Horse Meat and See-through Yoga Pants: Supply-Chain Failures

Education Opportunities

Most students after graduating college will go to work full-time. For those students who want to continue their education either through an M.B.A or specialized Master’s Degree the options are countless. Many students may turn to an M.B.A or another common Master’s degree. However, one of the fastest growing fields in business is for individuals with degrees or experience in supply-chain management.

Supply-chain management is a broad term that incorporates numerous elements of business including leverage, communication, efficiency, innovation, risk management, and continuous improvement. These elements are used by supply-chain managers in procurement, transportation, inventory, and forecasting to name a few. Also, supply-chain hires will find themselves conducting supply-chain analysis, which can incorporate fields such as engineering, analytics, and operations.

Why Supply-chain Management?

As our economy and the economies of the world have become globally focused, supply-chain management has become a necessity. Multinational corporations and global partnerships have opened the possibilities of receiving goods from around the world at the blink of an eye. These new possibilities give businesses and consumers greater opportunities, and access to products at prices never before seen in a free-market.

However, as stories of horse meat in European stores and see-through yoga pants have become more common, managers are turning to supply-chain personnel to prevent these embarrassments from happening again. These negative story lines hurt a companies bottom line and reputation, which can have long-term consequences. By leveraging supply-chain experts a company can help their bottom line and customer service.

If interested, below is a brief overview of supply-chain management through the operations of a lemonade stand.

Supply-Chain Management Failure

One example of a supply-chain management failure, as we talked about in class, is the example of Boeing and the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing increased its outsourcing from about 35-50% on the 737 and 747 to close to 70% on the 787. The supply chain that Boeing had in mind was one that would keep cost’s low and spread the risk proportionately between themselves and their suppliers. Unfortunately for Boeing, this strategy backfired due to poor supply-chain management. Ultimately, this led Boeing to run billions of dollars over budget and caused years of delays.

If a company as large as Boeing can have supply-chain management failures, any company, large or small, can experience similar failures. By hiring individuals with a background in supply-chain management companies are hoping to counteract the potential issues related to supply-chain management.

Increasing Supply

Below are some new programs offered in supply-chain management to meet increased demand.

School Location Program Year Started
University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business Houston M.B.A. certificate in supply chain management 2011
Rutgers Business School Newark and New Brunswick, N.J. Undergraduate major 2011
Bryant University, College of Business Smithfield, R.I. Undergraduate major and M.B.A. specialization in global supply chain management 2012
Governors State University, College of Business and Public Administration University Park, Ill. Online M.B.A. in supply chain management 2013
Portland State University, School of Business Administration Portland, Ore. M.S. in global supply chain management 2013
Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business Fort Worth, Texas M.S. in supply chain management 2013
University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School, and Tsinghua University Chapel Hill, N.C. and Beijing Global Supply Chain Leaders Program—M.B.A. from Kenan-Flagler, Master of Engineering Management from Tsinghua 2013
University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business Los Angeles Online M.S. in global supply chain management 2013
Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business Tempe, Ariz. M.S. in supply chain management or M.S. in supply chain management and engineering 2014


Would an advanced degree in supply-chain management be of interest to you? Do you think supply-chain management can help companies overcome global issues?

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