SCMS 3510 Introduction to Operations Management

University of Memphis Career Application Paper Bradford R. Eichhorn, DBA, PMP


Note: This instruction guide may be changed and/or updated throughout the semester. Any changes will be announced in class and online. It is your responsibility to make sure your attend class and are aware of any changes.

Introduction 1

Purpose 1

Use of eCourseware’s Dropbox 2

An additional thought about careers 2

Career Application Paper Content 2

What this paper is and is not 2

Required Content of the final document 3

Submission 6

Format 6

Plagiarism 6

Grammar and Style 6

A note to non-English speaking students 8

Grading 8

Draft Outline 8

Final Submission 9

Grading Rubric (this is a sample – see Rubric online for actual use) 10

Timeliness 10

Possible Industries and Professions 12

Required Subtopic 12

Optional Subtopics 12

Information Technology Infrastructure 14

Information Technology Business Applications 14

Consumer Service Industries 14

Industrial Service Industries 15

Banking, Insurance, Finance, Professional Services 15

Manufacturing 15

Non-profit 17

Healthcare 17

Retail 17

Logistics, Warehousing 18

Introduction Purpose

The focus of this paper is how knowledge of operations management will enhance YOUR career.

This course follows the textbook and additional material presented online and in class. The career application paper is intended to provide you with the opportunity to do a little outside research in an area of operations management that may be specific to your career interests; i.e., you can “fine tune” what you learn in this course to better match your career aspirations.

Some of the student’s career interests are significantly different than the standard “build something” kinds of businesses. For example, students have been interested, or even already involved, in auctioneering, cosmetics, equestrian centers, making baseball bats, language translation, tour guides, foleys, event planning, and more.

Use of eCourseware’s Dropbox

This paper is submitted using eCourseware’s Dropbox. You may submit your work as many times as you like – only the last submission prior to the due date will be graded. This lets you correct any errors you discover prior to the due date. Please read the Timeliness section on page 10 – you will want to submit this on time.

An additional thought about careers

Most of us (me included) enter college with the thought of becoming this or that; another option is to become involved in a particular industry or geography. But then we hear people say that “we should follow our passion” so that we actually have a fulfilling life.

I endorse that, but have come across an idea that can move us farther (and has nothing to do with this assignment)…

Identify a problem to solve and get involved with its solution. This has multiple benefits:

  • It crystalizes your personal Mission Statement
  • Helps you identify (and eliminate) potential companies to work for
  • Helps you explain your interests to potential employers
  • Is truly fulfilling

Career Application Paper Content What this paper is and is not

It is…

Your research into a career or profession within an industry that interests you

Your projection of what you learn in this class into your potential career

It is not…

A case study about a product, company, technique / method, or service

A regurgitation of specific chapters we’ve studied

A detailed job description, what a typical day is like for someone in a job, the opportunities, education requirements, salary, etc.

Consider the requirements and duties of the career you are considering and investigate what a typical daily or weekly routine might look like. Pick one industry or profession (see Possible Industries and Professions beginning on page 12). Then add various subjects we’ve studied from this book that apply to your paper’s topic.

Think about answering questions such as these:

  • “How would I use knowledge of _________ in my career?”
  • “How could I help my employer by using ___________ on the job”
  • “Since I am the manager of this department, what ____________ information can I use to help my department perform better.” I.e., consider writing the paper from the perspective of being the manager of the accounting department, warehouse, audit, cosmetics, store, or music production company.

where the underscore becomes inventory, scheduling, capacity planning, supply chain, lean management, forecasting, or any of the other subjects we’ve covered in class.

Note: If you have previously taken this course from me, you need to write a different paper even if you select the same career or profession.

Required Content of the final document

All papers on any subject will include the following (in sequence):

