Top 10 US supply chain management courses
We explore the top 10 undergraduate supply chain programmes in American universities, according to a Gartner study. Programmes are evaluated based on ‘Programme Scope’, a measure of the number of attributes taught by the course; ‘Industry Value’, based on internship participation, starting salaries, and media presence; and ‘Programme Size’, taking into account both the number of students enrolled and the number of full-time professors.
The goal is to establish a ranking based on both undergraduate courses, and industry impact of graduates. The average starting salary for undergraduates is $55,749, rising to $61,590 for the top 10. Average career placement at graduation is 76%, rising to 93% three months later.
10. The University of Wisconsin Madison has a total student enrollment of 43,338 as of 2016, with 17 enrolled in the supply chain management programme. Seven of these students are international, with fewer than half being Wisconsin residents. UWM’s course focuses on Logistics, Procurement, and Marketing courses, with opportunities to specialise further in Product Development, Operational Analytics, and Service Operations Management. The average starting salary for graduates in 2014 averaged $53,000, with the average internship salary was $2,800 per month, placing it below the national average.
Enrollment Stats: https://registrar.wisc.edu/documents/Stats_all_2016-2017Spring.pdf
9. The University of Western Michigan enrolled 23,914 students in 2014 and its Integrated Supply Chain Management Programme graduates 85-95 students annually. The programme was the first of its kind to integrate business and engineering courses in 1992. Software Advice ranked the programme at second in the United States in 2015 for its emphasis on technology, software, and quantitative tools. The ISM curriculum focuses on product assurance, managing and improving supply systems, and productivity techniques, as well as offering courses on international business law. In 2016, 93% of ISM graduates achieved full-time employment within three months, with salaries ranging from $55,000 to $60,000.
Course Overview: https://wmich.edu/supplychain
8. The Ohio State University’s student enrollment in 2016 was 66,046, with 15.5% majoring in Business at the Fisher College of Business. OSU’s supply chain management course is closely linked with logistics, with six available logistics classes out of 15, two of which are mandatory. 85% of supply chain management/logistics students leave OSU with internship experience. Graduates have an average income of $52,295, putting it slightly below the national average.
Course Overview: https://undergrad.osu.edu/majors-and-academics/majors/detail/100
7. The University of South Carolina, in Columbia, enrolled 33,772 students in 2015. USC’s supply chain management programme is ranked joint-second by Gartner for programme scope, and joint-third for programme size. The programme focuses heavily on Lean systems, Six Sigma methodologies and business re-engineering process improvement approaches, logistics, and management. Undergraduates also have an opportunity to apply these skills by means of a Capstone consulting project. The average graduate earns a salary of $57,070, above the Gartner average.
6. Gartner ranks The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, joint first in the US for programme size, accounting for both full-time students and teaching staff. It is also joint-second for industry value. GIT’s supply chain management course places emphasis on management, engineering, and logistics. Students participate in the Capstone project, identifying and solving real world industry problems in conjunction with external sponsors. Upon graduation, Georgia Institute of Technology students earn upwards of $55,000 with a Bachelor’s degree in business.
5. Rutger’s Business School enrolled 68,942 students last year, with 726 undergraduates studying supply chain management. The college awards over 150 scholarships a year for supply chain management students. The programme’s participants have also placed first and third in the Rutgers Ten Plus Supply Chain Case Dual Challenge and Sam M. Walton College of Business International Graduate Logistics Case Competition, respectively. Rutger’s supply chain management programme has a yearly internship placement rate of over 95%, and counts IBM, Johnson and Johnson, Verizon among its internship opportunities. According to a 2012 Bureau of Labor study, Rutgers supply chain management graduates earned a median salary of $78,000.
4. Arizona State University had an attendance of 71,946 in 2016, with 620 studying supply chain management in 2013. Gartner’s study ranks ASU joint-second in programme size and industry value, and joint-third for programme scope. Arizona state’s programme is also one of the top three upward movers on the Gartner list since 2014. The programme is run through the W.P. Carey Business school, and emphasises a diverse curriculum, as well as extracurricular involvement in over 45 business clubs and organisations. Graduates typically earn between $40,000 and $60,000. Corporations that commonly recruit from ASU include: Exxon, Intel, General Electric and Motorola.
