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Topic: Business Opportunity Operationalization
Starbucks is the leading company in the coffeehouse chain business. Currently, the organization holds forty percent of the US market share compared to its closest rival Dunkin’ Donuts at 26 percent (Brown, 2019). However, the company’s future relies on its innovation and exploiting new opportunities. The fast-food restaurant business is an opportunity that Starbucks has to venture to diversify its product and market portfolios. Besides, the venture enables the company to ease pressure from competitors like Dunkin’ and MacDonald’s in the coffeehouse business. Starbucks has the resources, experience, and strong to successfully operationalize its business in the sector. The fast-food market realized tremendous growth since the beginning of this century to hit a 273 billion revenue in 2019 (Statista, 2019). The sector has huge opportunities for Starbucks to exploit.
Potential Cost, Risks, and Benefits
The fast-food restaurant business in the United States is currently dominated by multi-billion players like MacDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King. Starbucks needs significant investment to crack the market and use its strong brand as leverage. The primary areas that will consume the company’s resources in operationalizing the business include leasing of spaces, furnishing, branding, and marketing. Currently, customers know Starbucks as a coffee shop and the introduction of new food items under the brand name requires intense marketing campaigns.
Starbucks’ initial investment in this opportunity will focus on a specific geographical area to gauge customers’ reception. The primary target for this initial investment in product portfolio diversification is New York. The city is one of the biggest and diverse markets for fast-food in the country. A breakthrough in the market is a positive signal for the company in its new venture. The cost of leasing space in New York is considerably high due to the demand.
Starbucks has to make a massive investment in the branding and marketing of the new business. Competitors in the market segment like MacDonald’s and Burger King already spend billions of dollars in marketing. For example, MacDonald spent 1.54 billion dollars in adverts only in 2018 (Guttmann, 2020). The scale of this advertising expenditure depicts the uphill task that Starbucks faces in its new venture. The organization has to invest millions of dollars in advertising its new business venture. Starbucks’ success in this segment depends on the company’s ability to mount a challenge against its competitors.
The venture also comes with its risks that likely to lead to failure. Product portfolio diversification creates new battlefronts for the company resulting in greater financial risks. The operationalization of the venture pits the company against new competitors like Burger King, Taco Bell, and Subway, among others. As a result, the company has to increase its investment in product promotion. The short-term adverse effects of this phenomenon are a decrease in the net revenue of the company. Moreover, competitors in the core business like Dunkin Donut can utilize the opportunity to increase their market share. However, effective management of the company resources and business strategies will help the organization navigate the challenge.
Further, the new venture comes with a risk of failure due to poor execution of strategies. Starbucks’ current business is closely related to the proposed venture, however, the slight differences can lead to failure of the entire project. The company presents its coffeehouses as a place for people to relax and reenergize after a long day at work. On the contrary, fast-food restaurant selling lunch has to be presented as a necessary destination over lunch break. It requires a different approach to manage and ensure a high level of customer satisfaction. The company has to recruit or retrain its management staff on this new business model or risk failure. Close to sixty percent of new restaurants in New York fail within the first three years (Ray, n.d.). Starbucks has to create effective strategies to avoid the pitfall. The proposed initial cost of investment of the project is huge and its failure is detrimental to Starbucks.
However, the investment also comes with a lot of benefits to the company. The fast-food restaurant business is a multibillion-dollar market and Starbucks stands to reap big from its investment. Starbucks needs an urgent diversification of its product portfolio to increase its revenue streams and minimize risks. Currently, most of the company’s revenues come from the coffeehouse market and an unexpected catastrophe in the industry can destabilize its operations. For instance, the brewed coffee contains carcinogenic acrylamide chemical. California already requires coffeehouses in the state to label their products with a health warning (Raymond, 2018). A widespread of such legislation across the country can potentially shift consumer behavior in the market and reduce coffee consumption. The venture allows diversification hence providing a safety net to the company.
Work Breakdown Structure
The operationalization of the proposed business venture will take place in phases. The project team mandated to undertake the task has to evaluate every aspect of the business to guarantee success. Work breakdown structure is the hierarchal organization of work that a project team has to deliver (Harold & Saladis, 2017). The implementation of this project adopts a Deliverable-based approach to track the progress of the process. The deliverable-based technique creates a link between the project scope and its deliverables (e.g. products and services). The initial phase of the project focuses on creating a Starbucks fast-food restaurant outlets within New York City.