  • Title Page (1 page)
    • Title
    • Name
    • Semester / Course / Section
    • Date
  • Introduction (250 to 350 words): This is the first section of your paper; it must state the primary issues and opportunities in this domain’s operations management that you are going to address.
  • Detailed Content (1,200 to 1,500 words): A sample list of available topics (industries and professions) are provided beginning on page 12; feel free to organize the sequence of content “subtopics” to best represent your research. For each Industry or Profession, there is a suggested list of subtopics. You may find that you need to add a subtopic not listed which is fine; you cannot answer all subtopics within the 3 page maximum, so select the three to four topics that interest you or that surprised you as you did your research.
    • This is your report of your research; organize it so that it professionally supports your interests as well as the issues and opportunities from the first section
    • This is not a case study about that the company sells or the services it provides. Do not include lengthy examples for any subtopic; instead, provide a thorough discussion in place of 2 or 3 examples.
    • Use terms and concepts acquired from this course to explain your research. You should not give lengthy definitions of concepts from this course; this is a paper on applying the concepts, not explaining them.
    • These 2-3 pages do not include tables, diagrams, pictures or graphs; these can be put in with the text or in an optional appendix
    • Include citations for your references
    • If you have connections with someone working in that industry or profession in a management or supervisory role, you can interview them and include up to 500 words summarizing your interview as part of this content section.
    • Use section headings that identify each topic to clarify the report
  • Conclusion (100 to 200 words): A single paragraph explaining how this course should have helped you confirm or change your career interests and how it should have helped you be a better professional.
  • Citations / References / Bibliography: optional. This is a very short research paper – you may find original articles on these topics from quality sources. Many career application papers do not need citations, so this is included should you need to select and cite a reference:
    • Use sources such as industry periodicals, academic journals (although most will be too complex for purposes of this report), and professional organizations (APICS, PMI, ISM, etc.).
    • Do not use publicly edited sources such as Wikipedia, Investopedia, Business Dictionary,, etc.
    • Do not cite search engines as sources (Google, Bing, Diva-Portal, etc.) unless you are using information from their site and not one they link to
    • Do not use vendor white papers, consultant reports, and social media or news companies
  • Appendix: optional. You may add an appendix for a particularly compelling table, diagram or flow chart if this adds to your report. Tables or charts anywhere in the paper (in the report body or appendix) must be labeled and referenced in the report body.

This report should have a total of 4 to 5 pages (including the title page, citations and appendices) – from 1,600 to 2,000 words (excluding title page. citations, and appendix). Focus on doing some good research to discover the value and challenges of operations management using the terms and concepts from this class. Also, note in the grading section how much weight is given to quality written communications, so be sure to proof read and edit your paper well.

Submission Format

This does not have to be formally formatted (such as APA or MLA), but it should be neat. You can download the sample paper as a template for the format, or you can follow these guidelines (which are essentially the same and the template):

  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12 pt
  • Single spaced
  • Page size: Letter
  • Orientation: Portrait
  • Margin: top: 1”; bottom: 1”; left: 1”; right: 1”
  • Header: Report Name
  • Footer: Page Number


This is to be your research and your work. Plagiarism is defined at the University of Memphis as “The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one’s own without proper attribution.” Significant plagiarism as reported by Turnitin and confirmed by the instructor will make your paper score zero – no exceptions. Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Quotations without their citation
  • Copying significant portions of another work (book, paper, article, website, etc.) in whole or in significant concept
  • Using tables, diagrams, or charts without their citation

Grammar and Style

You were taught how to write good papers in your previous schooling; college is the place to demonstrate what you learned. This is a professional, albeit short, business writing assignment; use a formal tone versus a casual conversational tone.

Consider completing the paper a few days early, let it sit 1 day, then diligently read it word-for-word out loud from start to finish to find and correct issues before submission. The grading rubric (on page 8) assigns a significant value to the paper’s format and writing style. Beware of the following typical issues that will impact your grade:


  • Include terms and concepts from class where needed

Do These

  • Words and phrases
    • Correct spelling: do not select the wrong word (ex: “date” and “data”, “affect” and “effect”, “occur” and “incur”, “paste” vs “paced”)
    • Correct grammar
    • Correct punctuation, use of plurals and contractions
    • Validate homonyms (“lead” vs “led”, “manufactures” vs. “manufacturers”,
      two / to / too, “weather” and “whether”, “moral” vs. “morale”, etc.)
    • Use proper capitalization
    • Use consistent hyphenation: non-profit or nonprofit
    • Correct use of possessives and contractions
    • Use the correct verb tense
  • Proper sentences and paragraphs
    • Sentence structure: each has at least a noun and verb
    • Paragraph structure: one paragraph has only one thought or subject
    • Use the “active” voice when writing sentences
    • Use the third person style of writing (avoid “I”, “we”, “me”, “you”, etc.)
  • Include section headings and subheadings
  • Introductory phrases should be used sparingly; but if used, include the proper punctuation
  • Briefly explain technical jargon unique to the industry, company, or technique
  • If you make citations, know how and when to make proper citations

Do not do these

  • Colloquialisms, slang, idioms, casual terms, redundant terms
    • Examples include “things”, “now a days”, “a huge deal”, “lightning speed”, “pretty much”, “very critical”, “this is key to…”, “pros and cons”
  • Avoid words beyond normal language skills such as nonmaleficence, non-malfeasance, and nonmalevolence
  • Use too many adjectives and adverbs
    • Examples are “very essentially”, “specifically precise”
  • Change verb tenses within a sentence or paragraph unless needed
  • Use of rhetorical phrases and questions
  • Use long quotes (many sentences)
  • Use of an abbreviation before or without its explanation
  • Sentences
    • Incomplete, run on, or complex sentences
    • Ideas that are unexplained or vague
    • Sentences with introductory phrases (“Since the medieval times, …..”). However, if one is used, the phrase should be followed by a comma as in this example:

For it to be effective, it has to include a test methodology for validating its efficiency.

