Business Management 590B
Supply Chain Logistics
Last Revised 08-Jan-2007
Dr. Donald P. Warsing
Department of Business Management
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695
It is the policy of the State of North Carolina to provide equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees.
Accordingly, NC State University does not practice or condone unlawful discrimination in any form against students, employees or applicants
on the grounds of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status. Grades in this course
are based strictly on merit, with no consideration given to the foregoing non-merit reasons.
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Donald P. Warsing phone: 515-6954
2306 Nelson Hall e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASS MEETING: W 6:00 – 8:45 p.m. 3210 Nelson
OFFICE HOURS: T 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., W 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. (Other times by appointment.)
• REQUIRED—Business Logistics/Supply Chain Management, 5th ed., R. H. Ballou, Prentice Hall,
2004 (ISBN 0-13-066184-8, $99.40 used at NCSU Bookstores)
• REQUIRED—Purchase of an access code to a web-based team simulation ($20)
• Selections from Warsing chapter on SCM, posted on course web site (see below)
• Materials posted on NCSU Libraries’ e-Reserves (http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/reserves/)
WEB SITE: Accessible via Web CT Vista (http://vista.ncsu.edu)
PREREQUISITE: BUS 570 or equivalent, or instructor permission
Logistics Management lo-’jis-tiks ‘ma-nij-m&nt (n.) — that part of supply chain
management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward and
reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point
of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.1
What is interesting about the definition above is that it brings out the interdependence of logistics and
supply chain management. If you ask a group of practitioners and/or academics, you are bound to get
disagreement as to whether logistics and SCM are one-in-the-same. It is, however, irrefutable that
effective SCM requires effective logistics decision making. In this course, we will present and discuss a
variety of tools and frameworks that will help you understand the basis behind effective logistics decision
making and how it relates to broader issues in managing the entire supply chain and fulfilling the strategic
objectives of a firm.
The methods used to convey and develop these ideas will include a mix of traditional lecture, interactive
discussion of topics and case studies, spreadsheet exercises, and a team-based supply chain management
simulation. We will draw from a number of sources for the class, including a well established textbook
and recent articles from the popular business press and academic- or practitioner-oriented journals. This
should be the basis for an informative, challenging, and—never lose sight of this—fun semester.
Since any good business course must continually evolve, comments and suggestions from students are not
only gratefully accepted, but also highly encouraged. In addition, the syllabus and course schedule are
likely to be somewhat “fluid.” While the basic topics will remain as stated in the schedule laid out at the
end of this syllabus, both the detail involved in the discussion and the length of time devoted to the
discussion may be altered somewhat as the semester unfolds and student comments are evaluated and
adopted as appropriate.
In many respects, the course is intended to be more like a seminar than a typical lecture course. Rather
than just presenting lots of material for study and memorization, class meetings will often be designed to
See http://www.cscmp.org/Downloads/Resources/glossary03.pdf, the Council of Supply Chain Management
discuss issues and approaches relevant to the topic at hand. It is for that reason that questions, comments,
and discussion points are not only encouraged, but in fact are an important part of the class design.
Without such discussion, the course will probably be less valuable and certainly less interesting for all
involved. The message: Always come to class with an open mind, prepared to discuss and develop the
topic at hand.
By the end of this course, students will be able to do the following:
• Apply the cost efficiency-versus-demand responsiveness framework to strategic decision making
in logistics and supply chain management.
• Compute order quantities and reorder points that minimize (or nearly minimize) total relevant
annual costs for inventory systems serving uncertain product demand and satisfying a variety of
measures of customer service.
• Compute the impact of risk pooling and aggregation on inventory levels in production and
• Develop rate functions to estimate transportation freight rates, incorporate these functions in a
total annual cost function, and compute cost-minimizing order quantity, reorder point, and/or
reorder interval decisions that account for economies of scale in transportation costs.
• Develop vehicle routing solutions using a number of heuristic methods.
• Apply all of the above concepts to supply chain network design decisions and understand how
these concepts map back to the cost-responsiveness framework.
Grades will be based on your performance on the following items. Each item is worth the number of
points indicated. A schedule of assignments and due dates appears at the end of this syllabus.
In-class exams (2 @ 60 pts each).........................................................120
Take-home final exam............................................................................50
Spreadsheet exercises (4 @ 10 pts each—“pass, low-pass, fail”)...........40
Case study discussion questions (2 sets @ 10 pts each).........................20
Class attendance and participation..........................................................20
Team project reports (2 @ 40 pts each)..................................................80
Team input to final project de-brief........................................................20
TOTAL POINTS 350
Class Attendance and Participation
Much of the learning in this class depends on your attendance and interaction in the classroom. I do not
expect this to be a problem for graduate students. Just to “keep everyone honest,” however, a small
portion of your grade covers class attendance and participation. Infrequent, disengaged, or disruptive
attendees—the latter two relating, at least partially, to the use of electronic devices (e.g., laptop PCs,
mobile phones)—will be notified by the instructor if they are in jeopardy of losing these points; however,
the onus is clearly on the student to monitor his/her status with the instructor.