Course Overview: https://wpcarey.asu.edu/supply-chain-management-degrees/careers
3. The University of Tennessee’s supply chain management programme is ranked first in the United States for programme scope, and is joint-second for programme size, graduating over 250 students in 2015. The programme maintains its third-place position overall in the Gartner rankings from the 2014 survey. In addition to broad-focus general studies over the first two years, the UTK course (hosted by the Haslam Business College) specialises in Information Management, Human Resource Management, and International Business. Chad Autry, head of the department of marketing and supply chain management, claims: “Our faculty puts out relevant, innovative research and teaches students to make an impact after graduation.” Graduates in Supply Chain Management earn a mean salary of $52,000 per annum, with a comparably low full-time employment rate of 55%.
Course Overview: http://catalog.utk.edu/preview_programme.php?catoid=14&poid=5294
Employment figures: https://career.utk.edu/view/haslam-college-of-business-salary-data/
2. Michigan State University enrolled over 39,000 undergraduates in 2017, with over 8,000 students at the Eli Broad College of Business. Supply Chain Management undergraduates comprise 44% of the student body. The programme is ranked first by Gartner for Industry Value and is joint-first for Programme Size. The MSU Supply Chain Management programme provides a curriculum focused on manufacturing operations, purchasing, transportation, and physical distribution into a unified programme. The Programme achieved a 100% internship placement rate in 2017, with an average base salary of over $6,000 per month. Broad College graduates have an 85% employment rate post-graduation, and the mean salary for Supply Chain Management graduates is over $101,000 per annum, placing the school far above the national average.
1. Pennsylvania State University enrolled almost 100,000 students in 2015 and accepted over 600 students into its Supply Chain & Information Systems programme in 2014. Gartner ranks the programme joint-second for Industry Value and Programme Scope, and joint-first in the Programme Size category. Established in the 1950s, PSU has evolved “from a post-World War II focus on the logistics of transportation, warehousing, and inventory management, to a broadened view incorporating sourcing and distribution, to a holistic vision of supply chain as an end-to end collaborative enterprise.” Classes still provide increased focus on logistics frameworks, but also explores statistical analysis and leadership techniques. As of 2016, graduates experienced an 86% employment rate, with an average salary of over $59,000, beating the national average.
NTT DATA Services, Remodelling Supply Chains for Resilience
Joey Dean, the man with the coolest name ever and Managing Director in the healthcare consulting practice for NTT DATA and is focused on delivering workplace transformation and enabling the future workforce for healthcare providers. Dean also leads client innovation programs to enhance service delivery and business outcomes for clients.
The pandemic has shifted priorities and created opportunities to do things differently, and companies are now looking to build more resilient supply chains, none needed more urgently than those within the healthcare system. Dean shares with us how he feels they can get there.
A Multi-Vendor Sourcing Approach
“Healthcare systems cannot afford delays in the supply chain when there are lives at stake. Healthcare procurement teams are looking at multi-vendor sourcing strategies, stockpiling more inventory, and ways to use data and AI to have a predictive view into the future and drive greater efficiency.
“The priority should be to shore up procurement channels and re-evaluate inventory management norms, i.e. stockpiling for assurance. Health systems should take the opportunity to renegotiate with their current vendors and broaden the supplier channel. Through those efforts, work with suppliers that have greater geographic diversity and transparency around manufacturing data, process, and continuity plans,” says Dean.
But here ensues the never-ending battle of domestic vs global supply chains. As I see it, domestic sourcing limits the high-risk exposure related to offshore sourcing— Canada’s issue with importing the vaccine is a good example of that. So, of course, I had to ask, for lifesaving products, is building domestic capabilities an option that is being considered?
“Domestic supply chains are sparse or have a high dependence on overseas centres for parts and raw materials. There are measures being discussed from a legislative perspective to drive more domestic sourcing, and there will need to be a concerted effort by Western countries through a mix of investments and financial incentives,” Dean explains.
Wielding Big Tech for Better Outcomes
So, that’s a long way off. In the meantime, leveraging technology is another way to mitigate the risks that lie within global supply chains while decreasing costs and improving quality. Dean expands on the potential of blockchain and AI in the industry.