    • Sentences that don’t say anything or that state the obvious; examples (these came from actual student papers):
      • “A manufacturing company is not a manufacturing company without a product to manufacture. “
      • “Location is key when setting up a location to manufacture products.”
      • “Inventory is needed because manufacturing makes products for sale.”
      • “It is very critical for [industry] to have good supply chains and logistics. They would be nothing without supply chains and logistics. Supply chains and logistics are the backbone to any good business because they get the businesses the supplies they need to be successful.”

A note to non-English speaking students

English is a very difficult language to master. However, at this point in your education, you should be able to complete this assignment. Based on my experience, please consider having an English speaker proofread it for you. I do factor in an appropriate consideration for differences in language, but proper word choice and basic sentence and paragraph structure is required.


This paper has two submissions as part of the total grade: your draft outline and the final paper.

Draft Outline

The draft outline only needs to be an outline of your paper. It includes:

  • Title Page stating the industry or profession you are addressing
  • Section headings for each section you will include in your final paper (such as Introduction, Inventory, Security, and Scheduling).

You may include drafts of sections or portions of sections if you have made progress in that area. Although submitted content will not be graded, I will give some feedback to help you. See the corresponding Rubric for this Career Application Paper Outline.

Final Submission

You may have a slightly different outline from what you submitted in the Draft Outline because you found a job activity very interesting or you had a hard time finding enough information to write on a particular job activity included in your original outline.

Your paper is submitted through eCourseware’s Dropbox. Therefore, you may submit your paper as many times as you like prior to the due date. Only the last version submitted will be graded. The following rubric will be used to grade your work:

Grading Rubric (this is a sample – see Rubric online for actual use)

10 9 7 5 3 0
Quantity 1,600 to 2,000 words 1,500 to 1,600 words, or 2,000 to 2,100 words 1,400 to 1,500 words, or 2,100 to 2,400 words 1,300 to 1,400 words, or 2,400 to 2,500 words 1,200 to 1,300 words, or more than 2,500 words Less than 1,200 words or not submitted
Required Content: Terms, and Concepts Appropriate content: Strong use of terms and concepts in each section Appropriate content: Good use of terms and concepts Adequate content: Average use of terms and concepts Minimal content: Some terms and concepts are incorrect Insufficient content: Many terms and concepts are incorrect Not submitted
Selected Technology: Terms, and Concepts Appropriate content; Strong use of terms and concepts in each section Appropriate content; Good use of terms and concepts Adequate content; Average use of terms and concepts Minimal content; Some terms and concepts are incorrect Insufficient content; Many terms and concepts are incorrect Not submitted
Quality & Substance Well written; organized; good choice of topics Good; organized; good choice of topics Good;
could use better organization; some topics may not have been clearly related to the paper’s subject
needs better organization; the topics were not clearly related to the paper’s subject
needs better organization; the topics were not clearly related to the paper’s subject
Not submitted
Grammar and Style Clear; formatted in an easy-to-read style; see Discussion Style Guide Good writing; easy to read; minor grammatical and/or spelling errors Acceptable; grammatical, format, and/or spelling errors Barely acceptable; casual style; grammatical, format, and/or spelling errors Poor style; colloquial / informal; multiple grammatical, format, and/or spelling errors Not submitted


This assignment is well advertised and posted in the course schedule and in the online course calendar; there is no reason for late submissions unless there were documentable exceptional circumstances.

If the submission misses the Dropbox cutoff date and time, the paper can be submitted within the next 24 hours for 50% credit to the instructor’s campus email.

If the submission is more than 24 hours late, no credit will be given.

Possible Industries and Professions

Possible industries and professions for the paper are in bold and underlined beginning on the following page.