The above work breakdown structure summarizes the primary deliverables in operationalizing the proposed business. Notably, Starbucks has to lease new spaces since the design of the restaurants takes a different approach to reflect the type of food served. The first phase of the project is planning where the project team creates an outline of the project and key milestones. Planning costs must not exceed five percent of the projected expenditure of the project. The planning stage is the first in the operationalization of this business. It involves the project team to develop a roadmap for the task and identifying milestones and their timelines. Further, the team has to create the project’s blueprints and acquire the necessary licenses. For example, permits from the city’s health department and other relevant bodies before commencing renovation plans. Planning is a critical aspect of project management and determines its success or failure.
The next phase after planning the project is renovating the leased building to the expected standards. The budgeted cost of renovating the building to meet expectations is forty percent of the project cost. Particularly, the phase focuses on interior and exterior designs that appeal to the client. Starbucks’ fast-food restaurants target youthful clients, who are the primary customers in this business segment (Oches, 2012). The restaurant’s interior and exterior designs have to appeal to the target clients to increase success prospects. The project team will use competitive bidding to select a talented designer to undertake the task with the target audience in mind. Besides design, the phase will involve the installation of essential equipment in the facility.
Operations are the final phase of the project implantation and account for fifty percent of the allocated funds. The stage involves recruiting staff to join the company as part of the restaurant team. However, the organization will recruit most of its top management staff from the coffeehouse division to ensure the new venture reflects the vision and mission of the parent company. Other expenditures will go to developing the menu and acquiring raw materials from reliable suppliers. Marketing is also part of the operations costs to incur in both short-term and long-term. The project team will assess the progress of the business after every month to establish areas that require urgent intervention and recommend mitigation measures.
A milestone in a project is a point that signifies remarkable progress in the development process. Milestones are critical components of project planning as they enable the management team to evaluate their achievement at a given interval (Project Management Institute, 2017). The implementation of the proposed business investment has four milestones. Each milestone signifies remarkable achievements in the project.
The first milestone in the proposed business is the approval of the budget for the project by Starbucks management. The project management team is responsible for creating the budget of the project and presenting it to the board of Starbucks Corporation for approval. The project team must know the amount of resources at their disposal and the funding process for effective planning. For example, the board can reduce or increase the proposed budget based available resources or assessment of the project. Moreover, the project management team has to understand the flow of resources into the development to minimize interruptions. The board’s approval of the budgetary marks the first in the development process.
Licensing also marks the second milestone in the project development. The acquisition of licenses from different authorities in the city is a green light for the team to begin the development process. The restaurant business is highly regulated since it involves food handling. The team needs to get a provisional license for the project to initiate the development process. Notably, the final license will be issued at the project before it starts its operations. Licensing is key considering the amount of work that will take place in redesign the building’s interior and external branding. The project team has to obtain the necessary licenses for the project within three months after budget approval by the organization’s board.
The third landmark progress in the project is the completion of renovation work. The team has four months to undertake all the necessary works in the interior and exterior to make the building meet the expected standard. For instance, the civil works include installation of kitchen and restaurant equipment, interior and exterior design, furnishing, and branding of the building. The amount of task is a huge challenge to complete within four months, however, with adequate resources the project team can deliver within the stipulated time.
Finally, handing over the completed project to Starbucks management marks a vital milestone in the process. It acts as a reflection of the team’s ability to deliver its mandate as stipulated by the employer. Starbucks management is responsible for recruiting staff to oversee the operations of the hotel. However, the team will monitor the progress of the business for the first six months to evaluate its performance and areas of adjustments. The development of other chains across the city by the team is a prerogative by the board based on their satisfaction.
The first obstacle in the implementation of the proposed business plan is the lack of adequate resources. COVID-19 has adversely impacted Starbucks’ core business due to the lockdowns and movement restrictions by different state governments (Nicola, et al., 2020). The effect of the disruption is likely to sway the company’s board against approving the proposed expansion drive. Primarily, the main focus of the company is to recover and stabilize its business as it evaluates the economic environment. The pandemic has the potential to push the country to economic depression, which is not the right for the company to undertake new investments.
Secondly, political factors are a key player likely to impede the project implementation as planned. The country is experiencing tensed political situation with pockets of protests that disrupt activities. For example, the recent “Black Lives Matter” protests across the country disrupted activities in various cities. The November election is already attracted hot debates across the political divide and it is almost certain New York City will experience a tense political environment towards the election. Nonetheless, the project is likely to go on as planned with adequate support from Starbucks management.
Finally, inflation is a potential factor likely to impede the implementation of the project. One of the effects of inflation is it leads to an increase in the total cost of executing various tasks in the development process. The project management team has to deal with constraints in resources. The impact of inflation depends on the duration it takes to complete the project. Any delay in the project’s completion results in increased costs due to inflation.
