If you’re looking to start or improve your career in the field of supply chain management courses, you might be wondering where to start. Luckily, Business School offers one of the most comprehensive supply chain management programs in the world.
With four core courses and an MBA-level capstone, the Supply Chain Management program provides students with both foundational knowledge and business acumen necessary to succeed in the logistics and operations industry.
Here are some highlights from Business School’s supply chain management program.
Supply Chain Management Courses
It’s hard to nail down just five of the best Supply Chain Management courses online because there are so many great options. We tried to select courses that are from reputable schools, are compatible with a variety of schedules, and start at times that work for people all over the world. Each of these classes is paid and free and should be easy to finish in four months or less.
For most students taking up an online business degree program, they do so either because they want more control over their career path or because they need a degree to get into business school.
As such, supply chain management courses usually come under one of two categories: those that focus on pure logistics such as transportation methods, tracking, communication, and other elements that go along with moving goods between businesses; or those focused on how businesses can manage supply chains better through cost-saving measures and what some might call lean principles.
When considering which category a course falls under we tend to favor those whose approach tends towards smaller details as opposed to big picture ideas like lean as they relate directly back to daily logistics efforts most supply chain managers face while working in corporate settings.
Supply Chain Logistics
Managing inventory and transportation isn’t a one-size-fits-all activity. Instead, it requires that you understand your own business model and overall goals.
For example, if your business is dependent on getting merchandise from point A to point B as quickly as possible, then you’ll want to ensure that employees are spending their time effectively with activities such as shipping. Conversely, if your company emphasizes customer service above all else, you may need more manpower dedicated to picking/packing than shipping.
In both instances, however, supply chain logistics is a must you just have different priorities and go about achieving them differently. Supply chain logistics are at work when companies place orders with suppliers but they don’t start there.
They begin with an idea. And that’s where supply chain courses come into play. They help turn your idea into reality by providing skills you can use to get things done correctly whether or not it involves shipping physical goods across countries or stateside.
The Sourcing course will teach students how to buy raw materials efficiently by considering quality and price among other factors The Supply Chain Management courses Strategy course will culminate with group projects which require students make strategic sourcing decisions for fictitious firms, culminating in case studies of actual corporations’ practices.
Supply chain management is a tough field to break into without formal education, including mathematics, but there are ways you can get started. The first step is getting familiar with some of the most important supply chain management (SCM) companies and how they operate.
Some of your top options include Wal-Mart, Amazon, Starbucks, and Xerox. You’ll notice that several of these companies are multinational corporations. That’s because SCM is huge in global trade and works best when you can ship goods across oceans as quickly as possible.
There are plenty of other supply chain management jobs available for those who want a different kind of the challenge; consider logistics positions at home. And even if you’re not entirely committed to supply chain management as a career path yet, consider an internship at one of these companies or another supply chain company like Dell, Nike, or Lockheed Martin.
It’ll give you insight into what it’s like to work in SCM and it may end up being just what you need to make up your mind about pursuing it further.
Supply Planning & Sourcing Analytics
Planning and sourcing processes are often done in silos, leading to inefficiencies in supply chains. To help companies solve these problems, supply planning and sourcing analytics tools can be utilized.
These platforms, which include Microsoft Dynamics AX Online Supply Planning & Sourcing Analytics, help simplify and automate much of your planning and purchasing process. This leads to better forecasting capabilities, more efficient warehouse operations, and costs savings across your company.
The result is a significantly more agile supply chain that puts you a step ahead of your competition. A recent study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies who optimize their supply chains using forecasting techniques enjoy an average of billions annually from inventory reduction alone.
Learn how big brands like Procter & Gamble, Dell, Cisco Systems, and General Mills achieve successful supply chain management via our lineup of Supply Chain Management courses.
Strategic Sourcing & Vendor Managed Inventory
While there are plenty of great ways to save money on inventory, Strategic Sourcing and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) can be a particularly effective approach in managing costs and creating competitive supply chains. VMI programs give companies access to large, centralized inventory pools so they don’t have to keep supplies in their own warehouses.
The program is often managed by an outside company or third-party logistics provider, which can also help in sourcing parts and shipping products when necessary.
While VMI has been popular with manufacturers for years, it’s starting to see a lot of adoption among e-commerce retailers as well. This stems largely from Amazon’s success with its Vendor Central platform, which allows sellers to easily tap into Amazon’s massive supply chain effectively putting them closer to consumers than ever before.
Other marketplaces like eBay and Etsy have followed suit, offering similar services for vendors who list on their sites. Whether you buy goods directly from suppliers or through a marketplace like Amazon, Strategic Sourcing and VMI programs can help cut down on waste and drive down costs making your business more competitive in both offline markets and online channels alike.
Supply Chain Management Strategy
In today’s competitive marketplace, supply chain and logistics managers need to focus on more than just inbound, outbound, and stock. The function of supply chain management courses has evolved from a series of isolated tasks into a cohesive business strategy.
Understanding supply chain strategy provides companies with a way to continue to grow profitably by optimizing resources for value creation. In other words, it helps businesses understand how their strategies influence each other so they can maximize profits while minimizing costs.
This course will help you gain an understanding of how major business strategies drive demand through supply chains and how supply chains must be aligned with those strategies in order to create value for customers and shareholders alike.