Master thesis internship

Looking for a challenging internship? Do you want to perform your research in the field of purchasing, supply chain or information management? Supply Value offers several opportunities for top master students.

Master Thesis internship @ Supply Value?

Supply Value is looking for fresh talent with bright ideas in procurement, supply chain and information management. You can choose one of the topics in this document or contact us if you have a new idea for a managerial interesting thesis topic.

Every intern is assigned his/her own coach at Supply Value. Your coach is always there for you to help you with business and personal development challenges. We help you to gain practical insights, give you access to our network, library and databases and we coach you in order to make sure your thesis is not only relevant in the academic world but also in the world of business.

What do we expect from you?

Specifications depend on the research, but generally, these results are expected:

  1. Project plan;
  2. (Practical) framework based on the results of the study;
  3. Research in which a validated method is used. We highly value our customer relationship and we often consult them in our researches;
  4. Research report with results, conclusions and recommendations;
  5. A relevant publication in a professional journal;
  6. Organisation of a workshop about the results or, organisation of webinar(s) in collaboration with international branch organizations;
  7. Contacting potential customers from the research and publications;
  8. Final Thesis.

What can you expect from us?

  • Your personal mentor;
  • Practical insights from your coach and other colleagues;
  • Help to ensure relevance in the academic and business world;
  • Access to our network of purchasing professionals (for possible questionnaires or interviews);
  • Access to our knowledge database;
  • An open and interested mindset from all of your colleagues;
  • A monthly compensation with a bonus structure.

Who are we looking for?

  • Preference for graduate trainees following a Master in the direction of (technical) business administration, economics, supply chain management, procurement management, information management, computer science, or comparable Masters;
  • Affinity with the consultancy profession;
  • Drive to get the best possible result;
  • Extracurricular activities on your resume;
  • Independent and proactive;
  • Ambitious, conscientious, and a critical thinker;
  • Open minded team-player;
  • Top 20% in academic benchmark;
  • Dutch speaking.

The selection process consists of a resume round, an interview, a capability test, and after successful completion of the test, a second interview.

Are you interested in a Master Thesis internship at Supply Value? Send your motivation, resume and grade list to info@supplyvalue.nl. Would you like more information before applying? Please do not hesitate to contact our graduate student coordinator Esra Stoll, by emailing e.stoll@supplyvalue.nl.

Internship research topics

Topic 1: What does the optimal IT governance organization look like?

A major trend in IT in the past years is that IT organizations have transformed from supply-driven organizations(internal IT supplier) to IT management organizations. These organizations play a connecting role between the demand of the internal customer and the supply of external suppliers. Questions that can be researched are: What does the optimal IT governance organization look like? What are the different levels in maturity of IT management organizations? What steps should an organization take in order to grow to the next maturity level? And what are the critical success factors?

Topic 2: System-oriented contract management within IT

Since 2003, Rijkswaterstaat is active in Soil, Road and Hydraulic Engineering (GWW) by using system-oriented contract management (Systeem Gerichte Contractbeheersing, SCB). SCB is nowadays applied by water authorities (waterschappen), provinces and municipalities. Through SCB, suppliers receive responsibility to perform a certain job as an expert in their field of expertise. The supplier monitors the quality of the delivery of the products through their quality management procedures, and thereby demonstrates that client requirements are met. The client then applies system-oriented contract management (SCB) in order to verify this. Part of this method is that the client executes risk driven audits. The payment to the supplier is dependent on a successful outcome of the audit. For more information about SCB, see: https://staticresources.rijkswaterstaat.nl/binaries/Factsheet%20over%20Systeemgerichte%20Contractbeheersing%20(SCB)_tcm21-86144.pdf

On a small scale, SCB is already used in the procurement of ICT. Supply Value wants to conduct scientific research into the application of SCB in the IT sector. What does literature state about the probable advantages, what (dis)advantages does practice show, how should it be implemented in the ICT sector, and what are success and failure factors?

