Germany talent program: Master Thesis Options

careers campus germany talent program master thesis
careers campus germany talent program master thesis

Supply chain consulting experience for master's students

Are you nearing the end of your studies in business administration, industrial engineering, mathematics, informatics, or a similar field and want to write your master's thesis while working at a management consultancy? Our projects and client meetings regularly result in interesting topics for master's thesis subjects, providing the opportunity to work on specific issues actively and gain experience in management consulting.

We offer innovative topics in the areas of supply chain management and after-sales services with a consulting focus, typically for three months.

Below you will find a current list of master's thesis subjects we offer.

Your own suggestions for topics are also welcome.

MASTER'S THESIS 1

Development of an e-commerce supply chain maturity framework for brand manufacturing companies

For many years, brand manufacturing companies have been working on developing their e-commerce businesses. These have transitioned from emerging businesses to central components of their growth and revenue strategies. COVID-19 accelerated the transition from offline to online buying habits, and the expectation is that consumers will retain their new buying habits due to their convenience and advantages. Therefore, companies need to meet consumer expectations in terms of service, lead time, delivery costs, returns, and customization. They need to define their supply chain capabilities to support the e-commerce sales at scale.

This thesis shall look at this topic in five steps:

  • Provide context of 'omnichannel', including its definition, history, drivers, volume/value share, and so forth
  • Define the supply chain capabilities required to operate in an omnichannel business model
  • Identify the biggest differences between omnichannel supply chains versus traditional supply chains across business processes (plan, source, make, deliver, return) and challenges for brand manufacturing companies
  • Research benchmarks for key KPIs to quantify the impact of omnichannel on supply chain performance and/or requirements
  • Identify business and technology levers to enable omnichannel distribution or accelerate growth such as type of lever, impact on capabilities, and cost-benefit analysis

Develop a framework to:

  • Assess a brand manufacturing company's supply chain maturity in terms of omnichannel capabilities
  • Define the gaps versus best practices in omnichannel practices
  • Define a roadmap of initiatives to bring a brand manufacturing organization to best-in-class omnichannel practices
  • Assess business cases for change by looking at expected benefits and costs

MASTER'S THESIS 2

A financial analysis approach to supply chain strategy

Supply chain and operations activities have a strong impact on a company's financial performance. This means that having the right supply chain strategy is the key to remaining competitive within an industry.

The objectives of this thesis are to:

  • Compare the overall financial performance of public companies
  • Correlate performance to supply chain and operations activities with positive and negative effects
  • Create a framework that recommends supply chain and operations initiatives to meaningfully improve performance while aligning with the company's business strategy

MASTER'S THESIS 3

Decision paradigm in supply chain planning: an auction-based model

Allocation of scarce resources is key to business performance. This is especially true in supply chain management, where supply constraints and trade-off costs force businesses to make hard decisions about which demand to serve. Most supply chain management systems support these decisions via priority heuristics or mathematical optimization.

This thesis will explore the implications of a different approach to allocation decisions – one based on auctions.

This will require:

  • Determining an appropriate theoretical model for auction-based supply chain planning
  • A simulation (such as in R or Python) to compare the results of different approaches in practice

MASTER'S THESIS 4

Target operating model for concurrent planning

The current process for supply chain planning is the sales and operations planning process (S&OP). The basis of it is that planning takes place in ordered steps (for example, demand planning, supply planning, balancing, and executive decision) in typically monthly cycles. Leading companies now have advanced planning systems that allow concurrent planning, calling the need for a cycle-based target operating model into question.

This thesis will propose a new target operating model that exploits the concurrent planning capabilities enabled by technology while keeping the benefits of the cycle-based S&OP process.

MASTER'S THESIS 5

Defining customer-centric supply chain and its success

Customer experience and customer centricity are key elements in today's supply chain strategy and design. Success requires that you know your customers and their needs. For instance, a direct consumer may have different expectations than a plant manager you supply with raw materials. Most companies, however, do not know if they are meeting or even exceeding expectations. And there is rarely full visibility into the associated costs of serving and/or the profitability of those 'services'.