Late Assignments and Absence from Class Meetings
All work submitted in this course will be discussed in class on the date that it is due (e.g., discussion of
answers to exercises, case study discussions, or project de-briefings). Therefore, late submissions of
case study questions or project reports will NOT BE ACCEPTED. Since spreadsheet exercises
represent your opportunity to learn important material for class exams, however, late submissions of those
exercises will be accepted, though at a significant penalty. (Scoring for these exercises will probably be
as follows: 10 points for “on-time with good effort,” 7 points for “on-time with poor effort,” 4 points for
“late with good effort,” and 0 points for “no submission” or “late with poor effort.”)
If you must miss class for any reason, it is considered a courtesy to notify the instructor prior to the class
meeting, preferably vie e-mail, indicating the date of the class from which you will be absent and the
reason for the absence. Any work due on the date that you miss class must still be turned in on or before
that date to be considered “on-time.” Late penalties spelled out above will apply whether you are
physically present in class or not. In cases of illness or emergencies, notify the instructor as soon as
possible after the occurrence.
Note: Repeated failure to complete coursework will clearly result in the risk of a failing grade (F) in the
course. An incomplete grade (IN) is possible only if the student talks to the instructor about extenuating
circumstances that have resulted in his or her inability to complete and submit the required work in the
course. An IN grade can be converted to a letter grade if the necessary work is completed by the end of
the next regular semester; failure to submit work in this succeeding semester results in the automatic
conversion of the IN grade to an F (see http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/pols_regs/REG205.00.13.php).
The following percentage scale will serve as a starting point for determining course grades:
Percentage Letter Grade
93 – 100 A
90 – 92 A–
87 – 89 B+
82 – 86 B
79 – 81 B–
76 – 78 C+
70 – 75 C
69 – 60 D
< 60 F
In the final analysis, the scale above may be altered in order to capture clear break points in the grades;
any alterations to the scale, however, will be to your advantage.
Spreadsheet exercises will be assigned in this course to reinforce concepts discussed in class and to
provide you with hands-on practice in building decision analysis tools. Each exercise will require you to
address a logistics management decision posed in a “mini-case-study” by completing an instructor-
provided Excel template. In some cases, additional written documentation of your solution process
and/or related insights may be required as part of the assignment.
Case study discussion questions
Two of the course topics will be supplemented by in-class case study discussions. In preparation for
these discussions, you will be asked to submit brief answers to 3–4 questions about the case in advance of
the class meeting at which the case will be discussed. Complete answers to the questions will receive full
credit; incomplete answers or “non-submissions” will receive no credit. Be forewarned: Your answers
to case study questions are a basis for “cold-call” questions during the class discussion.
Mid-term and Final Examination
Two in-class exams will be given during the semester. These exams will consist of a series of short-
answer and/or problem-solving questions. The final exam for the course will be take-home in nature. Its
format is TBD; however, a portion of the exam will clearly be Excel-based and another portion may
involve some targeted outside research. Analysis guidelines and specific questions will be presented as
an aid in developing the solutions and recommendations that you will submit.
In accordance with the class absence policy stated above, make-up exams will only be given when the
student has a valid excuse and arranges for a make-up before the test or exam. In all cases, the student
will be expected to provide some verifiable reason for missing the exam. Again, in cases of illness or
emergencies, the instructor must be notified as soon as possible after the occurrence for a make-up exam
to be offered and scheduled.
Information Concerning Written Work
Specific formatting guidelines and submission expectations for written work will be provided as
necessary. Generally, written submissions will receive grades for both content and writing quality. Some
written submissions will also receive a separate grade for analysis. The basis for these grades is as
Content—This portion of the grade reflects the quality of the ideas presented in the submission. It is
based on an assessment of the range, depth, quality, and originality of ideas; the logic of the arguments
made; the existence of an appropriate sense of complexity of the topic at hand; and the existence of an
appropriate awareness and recognition of opposing views.
Writing Quality—This portion of the grade reflects the organization and development of the submission,
its clarity, its use of proper grammar and mechanics, the effectiveness of the writing style employed, and
the professionalism of the submission’s appearance. Failure to adhere to formatting guidelines (margin
widths, line spacing, font size, etc.) will result in a 20% reduction in the writing quality score.
Analysis—This portion of the grade will reflect the depth and accuracy of any computations or
mathematics necessary to support the written work.
Grading guidelines will be distributed with each assignment to explain the scoring breakdown across
content, writing quality, and analysis.
Later in the semester, we will form project teams consisting of three to four students each. Two team
projects will revolve around logistics management and supply chain network design decisions using a
web-based team simulation. Each team will submit a written report for both the first and second projects
and provide input (format TBD) to the final in-class debriefing on the project.
