Earlier this month, Clarkson University’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) program presented its 17th annual Executive Seminar, delivering state-of-the-art education to corporate professionals.
“We are pleased that our executive seminar continues to attract supply chain professionals from several highly respected global companies,” said Professor Farzad Mahmoodi, the Joel Goldschein ’57 Endowed Chair in Global Supply Chain Management and director of the program. “It’s a strong endorsement of the quality of our faculty and the relevance of our curriculum.”
The annual, four-day, on-campus program attracted participants from Amazon, Toyota, Stanley Black & Decker, Xerox, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, Corning, Raymond Corporation, Entegris, Par Technology and Indium.
The participants came to Clarkson from 12 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.
In addition to lectures by faculty experts, the seminar utilized a highly interactive format that employs team and hands-on activities, including simulations and negotiations exercises. Participants also benefited from networking opportunities with industry professionals and Clarkson faculty.
It’s been written that a career in supply chain management can be like climbing a mountain.
While there is often a map for the path forward in professions like accounting, medicine and the law, in supply chain management – as with mountaineering – there are any number of paths that can reach the summit.
Those were among the findings from a research series conducted for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and published in the July/August 2015 issue of Supply Chain Management Review, and reinforced by research conducted by McKinsey & Company and Kuhne Logistics University.
The latter, for instance, found that while many supply chain management executives had experience in logistics, procurement and sales/marketing, “… a surprising number of supply chain executives are appointed without any previous exposure to SCM…in our sample, supply chain executives spent 88% of their previous career span outside the SCM function.”
Are those findings consistent with readers of Supply Chain Management Review and members of APICS Supply Chain Council? And, if so, who is today’s supply chain manager? And, how did he – or she – navigate to their position on the mountain?
Did they start out in the supply chain going back to their college days, or, as in the McKinsey study, did they come into the profession from other parts of the organization?
Moreover, what are their duties today and how do they see the job changing?
Read more at A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager
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A recent University of Tennessee-sponsored survey of leading supply chain executives helped quantify the continued apathy surrounding the proper assessment and management of supply chain risk. For starters, the survey found that none of the companies surveyed use third parties to independently assess their risk, 90 percent don’t even quantify the risk themselves, and while 66 percent acknowledged the existence of corporate officers focused on managing legal compliance, none of these same professionals touched the supply chain.
If HR can be directed to manage against the cost of a potential employee discrimination suit, how did global companies get to a place where they still don’t see the wisdom in protecting themselves against a potential supply chain disaster?
The Port of Tianjin, China’s third largest, just blew up. For companies that rely on that port and that didn’t have a crisis playbook in place, the lessons they’re about to learn could be fatal. If you saw the video of the explosion and are even remotely familiar with Chinese industrial accident rates (70,000 lives lost each year) then you know that the Chinese media is under-reporting the story and that “business as usual” at the Port of Tianjin is likely on indefinite hold.
But here’s the rub: if the Longshoremen at the Port of Long Beach decided to strike unexpectedly next week, the business effects for those without contingency plans could be strikingly similar. That’s how tenuous multi-tier supply chains can be.
Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is defined as “the implementation of strategies to manage both everyday and exceptional risks along the supply chain based on continuous risk assessment with the objective of reducing vulnerability and ensuring continuity.” It’s yet another operational discipline that technology has recently enabled to new heights, as the ripple effects of a catastrophic supply chain event are not intuitive. In fact, they’re usually mind-boggling.
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