Topic 3: Shift to result-oriented assignments in purchasing

As organizations started to realise the importance of purchasing; the demand for purchasing professionals also grew rapidly. Actually, the demand for purchasing consultant has grown with more than 20% in 2015 (Supplychainmagazine.nl, 2015).Originally, the most assignments were interim based, meaning that the consultant is paid per hour. This format is easy to use, and suitable for most types of consultancy assignments. However, for some assignments this construction is less preferred. There, the choice is often made to pay consultants on a result basis. This is preferred as in this, the goals of the consultant and the customer are completely aligned; reach the goal as good and soon as

possible. In this format, one is not paid per hour, but per result. Recently, Supply Value has observed a trend towards more result-based assignments as opposed to hourly paid assignments. For our customers, we look to understand how this shift influences consultancy firms, and what benefits it offsets for organizations looking for consultants.

To investigate this, a link may be made to the agency theory, where goals are aligned between the principal (organizations) and agent (consultancy firm).

Topic 4: How does the changing purchasing legislation influence the purchasing field and how should the legislation develop from here? (LEGAL ASSIGNMENT)

In the eighties, the European Union developed the first version of purchasing legislation. This was based on a worldwide convention and offered much freedom in how (public) tenders should be performed. In 2004, the European Union formulated a much stricter directive on which the Dutch procurement legislation (‘Aanbestedingswetgeving’) of 2007 was composed. Many find that this legislation sets the boundaries too strict and that it leaves no room for specific situations or new developments in purchasing.

From this finding, the question arises how the legislation should develop. Should it become even stricter with many exceptions for new developments, or should it become more lean as to move with developments like Best Value Procurement? Also, how would each direction influence the field of procurement consultancy, from the perspective of the consultancy, but more importantly, from the perspective of purchasing organizations.

For this study, we are looking for someone with a specific interest in purchasing legislation.

Topic 5: Is Best Value Procurement here to stay?

Purchasing has long been viewed as a costly and necessary function. Lately, this view has changed, as organizations realised that the purchasing ‘department’ is actually a value-providing activity running through the entire supply chain.

Over the past years, many new purchasing strategies have been developed. Most recently, best value procurement (BVP) has gained in popularity. Now that the first movers have settled in, and the hype has subdued a little, it is time for reflection. For now, BVP seems the way to go, but the world of procurement keeps developing. As a result one can question the durability of BVP. Is it here to stay? If yes, how will it develop as a concept? What factors will develop in importance within the concept. If no, what will replace it? What characteristics would this new concept have, in which BVP cannot provide?

Topic 6: How can the sharing of assets be used and/or implemented at a large organisation?

Lately, more options are available for sharing assets instead of buying them. A large initiative for this is FLOOW2, a market place to offer assets and to find assets. Even though FLOOW2 is focusing on organizations, few organizations are familiar with the asset sharing principle, and even fewer implement this when acquiring an asset.

In order to gain insights on how this principle can best be applied to different types of organisations, the following questions arise:
1. What are the main advantages of asset sharing?
2. What are the thresholds for sharing assets?
3. What are the success factors for implementing sharing assets?
4. Is it possible to introduce a model for applying this principle?

For this thesis we are looking for someone with a specific interest in innovative concepts and purchasing.

Topic 7: How can the standard purchasing process be made more efficient?

Over the past years, many new purchasing strategies have been developed. Most recently, best value procurement (BVP) has gained in popularity. However, even though purchasing has gained much attention and new methods were developed, the standard purchasing process still most often applies. This lack of development in the standard purchasing process indicates that there is room for improvement and room to develop a more lean and efficient process. Supply Value would like to explore if the current purchasing process is outdated and if yes, how it should change to fit current purchasing developments. Additionally, an analysis on possible ‘waste’ reduction in the purchasing process should be formulated to make the process more lean. In this newly formed process, success and failure factors should also be identified.

