May 17, 2020

Supply chain management courses on the rise

Supply Chain Digital
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain
Supply Chain
Freddie Pierce
4 min
College students are seeing opportunities in supply chain management and procurement now more than ever
By William Gindlesperger, Chief Executive Officer, e-LYNXX Corporation There is a surge of interest among college students in what used to not even be...

By William Gindlesperger, Chief Executive Officer, e-LYNXX Corporation

There is a surge of interest among college students in what used to not even be a curriculum offering at many institutions of higher learning – supply chain management.  According to a Bloomberg/Business Week article, the status of supply chain management has risen on college campuses because corporate America has recognized the strategic importance of the procurement and delivery of goods and services.  Students also are noticing that C-level supply chain management posts are being created.  This has happened recently at H. J. Heinz and Ann Taylor Stores, to mention just two. 

Students seeing supply chain management elevated to strategic decision making positions in major companies translates into opportunity.  They see potential in a field that is shaping how business is being conducted worldwide.  William Verdini, chair of the Supply Chain Management Department at Arizona State University, is quoted in the Bloomberg/Business Week article as saying:  “Businesses don’t compete; supply chains compete.  Now, supply chain officers are getting in on the strategic decisions.”


The new-found status of supply chain management has been earned, and professions are being rewarded for their contributions.  The average entry-level professional can expect to make about $49,500.  That increases by at least 70 percent with a few years of supply chain management experience to about $84,000.  The overall average for supply chains professionals is $103,664, up from $98,200 in 2010.  These numbers are provided by the Institute of Supply Management.

Students see a future in buying and delivering goods and services.  At some schools, like Leigh University, more students than ever are choosing supply chain management as a major.  It turned students away this year from its “Supply and Cost Management” course which has an enrollment capacity of 45.  Four years ago, only 27 students enrolled in the course. According to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the number of undergraduate supply chain management programs has increased 25% since 2006. Almost half that jump happened during the 2009-2010 school year.

The interest is there, and we – those of us who have made supply chain management our livelihood – have an obligation to make sure the next generation of supply chain professionals has the latest and most powerful tools with which to work.

They need to know that traditional procurement methods, based on negotiations and limited vendor options, are costly and time consuming.  Antiqued procurement programs that have not been updated in 20 or more years are as effective as typewriters in today’s computer age. 

They need to know new procurement technology will reduce their cost for procured goods and services by 25 to 50 percent. One such innovation, the automated vendor selection (AVS) process, is lowering costs for procured goods and services by an average of 42 percent. 


Supply Chain Finance continues to grow

Checking the procurement pulse

October’s issue of Supply Chain Digital has gone live!

Driven by AVS Technology, vendors – all carefully screened and objectively qualified -- are automatically selected to compete for work. Only those best qualified to get the job done are invited to submit bids. Participating vendors lower their prices, in a competitive bidding environment, to fill gaps in their production schedules. The buying organization benefits from deep discounts. The winning vendor is awarded work that it otherwise would not have. 

For the buyer, there are additional benefits. When the technology is used with a robust web-based workflow and communications system and best practices, the process delivers total transparency, full accountability for all participants (buyer and vendor), strengthened quality controls and significant efficiency gains. Also, an indelible and auditable task-by-task record of each project is established for future reference. This approach, already licensed by a host of businesses, can be used for a wide range of applications including specialty products, commercial printing, temporary staffing, direct mail, construction services, publications, packaging and transportation.  Using the 42% average savings of current AVS Technology licensees as the benchmark, each $1 million in procurement costs achieves $420,000 in cost reductions for procuring the same goods and services.  This is dead serious money as organizations typically procure 2% to 20% of their gross revenues. 

Having this type knowledge will make any supply chain management program graduate an asset, especially to an organization that is serious about improving its balance sheet.  Knowing how to reduce costs in order to add 1 to 3 percent of an organization’s revenue to its bottom line is the new reality made possible with AVS procurement technology, and knowing when and how to apply it will pave a path to success.

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Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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Jun 16, 2021

EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs

3 min
Supply chains embroiled in Airbus-Boeing dispute will no longer be impacted by $11.5bn tariffs imposed on food and beverage, aircraft and tobacco

The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years. 

It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC. 

The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn. 

In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products. 

Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers  

  • The dispute began in 2004
  • Tariffs suspended for 5 years 
  • $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
  • $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date 
  • 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended

Both sides welcome end to tariffs 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.

“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.

Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”. 

The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."

This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.

Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”

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