Understanding Supply Chains (RMKU9RS)

MODULE CODE:         




Credit Value:             


Module Coordinator:  

Dr George Maglaras

Contact Hours:         

22 Lectures, 8 Seminars


50% coursework, 50% examination

Module Overview:

This module will help students understand the fundamental role of supply chains to the success of modern organisations.

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the topic of supply chain and logistics management. Before the purchase and the consumption of products, those have to become available to customers. A chain of organisations has to be organised and a number of logistics elements has to be managed in order to make products available to customers. The module aims to develop understanding and awareness of the complexities and challenges faced by retailers and their support organisations in managing supply chains and the logistics elements. In addition, the module highlights the fact that companies can not stand alone in channels but they need to work together to form effective and efficient supply chains so that the products are moved to the right place, at the right time, at the right quality and the right price. Students will also develop an understanding of how logistics and supply chain management contribute to cost reduction and service levels improvement and ultimately to providing competitive advantage to organizations.


After completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Define and understand the key concepts in supply chains and logistics
  • Discuss the importance of channel relationships upon supply chains and logistical networks
  • Understand the vital importance of customer service and costing in delivering availability
  • Be aware of the role of storage, inventory, transportation, materials handling and communications in logistics and supply chains
  • Discuss future challenges in managing the supply chain such as “green supply chains” and “e-commerce and the supply chain”

Learning Objectives: 

  • The critical understanding of supply chains from both academic and practitioner perspectives.
  • The critical understanding of how the environmental forces (market, technological, social, ethic, legal) affect decision making and practice in the supply chain.
  • An in-depth knowledge of the processes in the distribution of goods and/or services and how these are linked with the processes of production and marketing.
  • A critical understanding of how the various supply chain stakeholders affect decision making in the supply chain.
  • Explain the importance of the deep appreciation of customers (i.e. expectations, service and orientation) in managing effectively and efficiently the supply chains.
  • Ability to conduct individually a piece of research aiming to critically assess the supply chain approaches of a company taken into consideration the business environment in which it operates and the likely alterations in it.
  • Ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practice.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with others and work in teams practicing decision making and creativity in problem-solving related to supply chain and logistics management.



Fernie, J. and Sparks, L. (eds.). (2014), Logistics and Retail Management: Emerging Issues and New Challenges in the Retail Supply Chain, 4th Edition, Kogan Page.


This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

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