An MBA in logistics
No product could be produced or sold without logistics. In the competitive world of manufacturing and sales, the movement of every piece of equipment, every item made for sale and all the goods used to make that possible in a plant environment is critical. Companies spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to save on logistics.
The best carrier and route for goods, arriving just in time to the customer or distribution center, requires skilled personnel to create and maintain complex systems. All advanced shipping and receiving includes computerized targeting and locating systems. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been in use for decades and continues to become more sophisticated. This security and identification procedure is just one area of logistics that is growing.
Secure shipping and inventory is an industry in its own right. This is one area in which a graduate student can become a valuable commodity in industry. More companies are becoming concerned with theft and piracy, as well as counterfeit products. In pharmaceuticals alone, fake drugs are a multi-billion dollar industry. Candidates looking to get a logistics MBA might look into the latest courses in security of online and over-the-road supply routing.
The logistics MBA requires a bachelor’s curriculum including business courses like statistics, economics and marketing. The basics of logistics are available in other MBA programs because the supply chain, operations and logistics are very closely tied together. Goods move through the plant in much the same way they move along the road or over the oceans: they must be inspected, certified, picked up and delivered on time.
Every time a company opens a new location (or closes one), the logistics manager is a key person on the transition team. In fact, the decision to locate a new manufacturing facility is based largely on the availability of transportation and the lowest costs associated with it. Entire supply operations for Tier One automotive suppliers are often located next to the car plant in order to solve any logistics problems for critical parts.
The logistics MBA graduate will also have a heavy dose of software expertise. All major shipping and receiving operations are based on computer programs. These programs automatically generate bills of lading and receiving papers, as well as bills to pay the shipper. Security and quality reports on shipments are also tied into this software.
We found an interesting example of specialized MBA curriculum offered by a graduate program based in Nicosia, Cyprus, a worldwide shipping hub for 2,500 years (ancient Greek, Turkish and Roman sailors had a port of call in Cyprus). The Shipping MBA includes these courses: introduction to shipping, law of sea transport, marine insurance and customs/ship documents. Along with a standard business curriculum and prerequisites, this could be a logistics executive’s ticket to travel the world for an international company, solving shipping problems and setting up routes for the future. In addition, studies has shown that MBA increases life time earnings by 20-30% in comparison to BA degree. Therefore, it can be a smart investment. Here is a link to our recent article on MBA and its effect on earnings vs experience.
Operations Manager.com Education Specialist