We are looking for a master thesis student to:

  • Define 'customer centricity' for various customer groups by understanding their journeys, pain points, and expectations
  • Develop a framework to segment customers by their needs, profitability, or long-term business strategy including a recommendation on 'focus customers'
  • Derive guidelines and/or design principles and identify business levers and technologies to design supply chains that are more customer-centric
  • Discuss the investment and timeline requirements across supply chain stages (plan, source, make, deliver) to increase customer centricity and compare against expected benefits
  • Conclude with a final recommendation/decision framework for companies

MASTER'S THESIS 6

Corporate responsibility: Germany's Supply Chain Act and its impact on global consumer goods companies

A typical bar of chocolate costs a mere €0.80 at a German supermarket. Producing many of these sweets, however, makes use of child labor. Two decades ago, the University of Chicago launched a research project looking into how many child laborers work on the cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast and Ghana. According to the scholars' latest report, 2.26 million children are currently toiling away in the industry.

Objectives of this thesis are to:

  • Classify corporate responsibility activities in the field of supply chain management
  • Evaluate opportunities and implications of this Supply Chain Act ('Lieferkettengesetz') to the consumer goods industry
  • Create a decision framework that helps consumer goods companies develop a transparent and social sustainable supply chain

MASTER'S THESIS 7

The rise of the direct-to-consumer business and the shortfall of established market players through rigid supply chains

For decades, a handful of brands dominated consumer retail around the world. Whether it was Kodak in cameras or Gillette in razors, the top brands remained mostly unchanged from 1923 to 1983. Then, the internet democratized the tools required to start and scale a business. Over the next two decades, a new class of startups emerged, fostering direct-to-consumer business models. These new players constantly conquered market share that once belonged to established players like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Nestle, whose supply chains were unable to meet customers' needs in as agile a manner.

This thesis will focus on:

  • Quantifying the rise of direct-to-consumer players in the industry and building a trend model for future development
  • Classifying different supply archetypes in the consumer goods industry and evaluating their responsiveness to direct-to-consumer needs
  • Developing a qualitative decision framework that helps consumer goods companies build a responsive supply chain

MASTER'S THESIS 8

Circular supply chain: development of a business-viable concept of circular economy in the context of the supply value chain of consumer goods using design thinking

This thesis aims to develop a concept to move from a linear to a circular and sustainable value chain for a consumer goods company. In particular, the aim is to identify and develop business viable, desirable, and technologically feasible options to integrate sustainability in an operating model. Subsequently, the operating model's development can leverage a design thinking process to make the concept consumer-centric and focus on the consumer goods market.

MASTER'S THESIS 9

Benefits of big data technologies in integrated supply chain networks

Fragmented IT landscapes, different software systems, and complex supply chain processes are a challenge that companies face more often – especially as a result of acquisitions. As a consequence, business opportunities are lost, advantages of the acquisition and/or partnerships are not fully leveraged, and core processes are disrupted.

This thesis shall investigate the opportunities of big data and digitization to help solve this problem for our clients. Examples are edge technology or additional software layers to consolidate and analyze data at a larger-scale/company level.

Three main questions will need addressing:

  • Which are the most impactful problems and disruptions?
  • What technologies can help solve the challenges?
  • What is the business impact of (not) taking advantage of these opportunities?
  • The thesis may require a basic understanding of the opportunities, process impact, and implications of different landscape architectures. However, the focus is on operational and business implications, not the actual IT infrastructure and setup of such a system.