For this study, we are looking for someone with a specific interest in lean thinking.

Topic 8: What is the best way to formulate a purchasing (action)plan?

As purchasing is has become a value-providing activity running through the entire supply chain, many purchasing decisions are, in fact, strategic decisions. This indicates that the purchasing department has a vision to follow, to serve as a guideline in these decisions. However, the reality is often that purchasing managers have little time available to invest in formulation a purchasing strategy or plan. Instead, they are forced to focus on fixing short-term problems and goals. Preferably, purchasing managers would formulate a purchasing (action) plan, in which they lay out the strategy to achieve the company’s vision. In this plan, process-improvements and infrastructure improvements would be laid out. Additionally, it should contain a planning of future tenders, so that time can be reserved for last-minute added tenders. Consequently, the main question is two sided:

1. How can a purchasing manager shift focus to a strategic plans instead of operational activities, and what is the best way to write a purchasing (action)plan.

2. How can the purchasing manager apply continuous improvement (possibly PDCA) to purchasing activities

For this study, we are looking for someone with a specific interest in purchasing and strategic thinking.

Topic 9: HRM and Procurement Integration

Since the financial crisis in 2008, the HRM and purchasing departments have become increasingly important in organizations. However, HRM is often not involved in the external hiring of staff. Many external employees are not in the right place because procurement focus only on price per hour and hard skills. Through this focus, companies do not get the right people in the right place and causes reduced job performance.

The collaboration between HR and procurement must be improved in order to boost the performance of external staff. Matching of hard and soft skills, good job descriptions and the match with the corporate culture are some tasks where HR is specialized in. Negotiation and supplier management are some other specialities of procurement. When HR and procurement join forces, they can put their organization in the right way for the future.

A trend in reaching this is that external solutions, like managed service providers, are performing the combination of HR and Purchasing in the private sector. Supply Value is looking to execute a scientific study on the application of HRM and purchase as a business partner in different sectors. How should this collaboration be formed and what are key success and failure factors? Additionally, it should be questioned whether purchasing can contribute to a better workforce and achieving the policy objectives as social return, social conditions and a higher participation of the lower end of the labour market. Lastly, the question arises whether HRM can contribute to a better procurement process?

For this study, we look for someone with a specific interest in HRM.

Topic 10: Why do organizations look for consultants, and why do they choose who they choose?

As a consultancy firm, we speak to (potential) customers on a daily basis. To better fulfil the needs of organizations, we aim know what drives them to look for external advice. Specifically, Supply Value is looking to better understand the drivers of organizations to look for purchasing, supply chain management, or information management consultants. With this study, we look to get better insights on the decision criteria that organizations use when choosing a partner for their assignment; what are critical decision factors, and what are nice-to-haves?

Topic 11: Purchasing Trends 2019 (starting august 2018)

Annually, Supply Value conducts a worldwide1 study on the main trends and developments within the procurement field for the coming year. Supply works closely with various international branch organizations. The results of this study supports purchasing managers in setting key priorities and determining the appropriate focus for the upcoming year.

This year, Supply Value carries out the purchasing trends survey 2019. Supply Value is looking for a (graduation) student who further professionalizes and expands the purchasing trends research Supply Value. Last year we received 550 responses from all over the world. Next to carrying out research at a

scientific level, you maintain contact with the various international trade organizations we work with (ie. those of The Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, USA, Portugal, Eastern Europe). With them, we aim to share the research with their members and to collaborate in making analysis, to examine new possibilities for collaborations with purchasing profs, to organize webinars on the results, to publish articles in relevant on- and offline media, and to examine the commercial prospects of the results of the research for Supply Value. This research can be shaped as graduation internship or as a ‘meewerkstage’. See www.supplyvalue.nl/inkooptrends-2015/ for the results of last year and www.supplyvalue.nl/publicaties/ for all publications of Supply Value.

