IDIS 424-Spring 2004
Purchasing Applications in Distribution

Instructor: Dr. Daniel F. Jennings
Office:  204D Fermier Hall
Phone:  (979) 845-4972
Office Hours: 9:00 am—10:30 am TR 
11:00 am—12:00 am TR 
Any Time & By Appointment
Sections: #501 12:45 pm-2:00 pm TR, Fermier 304 
#502   2:20 pm-3:35 pm TR, Fermier 304
Textbook: Purchasing and Supply Chain Management 2nd Ed (2003) by Monczka, Trent, and Handfield (Thomson—Southwestern Publishing). ISBN 0-324-02315-4.
Other Material : In-class Handouts, provided by instructor

I. Course Description

Over the past seventy years, purchasing as a function has grown from a backwater undertaking within operations or finance to one of the most important components of modern corporate management. Also, purchasing has moved from a tactical to a more strategic role within the corporate strategy arena. The principal driver for this change is an attempt by firms to improve their cost structure. Also, external forces, such as competitive pressures, global influences, new technologies, and the drive for continuous improvement have forced companies to examine how the purchasing function is organized and considers the role of purchasing within the context of a supply chain—that is from the perspectives of supplier, distributor, and customer organizations. This course provides you with the opportunity to analyze problems and issues encountered by managers as they consolidate buying power across the entire firm by   aligning purchasing governance with corporate strategy, developing and communicating purchasing policies, streamlining tactical purchasing functions, and expanding the strategic responsibilities of purchasing.  Particular emphasis is focused on distribution systems for industrial products.  Through this approach, you will be able to assist the firm in which you work to build, achieve, and sustain a world-class purchasing organization.
II. Course Prerequisites

       The prerequisite for this course are IDIS 344 and IDIS 364.

III. Course Objectives

    1.     Experience opportunities to integrate knowledge and skills acquired   through previous course work and positions you have held.
    2.     Examine the realities of Industrial Distribution with respect to present and future challenges.
    3.     Acquire an understanding of the impact that purchasing has on the competitive success and profitability of modern
    4.     Understand the increasingly strategic nature of purchasing, especially the fact that purchasing is much more than simply buying
            goods and services.
    5.     Understand the major factors that suppliers and distributors should consider in determining distribution strategy.
    6.     Realize and appreciate the ethical, contractual, and legal issues faced by purchasing professionals.
    7.     Acquire an understanding of the influence that purchasing plays on other major functional activities, including product design,
            information system design, e-commerce, manufacturing planning and control, inventory management, financial planning,
            as well as many other areas.

IV. Grading policy

Grades will be based on a percentage of total points possible. The following possible points will be the basis for assigning your grade.
900 - 1000
800 - 899
700 - 799
600 - 699
599 and below
Possible Points

Research Project
Class Presentation
Group Presentation Evaluation
Daily Quizzes
Final Exam
Total Possible Points


V. Research Project

Working as a group, six students will complete the Research Project described in a following section entitled Class Research Project.  Each group is to select (with the approval from your instructor) a topic for your Research Project. Be careful in the choice of your topic. You will work on this project for most of this semester, so devote considerable energy and debate toward choosing a topic that you find interesting. Your choice of a topic is not final until (1) it is submitted to me in writing and (2) then approved by me in writing. I must approve your choice of a topic by February 10. Fifteen points will be deducted for late approval submissions. It is permissible for groups to select similar topics. However, the content of such Research Projects should be different. Keep in mind that this assignment does not require you to work with individuals inside a particular company.Students may select their group associates with my approval. Names, telephone numbers and email addresses of proposed group members together with one individual designated as the group leader must be submitted to me in writing and will be approved by me in writing. On February 3, I will assign any remaining students who have not been approved as a group—to membership in groups to be determined by me. My choice of group membership is final. So, if there are individuals with whom you wish to work, have your group approved by me before February 10. The course instructor will assign an overall grade to the Research Project. Then peer evaluations will be used to assign individual grades.

