Supply Chain Management
Course Number 2108
Professor Jan Hammond
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
Exam or Paper
This course is appropriate for students interested in pursuing careers in any management function (e.g., operations, marketing, and finance) in firms that make, sell and/or distribute physical products, as well as in companies (e.g., consulting firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and software providers) that offer products and services to those firms or analyze, evaluate, and/or invest in those firms.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) builds on aspects of the First-Year Technology and Operations Management (TOM) course. However, whereas first-year TOM focuses primarily on producing and developing products and services, SCM emphasizes managing product availability, especially in a context of rapid product proliferation, short product life cycles, and global networks of suppliers and customers. Hence, topics not examined in first-year TOM such as inventory management, distribution economics, production planning, and managing suppliers are explored in depth in SCM.
SCM also differs from first-year TOM in that first-year TOM concentrates primarily on material and information flows within an organization, whereas SCM focuses on managing material and information flows across functional and organizational boundaries. Due to the boundary-spanning nature of supply chain management, the SCM course also has strong links to the first year courses in marketing, leadership, control, and finance. The course emphasizes the "general manager's perspective" in supply chains. Cases in the course illustrate that barriers to integrating supply chains often relate to behavioral issues (e.g., misaligned incentives and change management challenges) and operational execution problems that fall squarely in the domain of the general manager. The course makes clear that suitable information technology and knowledge of analytical tools are necessary, but not sufficient, ingredients for supply chain integration.
Content and Organization
The Supply Chain Management course comprises four modules:
- Module 1: Logistics - This module examines transportation economics, the role of distributors, and network design for the efficient and effective flow and storage of goods and information in a supply chain.
- Module 2: Planning - This module provides an introduction to the basics of supply chain management, with an emphasis on how to design and manage a supply chain to ensure that product supply meets product demand. It introduces students to basic analytical tools for demand forecasting, inventory management and production planning as well as the role of inventory in the broader context of business strategy and financial performance.
- Module 3: Incentive Alignment - This module introduces students to the problems that arise due to conflicting channel incentives across a supply chain and conflicting functional incentives within a company and provides a framework for analyzing these problems.
- Module 4: Sourcing and Operational Execution - This module considers how to manage supplier relationships and common execution problems that undermine supply chain performance.