A Few Thoughts on Business Report Format
Operations and Supply Chain Management
This document is intended to provide the student reader with some relevant thoughts on preferred format for business reports. There is plenty of opportunity for students to apply creativity in how they structure their papers. As such, this document is not necessarily intended as a template to be followed exactly on deliverables. It is suggested that students also drawn on external examples of professional business reports for inspiration, including documents such as annual reports to shareholders.
Body of Document
Business reports are arguably most frequently single-spaced, with an anecdotal observation of preference for Arial or Calibri fonts in 10-12 point size. Again, the student should feel empowered to establish their own professional communication style, within reason. Normal graphic design rules of limiting the variety of styles on a single page are probably wise. In other words, single style of font, bold/italics only when needed, secondary size limited to larger title and/or smaller footnotes. Look of the document should not distract from message…
Quality business writing is clear and concise. Length of the document, in and of itself, is not the goal or of value. Whether developing an elevator pitch for business development or learning to engage your reader early in a document, students will benefit from practicing direct, abbreviated communications. That said, if it adds value to the topic, include it. Graphs, charts, diagrams, flowcharts, and photos can all be very helpful. Tell your reader what you will tell them (Introduction), tell them (Body), and then tell them what you told them (Conclusion).
External research sources should be listed, either by footnotes on each page, in a citation list at the end, or on a separate bibliography page. An average of one external source per document page has been observed and seems realistic. Therefore, a six to ten page paper will probably need a half-dozen research documents, including academic texts, business books, periodicals, and reputable and relevant internet sources.
1. Purchasing & Supply Chain Management, 6th Edition; Monczka, Robert M., Handfield, Robert B., Giunipero, Larry C., Patterson, James L.; 978-1-285-86968-1.
2. Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 3rd Edition; Mangan, John, Lalwani, Chandra, Butcher, Tim and Javadpour, Roya; Wiley; 978-1-119-11782-7.
3. Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence, 10th Edition; Evans, James R. and Lindsay, William M.; Cengage South-Western; 978-1-305-66254-4.