UK Passport Office
MSCI 281 Supply Chain Management
Coursework Assignment: the UK Passport Office
In the first seminar of the course, you studied the case study relating to the UK Passport Office. In that seminar, the case was used to introduce a number of issues that we covered in the first part of the module. This assignment builds on that, extending the analysis to cover some of the topics covered later in the module.
This builds directly on the issues explored in the seminar. Using relevant theoretical frameworks, and relevant data, discuss the patterns of demand on the supply network, how these have changed, and why the problems have occurred. You should use the data provided for the seminar. You should also explore beyond these data, reading further into the reports and other sources that were cited in the seminar materials, and in any other sources you think may be relevant e.g. press coverage and organisation/company websites.
This section requires you to read more theoretical sources and apply them to a particular aspect of the case. There is a choice of which subject you study: outsourcing and inter-organisational relationships, or service operations and service supply chains.
So, EITHER do this:
(a) Outsourcing and Inter-organisational Relationships:
Write a review, using relevant sources from theoretical areas as such as transaction costs economics (TCE) and capabilities, as well as from outsourcing and purchasing, on the reasons why activities should sometimes be brought under the control of one organisation (i.e. vertically integrated), and sometimes performed by external organisations such as suppliers. You should aim to draw on at least 10 academic sources.
Then, using the main ideas from your review, discuss (i) why you think the various activities involved in the Passport process were divided between different organisations as they were; (ii) what the advantages and disadvantages of the particular arrangements adopted were; (iii) and why you think the immediate reaction of the UK Government, once the problems arose, was to take the Passport Office back under direct control. You may need to draw on additional data from secondary sources such as reports and websites.
(b) Service operations and service supply chains
Write a review, using relevant theoretical sources, in which you summarise the main ways in which service processes and service supply chains are distinguished from production processes and supply chains, and the implications of these views. You should aim to draw on at least 10 academic sources.
Then, using the main ideas from your review, discuss how the various service processes, for different customers, using different channels, affect the overall performance of the Her Majesty’s Passport Office’s supply chain. For example, some channels use face-to-face contact, others use online processes, and there is customer support contact centre, all with different effects on service quality and costs. You may need to draw on additional data from secondary sources such as reports and websites.
Write about 3000 words in total. Please use tables, diagrams and appendices as necessary, and indicate the structure of your work using subheadings. All tables and diagrams must be given a number, and a title, and must be explicitly referred to in the report (i.e. they shouldn’t just ‘appear’). Please use a consistent system for referencing the sources used, preferably the Harvard system. Indicate the sources of all the data you use. Put page numbers on your work.