  • You pick one closest to your career interests
  • If you don’t see something you like in this list, you may pick something else based on your interests. The topic should be either your career interest or your professional interest (generally: professions are areas that you could be certified in such as accounting, finance, supply chain, IT, etc. whereas careers are typically related to industries such as aeronautical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, education, etc.). Please see me before submitting your topic selection (Draft Outline) so I can review and approve your idea.
  • Note: “Manufacturing” and “Supply Chain” are not acceptable industries or professions because they are too generic and cannot be discussed well in a paper as short as this. Please be more specific, such as “Cosmetic Manufacturing” or “Global Logistics”

Required Subtopic

  • One of your 3 to 4 subtopics MUST BE ONE of the six items given in the Modern Business Technologies page (under Course Resources) regardless of your chosen career or profession. Choose one that would most likely be used and that interests you; use this opportunity to explore its implications by reading the articles provided as well as doing you own research.
  • Remember that this is a paper about YOUR career; do not write a summary about that technology in general – but how it may impact your career.

Optional Subtopics

The bullet list under each topic includes suggestions of subtopics that may be a part of such a career.

  • Note that you can add and remove any job activities (subtopics) that you see fit. Since this is a short paper, you are only expected to include three to four subtopics in total. Do not attempt to use more because your paper will have no substance; “it’s better to be deep in 3 or 4 subtopics than be shallow in 5 or more.”
  • As stated above, you can interview an active professional in a management or supervisory role as part of your content (up to 500 words). This would be considered as one of the three to four subtopics for your selected industry or profession.
  • Do not waste your time and word count on repeating what’s in our text or slides. Think about what you’ve learned from this course and how your selected job activities could be used to help you in your career. Shallow substance and/or minimal content, terms and concepts will harm that portion of your score.

Information Technology Infrastructure

Examples: HW, OS, NW, database, facilities, cloud, ITIL, security

Typical job activities might be:

  • Security (Personnel, software, NW, encryption, testing & verification)
  • Physical security (doors, docks, personnel, contractors, fire, chemical / biological, disaster, etc.)
  • Disaster Recovery and Backup (software vendors, typical approaches to the process, testing)
  • Applications (similarities and differences by type of application, processing schedule, minor and major upgrades)
  • Documentation Management (business documents, source code control, content management)
  • Change Control (process and tools)
  • Project Management
  • Ethics

Information Technology Business Applications

Examples: ERP, SCM, CRM, gaming, education

Typical job activities might be:

  • Security (Personnel, software, NW, encryption, testing & verification)
  • Software vendor selection methods
  • Disaster Recovery and Backup (software vendors, typical approaches to the process, testing)
  • Documentation Management (business documents, source code control, content management)
  • Change Control (process and tools)
  • Performance Management
  • Agile methodology
  • Project Management
  • Ethics

Consumer Service Industries

Examples: package delivery, automobile maintenance, personal care, government agency, restaurant, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Service Level Agreements
  • Value Proposition
  • Quality measurement
  • Job Design
  • Procurement
  • Scheduling
  • Lean management
  • Ethics

Industrial Service Industries

Examples: landscaping, machine repair, commercial design, architecture,
construction, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Service Level Agreements
  • Value Proposition
  • Quality measurement
  • Job Design
  • Procurement
  • Scheduling
  • Lean management
  • Ethics

Banking, Insurance, Finance, Professional Services

Examples: payroll, accounting, audit, CPA, CFP, consultant, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Security
  • Service Level Agreements
  • Value Proposition
  • Quality measurement
  • Service provider’s liability management
  • Lean management
  • Ethics


Examples: pharmaceuticals, airplanes, frozen food, cosmetics, computers, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Where to locate and what to produce / inventory
  • Facility layout
  • Logistics
  • Reverse logistics
  • Customer influences (demand and its variability)
  • Scheduling
  • Capacity
  • Ethics


Examples: governmental, religious, community service, health clinics, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Mission statements
  • Service Level Agreements
  • Lean processing
  • Quality measurement
  • Job Design
  • Risk management
  • Project Management
  • Logistics
  • Ethics


Examples: hospital, medical office, nursing home, dental, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Regulatory reporting
  • Staff performance
  • Outcome analysis
  • HIPPA and data security
  • Healthcare Information Management Systems
  • Facility management
  • Process and quality improvement
  • Logistics and supply chain
  • Pharmacology (such as inventory management, quality control, security, etc.)
  • Ethics


Examples: large (Walmart), small / family, restaurants, hair / nails, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Inventory Management
  • Scheduling
  • Security
  • Quality Control
  • Value Proposition
  • Staff performance

Logistics, Warehousing

Examples: large (FedEx), small, public storage, etc.

Typical job activities might be:

  • Inventory Management
  • Scheduling
  • Security
  • Value Proposition
  • Quality Control
  • Service Level Agreement

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