VI. Class Presentation

Each group is required to make an in class—oral presentation of their research project. The class presentation can take any format that the group wishes to make. However, all members of the group must participate equally. Groups wishing to use PowerPoint should notify the  course instructor several weeks in advance so that arrangements can be  made. A Class Presentation Group Evaluation Form will be made available to each group.  The due date for the Research Project is April 6, 2004.

VII. Group Presentation Evaluation Process

The class and the course instructor will jointly (i.e. 50/50) assign a grade to the presentation and to each of the presenters. Students will have the opportunity to earn Group Presentation Evaluation grade points when they complete the Class Presentation Group Evaluation Form for each group that makes an oral presentation. If a student fails to complete a particular Group Presentation Evaluation Form, then that student will  receive zero points. Students will be allowed to drop two zeros.

VIII. Daily Quizzes

A number of Daily Quizzes will be administered throughout the semester and may occur at the beginning, ending or during the class. These quizzes will cover the case, reading assignments, lecture material, and class discussions. These daily quizzes are designed to provide you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of the topics we are covering beyond the major exams.  Students will be allowed to drop the grade of any four daily quizzes. NO make-ups will be given for missed daily quizzes.

IX. Final Exam

The Final Exam is comprehensive and will cover material assigned in the readings, lectures, cases, and class discussions. Format of the exam will be short answer, multiple choice, and true-false.  The Final Exam will not be administered at an earlier time.

X. Scholastic Dishonesty ¹

There is a zero tolerance for academic dishonesty. Violations will result in an "F" for the course. Additional repercussions will be determined by the Industrial Distribution Program Coordinator in compliance with Texas A&M regulations.
Categories of scholastic dishonesty are described in footnote #1.
XI. Students With Disabilities
If you believe that you are entitled to special accommodations because of a disability, see the instructor within the first two weeks of class.

 ¹ The Texas A&M University Regulations define several categories of Scholastic Dishonesty which includes (1) observing the work of others; (2) providing information on homework, quizzes, or exams; (3) plagiarism; (4) conspiracy to commit any of the above; (5) fabrication of information; and (6) violation of Departmental or College Policies.


Biographical Sketch

Daniel F. Jennings

Daniel F. Jennings is a Full Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution. Earlier, Dr. Jennings served as the Program Coordinator of the industrial Distribution and as director of the Thomas and Joan Read Center for Distribution Research and Education. He received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering (with honors) from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from Northeast Louisiana University.  After twenty-two years industrial experience as industrial engineer, corporate planner, plant manager, and operations manager involving manufacturing and distribution operations with forest products and chemical firms in the U.S. and South America, he earned a Ph.D. degree in Strategic Management from Texas A&M University.

The holder of three different endowed professorships at two universities, Dr. Jennings has published over 130 articles in academic and practitioner journals as well as recently authoring twelve textbooks in management theory, entrepreneurship, business simulations and industrial distribution.  His research has been described in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and he was awarded the outstanding researcher award for the Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University in 1989.  Professor Jennings has received “Best Paper” awards from Irwin Publishing, Prentice-Hall Publishing, McGraw-Hill Publishing and West Publishing.  The Stern Center of Entrepreneurship, New York University, named one of his papers as being one of the five best conceptual papers on corporate entrepreneurship during 1983-1993. He is active in numerous academic associations including the National Academy of Management, Southern Academy of Management, Southwest Academy of Management, National Association of Case Research, Southwest Case Research Association, and the American Association of Labor Arbitrators.

Professor Jennings is a registered professional engineer and has served as a Visiting Professor in Universities located in Russia, France, Canada, Australia and Mexico. He has taught in professional development programs in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Australia and has performed a variety of consulting assignments for numerous firms. Dr. Jennings also is a certified labor arbitrator for both private and public sector organizations.

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