Risk is any incident that has the potential to significantly impair the implementation of the project (Project Management Institute, 2017). Mitigations are measures by the project management tea to minimize the impacts of the risks in any eventuality (Harold & Saladis, 2017). The implementation of the proposed business opportunity is equally exposed to risks and the project team has to develop various mechanisms to reduce their effects on the execution.
One of the mitigation measures to protect the project from possible failure due to financial constraints is through partnering with financial institutions to fund the project. The effects of COVID-19 on Starbucks revenues are evident and the company can use external funding to execute the project. The approach reduces pressure on the company to raise finances internally towards funding its expansion ventures. Besides, the company has an option to negotiate for long-term loans, which makes it possible to spread out the payments over a long duration. Subsequently, the company can focus on its recovery plans without financial worries on the project.
Also, the project will rely on the outcome of its feasibility studies to gauge its prospects of success. Sixty percent of restaurants in New York City fail in their first three years. Starbucks’ proposed investment has to rely on market research to minimize the chances of failing.
Brown, N. (2019, October 5). Nearly Four of Every Five US Coffee Shops are Now Starbucks, Dunkin’ or JAB Brands. Retrieved from Daily Coffee News: https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/10/25/nearly-four-of-every-five-us-coffee-shops-are-now-starbucks-dunkin-or-jab-brands/
Guttmann, A. (2020, July 1). McDonald’s Corporation advertising spending in the United States from 2009 to 2018(in billion U.S. dollars). Retrieved from Statista : https://www.statista.com/statistics/192159/us-ad-spending-of-mcdonalds/#:~:text=McDonald’s%20invested%201.54%20billion%20U.S.,the%20United%20States%20in%202018.
Harold, K., & Saladis, F. P. (2017). Project management workbook and PMP/CAPM exam study guide. John Wiley & Sons.
Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir, A., Iosifidis, C., . . . Aghaf, R. (2020). The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review. International Journal of Surgery, 78, 185-193. DOI:10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.04.018
Oches, S. (2012, November ). Meet Your Consumer. Retrieved from QSR: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/consumer-trends/meet-your-consumer
Project Management Institute. (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide): Agile Practice Guide. Project Management Institute.
Ray, L. (n.d.). How Much Money Does It Take to Start a Small Restaurant in New York City? Retrieved from Chron: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/much-money-start-small-restaurant-new-york-city-37536.html
Raymond, N. (2018, March 30). Starbucks coffee in California must have cancer warning, judge says. Retrieved from Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-lawsuit-coffee/starbucks-coffee-in-california-must-have-cancer-warning-judge-says-idUSKBN1H5399
Statista. (2019, July ). Revenue of the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry in the United States from 2002 to 2019. Retrieved from Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/196614/revenue-of-the-us-fast-food-restaurant-industry-since-2002/
Topic: Williams Logistic Group
Williams Logistic Group is a company seeking to venture into the supply chain and logistics industry. The current market landscape tends to be highly competitive since there are huge and already established players as well as other factors that render market entry to be hard. The company aims towards providing quality and efficient services to its target consumers at the fastest speed and the highest convenience. Thus, the company’s strategy ought to be sustainable and able to manage to stay afloat during the operations.
Logistics is a changing industry. The industry is shifting from the traditional forms of warehousing and supply and venturing towards more technologically capable systems. Over time, there has been a growth in the supply chain and logistics market that has been mainly fueled by globalization and international trade. More cargo and services are being transported from one corner of the globe to another. The advent of technology has worked to enhance the capabilities and operations of the industry.
Williams Logistic Group seeks to ensure that the customers are constantly satisfied and contented with the quality of services they receive from the company. The life cycle of the business will be a hierarchical one. This means that the services will kickstart from the supplier then ensure that the client receives their products. Therefore, the starting point will be from the supplier and the ending point will be at the customer’s doorstep or preferred point of delivery. However, there may be additional factors that may require additional processes such as returning faulty products back to the supplier. Williams Logistics Group will also handle such cases since the main mission of the company is to ensure that the customers are contented with the services.
Notably, the processes of Williams Logistics Group will be as follows:
The life cycle of a product starts with offering the maximum potential to be garnered from this particular product during its manufacturing process. However, as the product proceeds from one stage to another, various factors reduce the profit margin for the product. Some of these factors include supply chain, inventory and handling costs as well as time. However, from these factors, some of the structures put in place that aim towards handling some of these operations play a part in the erosion of the profits. Nonetheless, they add value to the product and even play a role in improving the functional efficiency of the product (Kobren, 2009). Alternatively, the lack of coordination can result into poor supply chain management and product incentives on the overall aspect. Supply chain and logistics are instrumental in ensuring that the whole product life cycle is attainable and successful.
