Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Supply chain management drives when, where, how of business

Supply chain management is one of the fastest growing but most misunderstood areas of business.

Supply chain students study abroad in Panama 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the supply chain management field is expected to grow 22 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is double the average growth rate for all occupations.

Joe Walden, a decision sciences and supply chain management lecturer, said he thinks supply chain management is an important business skill because it touches all other departments of a company. A company can’t survive if its supply chain fails to get the product to the consumer.

“I think everybody that’s going to go to work for any company needs to understand supply chain, but especially those who are trying to become an MBA
need to understand how the supply chain interacts,” Walden said. “It’s not a stand-alone function.”

One of the biggest roles of supply chain management professionals is to look for opportunities to increase the company’s bottom line by finding the most cost effective and efficient way to get resources and produce and transport a product. However, supply chain management professionals also drive top-line revenue by finding out what the consumer wants to buy and where and when they want to buy it. Steve Hillmer, director of finance economics and decision sciences, said supply chain is important because it revolves around getting the product to the customer.

“It starts with the customer and asks, ‘What does the customer want?’” Hillmer said. “Then it goes back and asks, ‘Okay, now where do we get that?’”

The Supply Chain Management graduate certificate is composed of one decision sciences course and four supply chain management courses for a total of ten credit hours. These courses cover operations management, procurement and supplier management, logistics and distribution management, information systems for supply chain management and Lean Six Sigma.

Learn more at MBAcert.ku.edu and apply by July 15 for fall.

by Allison Kite