Some time in the course schedule will be devoted to in-class Q&A and project team meetings. These
serve multiple purposes: (1) To clarify any project-related issues relevant to all project teams. (2) To
provide guaranteed time blocks when no team members should have meeting conflicts. (3) To provide an
opportunity for the entire team to meet with the instructor to discuss project issues and answer questions.
Please use these opportunities wisely.
Team Peer Reviews
With any group project, there is a risk that one or more individuals will try to obtain a “free ride,”
assuming that teammates will pick up the slack out of concern for their own grades. This situation is
clearly unfair to those who care about doing well on the project. The following policies are intended to
lessen the likelihood and mitigate the effects of such events in this course:
1) On the date that each of the two team project reports are due, each student will submit a confidential
peer review describing the contribution of each of the members of the team (expressed as a—
fictitious, of course—monetary “bonus” and a rating on several dimensions). These statements of
individual contributions to team efforts may be used to modify the project scores for some individuals
on the team, as appropriate.
2) An extremely low rating on the first peer review may result in instructor meetings with both the
low-performing individual and that person’s team. The result of such a meeting may be an
instructor directive to the team to create and adhere to a team contract for all team members. The
team will then have the right to “fire” any individual that breaks the team contract. IMPORTANT:
Any firing must first be discussed with and approved by the instructor. The individual being
fired will then be responsible for the second project on his/her own.
From the NCSU Code of Student Conduct:
Academic dishonesty is the giving, taking, or presenting of information or material by a student that unethically or
fraudulently aids oneself or another on any work which is to be considered in the determination of a grade or the
completion of academic requirements or the enhancement of that student’s record or academic career.
(See http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/student_services/student_conduct/POL445.00.1.htm for more
information.) It is expected that all students will conduct themselves with integrity in this course.
If you are aware of another student in this class violating the academic integrity policies, you should
notify the instructor immediately. Violations will be pursued in accordance with the procedures outlined
by the University. (See http://www.ncsu.edu/student_conduct/ for more information.) The sanctions
recommended by the instructor will be based on the circumstances of the case. Possible sanctions include
an F on the assignment, an F in the course, or attendance at a judicial board for consideration of
An Invitation to Students with Disabilities
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take
advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at
1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, voice: 919-515-7653, TTY: 919-515-8830, fax:
919-513-2840. (See http://www.ncsu.edu/provost/offices/affirm_action/dss/ for more information.)
Schedule of Readings and Assignments
Week Date Assignment Due Topic Readings
Ballou Chs. 1–2 (DW 1–6)
Focus articles: Hyland, Breen,
1 10-Jan-07 SCM overview and
Bkgnd: Magretta, McWilliams
Ballou Ch. 3
SCM drivers and total
2 17-Jan-07 Article: Marien (“Four…
Ballou Ch. 9, pp. 326–348
Finding optimal inventory
3 24-Jan-07 Article: Cachon & Terweisch
(Ch. 9) (DW 6–14)
SS exercise—Newsvendor Cycle and safety Ballou Ch. 9, pp. 348–389
problem inventories (DW 17–24)
Risk pooling game Articles: Sec. 11.4 from
5 07-Feb-07 Safety inventory and risk Chopra & Meindl, Feitzinger
pooling & Lee (DW 42–47)
Inventory wrap-up &
Ballou Ch. 6, pp. 164–189
6 14-Feb-07 review
Exam 1: 6:00 – 7:15
7 28-Feb-07 Project 1 kick-off
“Supply Chain Game” web-
Class meeting: 7:30 – 8:45 Transportation overview
8 07-Mar-07 NO CLASS—Spring Break
Ballou Ch. 6, pp. 190–215
Project 1 Q&A
Articles: Polymedic case
Case study questions— Estimating transportation
9 14-Mar-07 study, Marien (“Making
Polymedic Ltd. costs
Sense…”), Handout on LTL
rates (DW 28–38)
SS exercise—Freight rate Managing the “last mile” / Ballou Ch. 7
estimation routing Article: Yano et al.
Project 1 de-brief Ballou Ch. 13–14
11 28-Mar-07 Project 1 report Network design and Articles: Schwartz, “10
facility location Best…” (DW 38–43, 48–51)
SS exercise—vehicle Facility management Ballou Ch. 11, Ch. 12—pp.
routing Project 2 kick-off 528–544
Exam 2: 6:00 – 7:15
Class meeting: 7:30 – 8:45 Open for project team Q&A with DW
Style.com case study (from
Case study questions— e-Fulfillment and 3PL
14 18-Apr-07 course web site)
Articles: Langley et al., Leib
Special topics in Logistics
15 25-Apr-07 Project 2 report TBD
Course wrap-up & review
16 2-May-07 Take-home Final Exam due at 9:00 p.m.