Robert Glenn Richey, Jr., Auburn University: It used to be that you taught just transportation and logistics. Now we also teach quality management and new product development, as well as a international content covering, among other subjects, importing and exporting and port operations. We also have a required internship or co-op program. Students land in positions in purchasing, transportation, brokerage, and analysis, and other functions. It allows them to get a feel for the job and apply their book learning to a real environment. Students also travel to conferences where they can hear from top minds in supply chain management and participate in case study competitions. Nagurney: Supply chain education has changed in the past few years. We’re not focusing just on supply chain cost. Now, risk and resilience are important. It’s more just-in-case versus just-in-time. We discuss how to recover from and plan for various disruptive events. For example, if the ports shut down or are congested, how can we identify alternate routes? Schoenherr: In my strategic sourcing and supply management courses, I have integrated the impact of the pandemic on purchasing, starting with illustrating the importance of purchasing, and then weaving through topics such as supplier selection and evaluation, global supplier footprint, supply chain design, buyer-supplier relationships, and risk management. All of this illustrates that supply chain management matters, and that companies need to put the “management” back into “supply chain management.” Anderson: Before COVID, the main concern was building students’ analytic capability. That’s still important, but COVID showed the importance of relationship management. Evidence shows that companies with better
A Bachelor of Arts in Transportation and Supply Chain from the University of Denver involves hands-on instruction in procurement, inventory management, international trade, supply chain logistics, and project management, among other topics.
And we’ve strengthened our courses in government policy, because our industry is subject to significant and ever- changing regulatory shifts. Nagurney: ESG and cybersecurity are more prominent. I also teach a course on humanitarian logistics and disaster management, bringing in real- world events, such as the pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The overall message: You need to be able to adapt and to be agile. Anderson: Supply chain resilience is more important. We look at a number of strategies to achieve this, like geographic diversity of suppliers, and then teach it in a way that recognizes the complexities. For instance, most sub-suppliers of semiconductors are located in Asia. So, if you manufacture semiconductors and decide to source more from Mexico, you may still need to get some components from Asia. ESG concerns, and particularly environmental concerns, have become important to students. However, reducing a company’s carbon footprint is more complex than it might seem. For instance, if you switch your fleet to electric vehicles, you need to know the locations of fast-charging stations your vehicles will use. Lynch: MSU students learn end-to- end supply chain management and that the only way you optimize your supply chains as a company is to strategically align the supply management (procurement), operations, and logistics functions together. That is the key. In addition, risk management,
supplier relationships got first dibs. Companies also ask us to give feedback on team interaction between students. It’s not just leadership that’s important, but also interpersonal skills and creating situations where students work together. While there’s much talk of numerical, analytic, and modeling capabilities, the discussion now also recognizes you can’t lose sight of other skills. Otherwise, companies would hire just technology people. Lynch: The biggest change is that companies that previously did not know or understand how strategic supply chain management can impact their company before the pandemic do so now. Companies have to understand how supply chains can impact their costs, time to market, innovation, and margins, and how they’re missing the boat if they don’t embrace strategic supply chain management. Fisher: We just launched a bachelor degree in transportation and supply chain for adult learners with full- time jobs. We strategically established this program because the industry increasingly needs people who already are in careers to have growth potential. It also helps with retention. We also have broadened our courses in transportation and supply chain environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics. We focus on social issues and how the supply chain can impact areas such as trafficking and diversity.
66 Inbound Logistics • June 2022
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