Williams Logistic Group needs to have a market niche that is works on exploiting and penetrating. Most supply chain companies have ventured towards globalization and the impact of technology in improving the industry. Similar to any other industry, supply chain management ought to be viewed as a project before embarking on it. Therefore, by properly identifying a market niche, Williams Logistic Group will work towards ensuring that the clients are contented with their services. However, the main issue occurs when the company needs to gain the trust of these customers and offer them alternatives to solutions that plague the entire industry.
Notably, many supply chain and logistics companies lack the role of the general manager who is in charge of the operations of the whole company. Most companies have independent departments that are run by different management teams. Therefore, this creates a distance and gap between the company’s operations and the decisions pertaining to the company. For instance, supply chain and logistic companies have departments that work in isolation such as purchasing, transportation, packaging, inventory management, repair, and recycling (Kobren, 2009). Each of these operations are independent of each other. However, they need to be coordinated to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted flow of operations. Therefore, having a poor coordination of these departments often results into inefficient logistics.
From the onset, the product lifecycle begins from manufacturing. From manufacturing, the suppliers need to ensure that their products reach the intended consumers. However, they lack the resources and the manpower needed to ensure a timely and safe delivery of their products to the consumers. Thus, the supply chain and logistics companies tap into this market and cater for the delivery of the products. Therefore, the manufacturers tend to lose mainly because they are unable to have a direct contact with the consumers. Also, as logistic companies assume the role of the supply chain, they immediately receive the risk of the products pertaining to timely delivery, damages on transit and other associated risks.
Williams Logistic Group starts its lifecycle from the supplier. The supplier may be the manufacturer or a wholesaler, or any other entity. They mark the starting point of the supply chain management. The purpose that drives Williams Logistic Group is offering solutions to the aforementioned problems that many supply chain management companies are facing. Hence, Williams Logistics Group works towards ensuring that it works under a single inventory stream. Thus, all products from the supplier to the consumer are under a single inventory that tracks the progress of the products and ensure interdepartmental coordination and integration.
Therefore, as the business starts, there are six main phases that define the lifecycle of the company. These include;
- Implementation and Management
- Support Plan
Assessment of business needs and plausible solutions – This stage is usually proactive. Williams Logistics Group will create various ways and channels that will ensure the business sustenance and continuity. It also needs to cover the various business objectives. The main purpose of the company is to provide solutions that cover the wider supply chain and logistics industry. Thus, Williams Logistic Group derives its business goals and objectives from this stage. Notably, the company will seek to have a single inventory that covers the entire business operations and at the same time, work on encouraging interdepartmental coordination. Also, the assessment of the business needs that Williams Logistics Group has in this case will include integrating the systems with technological tools. Williams Logistics Group works towards having a global reach of consumers and ensuring a timely and safe delivery of the products from the starting point to the ending point. Also, there needs to be metrics that will measure the success of the company such as volume of goods transacted, the expansion of the company in terms of revenue and physical growth, among others.
Acquisition – This stage is responsible for executing the assessment plans laid out in the assessment phase. This stage works to ensure that the company acquires all the required resources needed for development. Based on the assessments, Williams Logistics Group requires a warehouse area, have the capital requirements for the warehouse management and resources, marketing team, administrative team, among others. Since Williams Logistics Group aims at embracing technology, the company will require RFID tags, warehouse ERP systems, security features, automated inventories, motor equipment including forklifts and vehicles, cooling systems, and the manpower required to run such a company.
Implementation and Management: This phase will deal with the deployment and integration of the solutions that the company has formulated into the company plan. Williams Logistic Group will use RFID technology to have automated identifications on various products. The company will also use adopt various automatic security features that include sensors, cameras, and biometrics. ERP systems at the warehouse level will hasten the logistics process of these goods. Also, the company will invest in a good artificial intelligence system that will work through identifying various factors that may pose as a threat to the delivery of the products. For instance, by noticing poor weather, and therefore, notify the customers of an impending delay of their expected deliveries or finding an alternative route, security risk and traffic and other factors.
Support Plan: This is a critical phase in the lifecycle of the company. Maintenance and support of the system is a critical resource that ensures continuity and sustenance of the company. This includes the customer service, the evaluation of the performance metrics that the company will set and measure against, the warranties and other third-party resources. Therefore, if there is a case that is out of the norm, the support plan will work through ensuring its continuity.
