1.0 Introduction

Choosing a great topic for your graduate, master or doctoral dissertation may feel like one of the biggest pressures yet. The students generally spend months and perhaps years on this research project, and completion of their PhD or master’s degree is contingent upon their success. While choosing a topic for the dissertation, one should always choose a topic he or she loves, the advisor finds interesting and is knowledgeable about, helpful in his or her career path, establishes his or her niche in the chosen field and last but not the least importantly, is a manageable topic. All these factors, if considered while choosing a dissertation topic, will make the task much easier and interesting. To help prepare for your operations dissertation, this article suggests topics for you in the areas of Total Quality Management (TQM), innovation, supply chain, inventory management, production scheduling, product development, dynamic pricing, industrial risk management, logistics and manufacturing

2.0 Supply chain design and control
Supply chain is one of the crucial organisational elements of any manufacturing organisation. The planning, design and effective control of supply chain is of utmost importance to the success of the organisations. The organisations need to evaluate and improve continuously their supply chain process and techniques involved in controlling, measuring and developing new solutions. For a topic within this area for your operations dissertation, please see the suggestions below.

  • What does “Legality” mean in reference to supply chain design?
  • Uniqueness and strength in Dell Computer Corporation supply chain.
  • Supply chain management: An analysis of manufacturing firms in UK.
  • Supply chain management: An analysis of distributors in UK.
  • Supply chain management and impact of information technology: An analysis of manufacturing firms in UK.
  • E-commerce for supply chain management.
  • Supply chain management: Case study on IBM, UK.
  • How does ICT enable Supply Chain integration and agility?
  • How the supply chain differs on a B2C site compared to a B2B environment.
  • Supply chain control management: A case study on HP, UK.

3.0 Inventory Management
Inventory management is one of the crucial elements of supply chain management in an organisation. The organisations need to have effective process, tools, techniques and quality measures in place to effectively manage the inventory level and optimise cost. The inventory management has lots of challenges and it requires proper planning and execution of adopted processes and technologies to manage it in an efficient way. Suggestions for operations dissertations on inventory management are:

  • Inventory management is the backbone of supply chain management: True or False?
  • The influence of information technology in inventory management.
  • Inventory management in manufacturing organizations in UK.
  • Inventory management in retail: a case study on ASDA.
  • Inventory management in retail: a case study on TESCO.
  • Inventory management in retail: a case study on SAINSBURY.
  • Inventory management for e-commerce.
  • Inventory management with multiple procurement modes: A case study in UK.
  • Analytical study of inventory management in a car manufacturing organisation.
  • JIT Inventory Management: Adaptation in UK.

4.0 Production Scheduling
Production planning is the function of establishing an overall level of output, called the production plan. The process also includes any other activities needed to satisfy current planned levels of sales, while meeting the firm’s general objectives regarding profit, productivity, lead times, and customer satisfaction, as expressed in the overall business plan. The managerial objective of production planning is to develop an integrated game plan where the operations portion is the production plan. You could base your operations dissertation on any of the following topics.

  • Production scheduling techniques in a manufacturing environment.
  • Production scheduling techniques in a car manufacturing industry.
  • Toyota production scheduling techniques: A case analysis in UK.
  • The significance of theory of constraints in production scheduling.
  • Production scheduling in steel industry.
  • Production scheduling in steel industry: A case study on Mittal Steel.
  • Challenges of production scheduling for SMB organisations.
  • Impact of IT on production scheduling techniques.
  • Innovation in production scheduling techniques.
  • Production scheduling in e-commerce.

5.0 Product Development
Product development (NPD) is the term used to describe the complete process of bringing a new product or service to market. There are two parallel paths involved in the product development process: one involves the idea generation, product design, and detail engineering; the other involves market research and marketing analysis. Companies typically see new product development as the first stage in generating and commercialising new products within the overall strategic process of product life cycle management used to maintain or grow their market share. If you are interested in research New Product Development (NPD) further for your operations dissertation, the following topics may be useful.

  • Three takes on New Product Development.
  • Product development, a look inside the process.
  • Product mix and New Product Development strategies.
  • Boeing’s product development strategy: A case study.
  • Product development strategy: case study on Dell, UK.
  • Product development strategy: case study on BMW.
  • Product development strategy: Pharmaceutical industry.
  • Product development strategy: e-commerce industry.
  • Product development strategy: case study Amazon.com.
  • Impact of information technology on product development strategy: case study on organisations based in UK.

6.0 Design of Services
Service Design is the activity of planning and organising people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service, in order to improve its quality, the interaction between service provider and customers and the customer’s experience. The increasing relevance of the service sector, both in terms of people employed and economic importance, requires services to be accurately designed. An operations dissertation on the design of services could include:

  • Design of services in e-business.
  • Boeing’s marketing service design analysis.
  • Service design in fund management company.
  • Service design in restaurants: a look at restaurants in UK.
  • Design and implementation of e-commerce web services.
  • Four major characteristics of services and the marketing strategies available for the service organisation.
  • Impact of information technology in service design.
  • It’s not product, it’s not service, and it’s solution: a new trend.
  • Importance of service design in the e-commerce world.
  • Future technology impact on service design.

