Supply Chain and How to Master it

Supply Chain and How to Master it

If a company was laid out on a chart like parts of the human body, the supply chain would be the spine and central nervous system. Everything operating further from the center would depend on its nearly flawless function. The brain might be the top management team, thinking through major corporate moves, but nothing moves until the supply chain is working quickly and economically.

We found an intriguing degree available called the Global Supply Chain Executive MBA.  As is often the case now, the term “global” is included, but the main emphasis is on the person becoming a supply chain executive. Currently offered by the University of Tennessee, the GSCEMBA (we are really rolling out the acronyms) is a prerequisite-dependent master’s program for industrial professionals. This program appears to be the Rolls Royce of MBA choices.





Here are some of the requisites:

  • Ten years of industrial and business experience
  • Senior management level job
  • Experience in business outside the United States

During the twelve months of the program, students could be located in Paris, Budapest, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro or Knoxville, Tenn. The program winds up at Knoxville. Each candidate completes 45 credit hours in 12 months.

The customized curriculum includes:

  • Global logistics information systems
  • Network strategies
  • Theory of constraints
  • Managing supply chain complexity
  • Warehouse management
  • Environmental sustainability

The person who successfully completes this MBA would certainly become an integral part of his or her company’s spine of the supply chain.  He would be more knowledgeable in all areas of supply chain strategy, and would probably become the trainer for various divisions of the company dealing with the intake and outflow of materials.

Other MBA programs are similar, but generally without the “bells and whistles” of exotic locations. Like so many scholastic institutions today, nearly all are available online. Most are two-year, full-time programs. Students take core business courses the first year and supply chain courses the second. Courses include advanced learning in logistics, warehousing, inventory, product cycles, lean manufacturing, risk management, and demand management. Most offer courses in specialized global activity and sustainable green activity.

As with any MBA or graduate program, candidates need letters of reference and recommendation. Most require several years of experience in supply chain jobs, and some will need proof positions worked. Students who go directly into MBA programs from BS degree programs could be eligible for a specialized supply chain degree, depending on the institution.

With more and more goods being sold overseas, and raw materials coming from around the world, supply chain expertise now could involve foreign languages and contacting suppliers in every time zone. It’s exciting times for manufacturing as the U.S. tries to bring more plants to the country and build the nation into the manufacturing powerhouse it was for two centuries.

To learn more about operations field, see interviews with masters of operations management.

James Torter

Operations manager . com

Supply Chain management specialist