MASTER'S THESIS 10

Green maintenance – the impact of IoT solutions (such as predictive maintenance) on a company's ecological footprint

With the setting of emission targets and the introduction of new policies and guidelines, the pressure on companies to 'be green' is increasing. Consequently, the reduction of their emissions is becoming an influencing factor for a company's maintenance strategy. Disruptive technologies such as predictive maintenance could serve as a lever for improving a company's ecological footprint on its supply chain end to end. Topics for discussion include finding ways for machines to run smoothly, extending the use of parts to reduce waste, ordering spare parts only when necessary, and eliminating redundant transportation.

The objectives of this thesis are to:

  • Discuss the as-is situation for various industries and understand key emission drivers
  • Identify optimization levers and potential through green maintenance
  • Develop a model and benchmarks to verify your hypothesis and quantify achievable impact

MASTER'S THESIS 11

Development of a holistic training concept for management to learn about the impact of IoT and disruptive technologies on their business

Though companies have opportunities to advance technologically and improve processes and KPIs, most changes are initially very theoretical and even too abstract for management to fully grasp them. The internet of things and Industry 4.0 developments are examples of this.

This thesis shall develop a concept and training program for management and employees to better understand how their particular situation and setup can improve.

We propose 2–3 core steps:

  • Discussion of the organizational challenges that hinder technology adaptions today
  • Development of a concept to tackle the challenges with leadership training and 'hands-on' experience. This step will include the research and adaption of existing approaches, such as gamification methods
  • Elaboration on and recommendation of an exhaustive training program
  • Optional: programming of a training platform based on your recommendation

MASTER'S THESIS 12

Advanced services within the EV charging station ecosystem

The adoption of electric vehicles (EV) is leading to a constantly rising demand for EV charging stations – in particular, for (semi-) public charging points. The fast-moving charging station market is not fully organized yet. However, meeting the future demands of charging stations will lead to higher requirements toward advanced services within their corresponding after-sales market.

The objectives of this thesis are to:

  • Collect and compare service approaches and business models (including pricing) of players in various segments across the EV charging stations value chain
  • Determining market needs for future services and their impact (such as profiles of requirements, opportunities, and risks) for all levels within the dynamic EV ecosystem
  • Create an overall framework of advanced service scope for EV charging stations and their implications to meaningfully improve their uptime

MASTER'S THESIS 13

Customer data analytics – leveraging multi-channel data to identify business opportunities in a B2B2C aftermarket environment

Today's after-sales market is characterized by a growing variety of competing distribution channels and market participants including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), alternative manufacturers, and wholesalers. At the same time, digital solutions, connected machines, and devices as well as rising online sales are generating an increasing amount of data. In order to succeed in this competitive market, OEMs must create meaningful insights combining multiple data sources.

  • The objectives of the thesis are to:
  • Review and evaluate relevant KPIs that allow OEMs to measure the loyalty of their distribution partners as well as the end customers using their product
  • Develop a method to identify parts and/or part segments with low customer loyalty combining multiple data sources
  • Apply and validate the methodology with real-life data

MASTER'S THESIS 14

Evaluation and benchmarking of aftermarket B2B2C strategies in the manufacturing industry

A growing variety of competing distribution channels and market participants including OEMs, alternative manufacturers, and wholesalers are the new reality for today's after-sales market. Rising online sales and B2B e-commerce even further increase the market's competition. Hence, OEMs must orchestrate and optimize their distribution network, balancing the needs of both their distribution partners and their end customers.

  • The objectives of the thesis are to:
  • Compare and evaluate B2B2C strategies
  • Develop a strategic framework for considering different areas such as e-commerce using different market scenarios and requirements
  • Define a KPI framework to measure success

MASTER'S THESIS 15

Analysis of IoT platforms to enable process automation

IoT technology brings process-related software and physical machinery closer. In addition, it enables interface and data exchange and reduces the cost of setting up automated machine-to-machine data flows.

The objectives of this thesis are to:

  • Analyze the impact for future business and determine the production processes
  • Identify key trends and relevant levers
  • Design a framework to understand progress and hot areas in that topic
  • Keep supply chain management as a potential key field of progress under consideration

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