Refresh: This describes the phase whereby Williams Logistics Group will refresh its business objectives and goals as time goes by. Most companies usually tend to refresh their strategies and objectives in two to five years of operations. The refresh stage will be instrumental in determining the next stage that Williams Logistics Group will intend to take. It may decide to expand its operations, venture into a new market, or optimize the operations. Williams Logistic Group will perform the refresh after 4-year cycles to reassess the direction that the organization is undertaking.
Decline: Full cycle life management always ends with the eventual decline of the company. As time progresses, the company may face various wrangles or ongoing factors that will result in its eventual decline (Ding, 2011). Williams Logistics Group faces a similar hurdle that may define the decline of the company. Williams Logistic Group will wrap up operations if the following happens:
- High fragmentation that may result into lack of logistics expertise
- Strict regulations and local protectionism that discourage the expansion of the company globally
- High logistic costs that the company cannot cope with
- Underdeveloped domestic industries
- Trade barriers
If either or a combination of these factors tend to happen and be out of reach by the company, Williams Logistics may sell the company to another investor, be acquired by another company, or simply wrap up operations by selling various resources.
Starting from the supplier, the supply chain and logistics industry is governed by the market forces of demand and supply. Williams Logistic Group pursues the objective of maximizing profits. Also, businesses that employ reliable supply chains tend to be more profitable than those that do otherwise. Notably, Williams Logistic Group will use the following to maximize on its profitability;
- Inventory management – This will be a critical factor that determines the flow of products and the respective operations. For instance, it will ensure that the goods that are needed for packaging are done as required. Having a good inventory management will ensure that there is a balance between having too much of the products in stock and having too little. This way, it creates a smooth running of operations as the warehouse is not over-exerted, neither under-utilized.
- Having adequate supply and pay agreements – This is useful in various operations that include automation and order placements (Ding, 2011). Since the starting point of the operations is at the supplier, ensuring that the pay agreements are in order as dictated by both companies will be paramount in facilitating a good cashflow and interaction. Having these agreements results into low risks of failure to pay and also facilitates order placement. Williams Logistic Group will use the supply and pay agreements that smoothens the transactions and also increases the speed of operations as less time is spent mulling over the payment details.
- Controlling operating expenses – Williams Logistic Group will have a strict control of the operations expenses that include the warehousing costs, the transport costs, support and maintenance costs and labor costs. Additionally, it will work towards mitigating and reducing various errors that are prone to supply chain management companies. For instance, it will help to reduce the rates of wrong order placements, distribution errors, unseen costs, and others.
- Settling the payments – Williams Logistic Group will work towards solving various payment conundrums and difficulties arising from issues such as late payments and missing payments. Such mistakes have a negative impact on the profitability of organizations.
However, Williams Logistic Group will not entirely be dependent on the logistics for revenue generation. It will also work towards improving the profitability by conducting frequent reviews on the supply chain, analyzing the expenditure and eliminating those that have little value addition and be flexible in accordance to the market dynamics and demands.
Williams Logistics Group will work to ensure that it delivers validated processes and also ensure that there is a sustainable quality in the logistics chain. However, to achieve this, the organization ought to have a sustainable solution that will pave way for better future innovations and new and improved revenue streams. The phase-out plan for the company will circle around the following;
Front-end Research and Analysis – This involves understanding the stakeholders to the company. Whereas we have defined that the suppliers are our starting point and the consumers the ending point, Williams Logistic Group should also seek to understand the target market. For instance, it might find out that local consumers like products from China. Therefore, having suppliers from China to the United States will ensure that the company manages to deliver its desired products to the relevant consumers.
Strategy and Plans – After the research, Williams Logistic Group will then later embark on creating a strategy that will resonate deeply with both the suppliers and the consumers. The organization may choose to repackage the commodities. The product lifecycle is of utmost importance to the organization. Therefore, understanding that the supplier may be required to play their role in warranties, repairs, refurbish, and other processes will be good to the company’s overall outlook and better processes.
Execution and Processing – This is the most important phase. The company should ensure that there is a good integration with technology through providing transportation management systems, good AI systems and other technologies that improve the state of the operations of the organization.
Ding, M., 2011. Factors affecting logistics service competencies: an empirical study of logistics service providers in China.
Kobren, B., 2009. Shaping the life cycle logistics workforce to achieve desired sustainment outcomes. Defense Acquisition Review Journal, 52(3), pp.254-267.
Ryan, P., 1990. The logistics life cycle of a product. Logistics Information Management.