
- 3. Discuss the core concepts and principles of 'soft' and 'hard' supply chain and network management practice.
- 4. Evaluate the dynamics of the lean and agile models on supply chain responsiveness.
- 5. Evaluate the impact of managing innovation and emerging concepts such as servitization and sustainability on supply competitiveness.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 6. Critically evaluate the role of innovative approaches in process improvement such as the use of new technology and the potential impact on supply performance.
- 7. Apply appropriate theory and conceptual frameworks for developing international sourcing and inter&organizational relationship strategies.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. Written communication
- 9. Independent study skills (e.g. online literature & secondary data search)
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Class test||30 mins||1- 3||Mark in class|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Individual assignment||30||1250 words (main text)||1-10||Feedback written on assignment.|
|Written exam||70||2.5 hours||1-7||Final mark and written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Written exam||Re-sit exam (70%)||1-7||Aug/Sep|
NB: The exact title, ordering and specific content of these lectures may vary according to annual updates
to the syllabus and emergence of new developments in the field:
• Introduction to Purchasing & Supply Management (PSM)
• Supply Chain Management (SCM): exploring soft & hard supply dynamics
• Competing as supply chains and networks
• Understanding the ‘make or buy’ decision i.e. outsourcing
• Supplier assessment, evaluation & development
• Responsiveness: the importance of being Lean and Agile
• Global sourcing strategy
• Technology and supply chain collaboration: e-commerce and the e-hub
• New product development and the supplier
• Sustainable Supply Chains
• Product-service innovation and supply chain ‘servitization’
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Basic reading / core text:
Johnsen, T. E., Howard, M. and Miemczyk, J. (2018). Purchasing & Supply Chain Management: A Sustainability Perspective. 2nd edition. Routledge, T&F: UK
One or two other texts will also be used, accompanied by additional journal article readings
Christopher, M. (2016). Logistics & Supply Chain Management. Pearson: UK.
Ford, D., Gadde, L-E., Hakansson, H. and Snehota, I. (2011). John Wiley & Sons Ltd: UK
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
The ‘3DayCar’ programme website: www.3daycar.com
Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply: http://www.cips.org/
Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport: http://www.ciltuk.org.uk/pages/home
Indicative learning resources - Other resources
In order to instill further industrial relevance, the module will include a selection of cases from the tutor’s own research material on automotive, aerospace, marine, logistics, and the IT telecoms sector.
Last revision date