Warwick Week 2

The reunion has happened, roughly 6 months after I met my classmates, colleagues, cohort, for the first time it was genuinely like it was last week. That may sound slightly clichéd but that’s my opinion and after all this is my blog!

So what did WW2 have in stall for us? Nothing to be apprehensive about all modules/lecturers exceeded expectations! Unfortunately the Business School wasn’t yet completed for us to use although it could be accessed and it is looking very nice inside and out.

Day 1 (Operations Management)

So the format of this day was simple. 3 case studies, 3 areas to focus on and 3 different lecturers to debrief in their relevant specialism.

You will need to read the case studies prior to WW2 in order to be able to contribute effectively to your study group in the break out sessions.

Service Process Design, supported by lessons 3/4 that cover job design, process technology, volume & variety process types, throughput & WIP and process calculations. This was particularly interesting and the example used in the lesson is how the NHS have transformed A&E, reducing waiting time significantly.

Supply chain management, supported by lesson 5 and the relevant case study. “Does operations drive supply chain or the supply chain dictate operations?” I don’t think there is a universally correct answer, a solid argument supported by relevant information makes way for some good debate around this area.

Operations performance, this focusses on lesson 2 and gets you to think about how operational objectives may change. “Do they change altogether, are some of the irrelevant or does the focus on each one change in given circumstances?” The ‘Triple Bottom Line’ is analysed here also, getting you to think about Social, Environmental and Financial objectives.

All in all a very good day and any initial hesitations about this module were long gone, the lecturers were good, very engaging (Mark Johnson’s bright red chinos provided most of our entertainment) and related to the class well.

Day 2 (Modelling and Analysis for Management)

Unknown to us we were about to be faced with 3 relatives Tony, Adam and Giles! All equally great at what they knew, here were a father and two sons at the top of their game in modelling and analysis with a real willingness to help us learn.

The case study for the day was based on the analysis of car emissions from a test vs what is achieved in the real world, very timely given the most recent scandal involving VW! Perhaps the Giles family knew about this all along and discovered it in their published report!

I digress, back to the day itself. Much of the time was spent looking at the data and manipulating it, afterwards the regression and correlation analysis came into play, getting us to establish and understand what the R2 and P-values meant.

It is vital for this that you have done the relevant lesson (ours was lesson 4), where it shows you how to use the statistical modelling in excel, before you get to WW2.

Day 3 (Marketing)

Lloyd kicked off the day with an Introduction to Marketing and Buyer Behaviour, this focussed a lot on the influences in ones buying decision and the process that the subconscious goes through when making that decision.

The case study for this day was rather intriguing, it focussed on a product JMC Soundboard. What is this product? What does it mean to different people? How might it be marketed? and in turn we had many discussions around the market position, segmentation of the market and suitable pricing, distribution & advertising strategies.

A great example to build in all of the elements from the lessons.

The day was finished off by Scott Dacko looking at the communications of marketing, how messages are conveyed and whether or not these are effective. One example used was the ‘Always – Super Bowl Advert 2015’, asked if this was effective I think everyone said yes, those who abstained were mainly male through fear of the females in the room!

Overall

This might sound strange but WW2 seemed too short, perhaps because we previously had 5 days to get to know each other, 3 days now didn’t seem quite long enough to spend with friends. WW2 provided far more than I expected and certainly reduced any post-purchase dissonance (yes a marketing pun!) that I may have had from paying for these modules.

Oh and the best thing of all was that the accommodation this time was only a 2 minute walk to breakfast (Jack Martin 1) rather than the 15 minutes last time. I think I may have suggested a Brompton after WW1 but that is no longer a necessary investment!

All the best
Joe