The supply and demand of supply chain management courses to help companies keep pace with innovation is on the upswing.
The US’s Rutgers Business School has announced the launch of a program exploring the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on supply chain strategy. The “mini-MBA” program is the latest in a slew of supply chain management courses rolled out by top schools, as logistics warms to innovations such as 3D printing and even delivery drones.
Jackie Scott, global program director of Rutgers Business School Executive Education, said: “The IoT is profoundly reshaping the supply chain and is reinventing the entire industry.”
“Companies that embrace new technology will be better positioned to unlock fresh revenue streams, provide better customer experiences, and create modern operating models that will drive efficiency and create real value,” he added.
Participants will assess how to lead innovation in an organizational structure, such as with machine technology, robotics, cloud computing, and advanced analytics.
Over the past several months other business schools have created new courses in this area. Arizona’s W.P Carey School of Business launched a supply chain management course in April, for example, while California State University’s business school launched a master’s degree in supply chain management in May.
And Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School recently launched a dual-degree in supply chain management with Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer, director of the Master’s in Global Supply Chain Management at Cass Business School, said that this is because the demand for logistics programs from companies is rising: “There is an increasing demand for specialist programs,” she said.
The proliferation of such programs stems from the growing need for trained supply chain professionals. “The demand for supply chain talent is undoubtedly on the rise,” said Nick Vyas, director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at USC Marshall School of Business.
Supply chain management students are increasingly seeking to equip themselves with knowledge of disruptive innovations.
Thomas Roemer, senior lecturer in operations management at MIT Sloan School of Management, said: “Disruptive technologies have reshaped global supply chains to some degree already, but will do so increasingly in the future.”
3D printing, for example, has the potential to “revolutionize supply chain design completely”, said Mike Bernon, senior lecturer in supply chain management at Cranfield School of Management.
Mark Johnson, associate professor of operations management at Warwick Business School, said that big data is having an “enormous impact” on the supply chain.
Yet, “you need people who understand business and computational statistics — [but] there are very few of those people around. There is a skills problem”, he said.