“Blockchain is particularly interesting in creating more transparency and visibility across all supply chain activities. Organisations can create a decentralised record of all transactions to track assets from production to delivery or use by end-user. This increased supply chain transparency provides more visibility to both buyers and suppliers to resolve disputes and build more trusting relationships. Another benefit is that the validation of data is more efficient to prioritise time on the delivery of goods and services to reduce cost and improve quality.
“Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) is another area where there’s incredible value in processing massive amounts of data to aggregate and normalise the data to produce proactive recommendations on actions to improve the speed and cost-efficiency of the supply chain.”
Evolving Procurement Models
From asking more of suppliers to beefing up stocks, Dean believes procurement models should be remodelled to favour resilience, mitigate risk and ensure the needs of the customer are kept in view.
“The bottom line is that healthcare systems are expecting more from their suppliers. While transactional approaches focused solely on price and transactions have been the norm, collaborative relationships, where the buyer and supplier establish mutual objectives and outcomes, drives a trusting and transparent relationship. Healthcare systems are also looking to multi-vendor strategies to mitigate risk, so it is imperative for suppliers to stand out and embrace evolving procurement models.
“Healthcare systems are looking at partners that can establish domestic centres for supplies to mitigate the risks of having ‘all of their eggs’ in overseas locations. Suppliers should look to perform a strategic evaluation review that includes a distribution network analysis and distribution footprint review to understand cost, service, flexibility, and risks. Included in that strategy should be a “voice of the customer” assessment to understand current pain points and needs of customers.”
“Healthcare supply chain leaders are re-evaluating the Just In Time (JIT) model with supplies delivered on a regular basis. The approach does not require an investment in infrastructure but leaves organisations open to risk of disruption. Having domestic centres and warehousing from suppliers gives healthcare systems the ability to have inventory on hand without having to invest in their own infrastructure. Also, in the spirit of transparency, having predictive views into inventory levels can help enable better decision making from both sides.”
But, again, I had to ask, what about the risks and associated costs that come with higher inventory levels, such as expired product if there isn’t fast enough turnover, tying up cash flow, warehousing and inventory management costs?
“In the current supply chain environment, it is advisable for buyers to carry an in-house inventory on a just-in-time basis, while suppliers take a just-in-case approach, preserving capacity for surges, retaining safety stock, and building rapid replenishment channels for restock. But the risk of expired product is very real. This could be curbed with better data intelligence and improved technology that could forecast surges and predictively automate future supply needs. In this way, ordering would be more data-driven and rationalised to align with anticipated surges. Further adoption of data and intelligence and will be crucial for modernised buying in the new normal.
These are tough tasks, so I asked Dean to speak to some of the challenges. Luckily, he’s a patient guy with a lot to say.
On managing stakeholders and ensuring alignment on priorities and objectives, Dean says, “In order for managing stakeholders to stay aligned on priorities, they’ll need more transparency and collaborative win-win business relationships in which both healthcare systems and medical device manufacturers are equally committed to each other’s success. On the healthcare side, they need to understand where parts and products are manufactured to perform more predictive data and analytics for forecasting and planning efforts. And the manufacturers should offer more data transparency which will result in better planning and forecasting to navigate the ebbs and flows and enable better decision-making by healthcare systems.
Due to the sensitive nature of the information being requested, the effort to increase visibility is typically met with a lot of reluctance and push back. Dean essentially puts the onus back on suppliers to get with the times. “Traditionally, the relationships between buyers and suppliers are transactional, based only on the transaction between the two parties: what is the supplier providing, at what cost, and for what length of time. The relationship begins and ends there. The tide is shifting, and buyers expect more from their suppliers, especially given what the pandemic exposed around the fragility of the supply chain. The suppliers that get ahead of this will not only reap the benefits of improved relationships, but they will be able to take action on insights derived from greater visibility to manage risks more effectively.”
He offers a final tip. “A first step in enabling a supply chain data exchange is to make sure partners and buyers are aware of the conditions throughout the supply chain based on real-time data to enable predictive views into delays and disruptions. With well understand data sets, both parties can respond more effectively and work together when disruptions occur.”
As for where supply chain is heading, Dean says, “Moving forward, we’ll continue to see a shift toward Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics to optimise the supply chain. The pandemic, as it has done in many other industries, will accelerate the move to digital, with the benefits of improving efficiency, visibility, and error rate. AI can consume enormous amounts of data to drive real-time pattern detection and mitigate risk from global disruptive events.”