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Supply Chain

This Session Long Project is about the Supply Chain. It is divided into 4 assignments just like all other SLPs at TUI. Each assignment focuses on a different aspect of the Supply Chain: SLP1 is focusing on a specific product, the producer of that product, and the key competitors in that industry as well as the suppliers and customers of the target company. SLP2 extends the Supply Chain discussed in SLP1 into what is known as the Extended Enterprise Supply Chain, which explodes the supplier channels all the way back to the Raw Materials and those industries which provide the raw materials. And it explodes the Customers frontwards all the way to the Retail and consumer. SLP3 then looks at this EESC and identifies the transportation methods used and where the three modes of water, rail, and road are key aspects. The final SLP in this course looks at the whole infrastructure of the U.S., to include the transportation network, energy, and communications. It serves as discussion of the state of the national infrastructure – and possible solutions for its improvement.

Assignment 1 – the Primary Supply Chain

Want to review about how to Research and Write Academic Papers?

This SLP, like most other SLPs in TUI courses, requires research and writing academic papers. You need to know how to use and cite references correctly. You learned how to do this ETH501.

But just in case you need a refresher, here are two links to help you.

TUI’s Well Written Paper

Purdue’s Online Writing Library (OWL)

Read the resources for SLP1 in the Background page.

For this first SLP you will choose a product and a company that you will use throughout all of the SLPs.


  1. Choose one      of the following consumer products:


  • Motorcycle
  • Blue       jeans
  • Antibiotic
  • Diamond       ring
  • Baseball       glove
  • Soccer       ball
  • Indoor       house paint
  1. Choose a      company that produces this product in the USA (materials may come from      abroad). You will research this product, company      and the industry and the related Supply Chain.

There are many websites that will show you how a product is made – e.g., materials needed, processes used, etc.  

Once you have chosen a product, you can search for a company that produces this product. Then you can research this company and the specific brand. Search the company’s website. If it is a publicly held company you can find its 10k report for good information. And also search IBIS and ProQuest for articles about this company.

What is the size of the market for this general product, e.g. how many of these are sold or the total sales of these per year at the retail level?

What is the brand of the product and the company you are focusing on and what is its market share for this product? What are the locations of the company in the US? 


  1. Then      research the competition for this product:

    Identify 3 – 5 competitors of this company      and their market share for their brands?

  2. Now      research the supply chain:

    Upstream Supply Chain. What are the key      supplies and materials needed to produce this product? Include not only the      materials that go into the product, but also any packaging that is needed.      Identify as many of the actual supplier companies as you can and where      they are located in the U.S.

    Downstream Supply Chain. What are the      customers of this company/industry? Do they sell to distributors,      wholesalers, retailers? Identify as many customers as you can and where      they are located in the U.S.

    Generate a diagram of this Supply Chain      including the specific company/industry and showing the suppliers and      customers.

Session Long Project

Choose a product from the list and find a company that produces this product in the USA. Research this company and this product. 

SLP Assignment Expectations

The paper should include major locations of the company. Identify the size of the market, identifying key competitors in the industry,. Identify key components, materials, and packaging needed to produce this product. Identify key upstream and downstream aspects of the supply chain and locations of suppliers and customers. Discuss this supply chain. Generate a diagram of the SC.


  • Background:      Review and discuss the product, company, and industry
  • Diagram:      Include a diagram of the Supply Chain
  • Industry      Competitors: Identify the company’s competitors; identify competitors’      brands.
  • Supply      Chain Discussion: Discuss key upstream (supplies/suppliers) and downstream      (customers) aspects of the SC and locations of each.
  • Clarity      and Organization: The paper should be well organized and clearly discuss      the various topics and issues with appropriate depth and breadth.
  • Use of      references and citations: At least four (4) proper references should be      used in the paper, cited in the text, and listed in the references. APA is      required.
  • Length:      The paper should be three to four pages – the body of the paper excluding      title page and references page.

NOTE: You will need to do independent research and find at least four appropriate references.


Sweeney, L.B. and Sterman, J. (2000). Bathtub dynamics: initial results of a systems thinking inventory System Dynamics Review, 16(4).

Background for the SLP


Supply Chain Basics

Beer distributors are wholesalers and are part of the Supply Chain.  Access this pdf slide file to read about the supply chain basics.

Basic Concepts of Supply Chain Management (n.d.). Essentials of Supply Chain Management. Retrieved from

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