7.0 Dynamic Pricing
Variable, dynamic pricing is a key characteristic of e-commerce pricing, allowing for prices that change or fluctuate due to different variables, conditions, and situations. Being able to manage dynamic pricing strategies is a key ability for companies wishing to succeed in the world of e-commerce, according to professors at the University of California-Irvine Graduate School of Management. The forces of supply and demand are leading variables that dictate pricing. An operations dissertation on dynamic pricing would make for very interesting reading.

  • E-business models of dynamic pricing.
  • Dynamic pricing: case study on airlines industry.
  • Dynamic pricing: case study on travel industry.
  • Dynamic pricing: case study on insurance industry.
  • Importance of Dynamic pricing in ‘auctioning’.
  • Analysis of the current issues, future trends and opportunities associated with dynamic pricing.
  • E-commerce: significance of dynamic pricing.
  • Dynamic pricing: a case study on easyJet.
  • Dynamic pricing in a B2B environment: a case study in the UK.
  • Dynamic pricing in the service industry: a case analysis of an organisation in the UK.

8.0 Industrial Risk Management
The majority of industrial and engineering operations are in the risk world. Almost everything done involves probabilities and consequences. The future can never be predicted 100% and there are a lot of factors that contribute to uncertainty, for example, external influences (oil prices, political changes, etc.), equipment characteristics (reliability, availability), materials, contractor’s performance and suppliers, organization complexity, human errors and bad communications. This is a very important issue within the business world and make for an excellent operations dissertation.

  • Risk management in the construction industry: a case study analysis in the UK.
  • Risk management in the automobile industry: a case study analysis in UK.
  • Risk management in the pharma industry: a case study analysis in the UK.
  • Risk management in the banking industry: a case study analysis in the UK.
  • Risk management in the retail industry: a case study analysis in the UK.
  • Industrial risk management: internal and external factors.
  • Impact of information technology on industrial risk management
  • Risk management in the aviation industry: a case study analysis in the UK.
  • Industrial risk management: Human factors.
  • Industrial risk management in rural part of the UK.

9.0 Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods, information and other resources, including energy and people, between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet the requirements of consumers (frequently, and originally, military organisations). Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material-handling, and packaging. Logistics topics for your operations dissertation could include:

  • Is the rise of intermodal international logistics affecting the operations of manufacturing companies?
  • Transport and logistics: an in depth view of the UK.
  • Logistics management – Evaluation of the logistics operations carried out within manufacturing organisations
  • Logistic industry and corporate social responsibility: A closer look.
  • Impact of information technology on logistic industry.
  • Principles of logistic management: an evaluation in a practical environment.
  • Anticipatory logistics on supply chain management.
  • Competitive advantage of TESCO is its superior logistic management.
  • Competitive advantage of ASDA is its superior logistic management.
  • Value chain strategy of the logistic industry in the UK.

10.0 Manufacturing and Supply-Chain Strategy
Manufacturing strategy is a functional strategy. The concept of manufacturing strategy is often traced to Skinner’s 1969 Harvard Business Review article, “Manufacturing – Missing Link in Corporate Strategy”. Skinner suggested a top-down approach to manufacturing. Manufacturing objectives should be derived from business objectives, and then manufacturing policies developed to address these objectives. Supply chain management (SCM) is the combination of art and science that goes into improving the way your company finds the raw components it needs to make a product or service and deliver it to customers. Possible topics for your operations dissertation are:

  • Manufacturing strategy is the key to business success?
  • Manufacturing strategy: A look inside.
  • Manufacturing strategies of automobile OEMs in the UK.
  • Boeing’s manufacturing strategy: A Case study.
  • Manufacturing strategy: case study on Dell, UK.
  • Supply chain strategy: case study on BMW.
  • Manufacturing strategy: Pharmaceutical industry.
  • Supply chain strategy: E-commerce industry.
  • ERP: A boon to supply chain strategy?
  • Impact of information technology on manufacturing and supply chain strategy: A case study on organisations based in the UK

11.0 Total quality management
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a business management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organisational processes. TQM has been widely used in manufacturing, education, call centres, government and service industries, as well as NASA space and science programs. If you are looking at the area of Total Quality Management for your operations dissertation, the following topics may be useful:

  • Is Total Quality Management enough for competitive advantage.
  • Can TQM be a factor of sustainable competitive advantage for SMB organisations?
  • Evolution of quality: First fifty issues of production and operations management.
  • Implementation of Total Quality Management: an empirical study of UK manufacturing firms.
  • Total Quality Management and customer satisfaction in homebuilding.
  • The application of Total Quality Management in construction field operations.
  • TQM in today’s environment.
  • TQM: Theory and the practical implementation in the UK.
  • TQM: influence of information technology.

 

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