Assignment:

* Preparation purchasing trends survey 2019 (summer 2018)

* Maintaining contact with various international trade organizations which Supply Value has already collaborated (summer 2018)

* Conducting research via an online survey (Sept. 2018)

* Analysis of the results, conclusions and recommendations thereon (Oct – Dec 2018)

* Publication of the results in relevant on- and offline media (Nov / Dec 2018)

* Organisation of webinar (s) in collaboration with the international trade organizations (Nov / Dec 2018)

* Potential customer contacts in response to the research and publications. (Dec 2018)

Topic 12: Information Management Trends 2019

In line with the purchasing trends research (see above) Supply Value will conduct an annual trend study on Information Management from 2016 on. What are the main trends in this field for the coming year? What are the recommendations based on these results to professionals in information management? Etc.

We are looking to execute this trends investigation annually, and need to establish a strong position with this first information management trends report. Therefore, Supply Value is looking for a graduation student with a strong vision, perseverance, and a drive to get the best result.

Topic 13: Big data analytics trends 2019

In line with the purchasing trends research (see above) Supply Value will conduct an annual trend study on Big Data analytics from 2017 on. What are the main trends in this field for the coming year? What are the recommendations based on these results to professionals in information management? Etc.

We are looking to execute this trends investigation annually, and need to establish a strong position with this big data analytics trends report. Therefore, Supply Value is looking for a graduation student with a strong vision, perseverance, and a drive to get the best result. Clearly, a curious mindset and a specific interest in big data of you, the researcher, is a critical success factor for this research. This question can be shaped to fit a Master Thesis format.

Assignment:

* Preparation Big data analytics trends survey 2019

* Contact search (international) industry and networking organizations in the field of big data (analytics) to possibly join to work together

* Conducting research via an online survey

* Analysis of the results, conclusions and recommendations thereon

* Publication of the results in relevant on- and offline media

* Organisation of webinar(s)

* Potential customer contacts in response to the research and publications.

Topic 14: Trends in multi-channel service

Organizations offer their services on an increasing amount of channels: via social media, online, mobile, telephone, face-to-face etc. In line with the purchasing trends research (see above), Supply Value is looking to conduct an annual trend study on multi-channel service from 2017 on. What are the main trends in this field for the coming year? What are the recommendations based on these results to companies for their multi-channel service strategy?

We are looking to execute this trends investigation annually, and need to establish a strong position with this multi-channel service trends report. Therefore, Supply Value is looking for a graduation student with a strong vision, a commercial perspective, perseverance, and a drive to get the best result.

Assignment:

* Preparation multi-channel service trends survey 2017

* Contact search (international) industry and networking organizations in the field of big data (analytics) to possibly join to work together

* Conducting research via an online survey

* Analysis of the results, conclusions and recommendations thereon

* Publication of the results in relevant on- and offline media

* Organisation of webinar(s)

* Potential customer contacts in response to the research and publications.

Topic 15: Selection of most fitting management system (10 options)

Supply Value is a fast-growing organization. Several of our consultants maintain contact with different customers using multiple channels every day. To gain more control, accelerate the learning process, and work more efficiently, we consider implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to work alongside the existing system. In this study, Supply Value looks to obtain a clear overview of the available CRM systems, listing the advantages and disadvantages of each possibility, for different types of organizations. In this listing, an indication should be provided on the success and failure factors on the adoption of this system.

However, a CRM system is not the only management system Supply Value is looking to know more about. The above described study would be relevant for each of the following management systems:

* CRM (Customer Relationship management)

* SRM (Supplier Relationship management)

* Supply chain management systems

* Transport management systems

* Warehouse management systems

* Project management systems

* Content management systems

* Business Analytics systems

* Big data systems

* Integration management systems

* Identity and access management systems

* Portals systems

* Service management tools/systems

Assignment:

* Market research on different CRM systems

* Engineering of functional and non-functional requirements

* Carry out RFI

* Prepare RFP

* Make your knowledge available for our customers where applicable