A professor walked into a faculty meeting at Bradley University eight years ago waiving a Wall Street Journal article in the air and saying, “We must do something about supply chain management.” The faculty agreed, but where to start?
Supply chain management is a hot new field for universities, and we knew that we’d need to take an innovative approach if we were going to do something meaningful. So we reached out to practitioners, industry associations and academics from around our campus to explore the real industry needs and see if we could design a radically new kind of program.
Many of the practitioners we spoke with encouraged us to model best practices in supply chain management (SCM) by focusing on our core strengths and then looking for ways to collaborate with outside partners in creative ways. This approach would provide us with access to valuable resources outside of the department and the university.
And while we decided that the program should be managed by the marketing department, it would need to be delivered in cooperation with at least nine other entities. That certainly made the process more complex, but the result has been a transformative experience for students, and the process of developing and delivering that experience has transformed our view of undergraduate supply chain education.
By Edward Bond, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Marketing, Bradley University