COVID-19 forced companies to reconsider the just-in-time supply chains that the global economy has come to rely upon: the pandemic has exposed companies to increasingly expensive disruptions. The need to trade-off efficiency for resilience, along with the growing body of evidence that suggests supply chains have a material impact on financial performance, has convinced many top business schools to roll out supply chain management programs for senior executives.
Many of the best executive courses in supply chain management focus on how to build resilience into supply chains. Sustainability is another strong theme across the programs, with participants learning how to manage risks stemming not just from coronavirus but broader global instability such as geopolitical tensions and trade wars, leading to higher tariffs.
Generally, participants in supply chain executive courses learn about procurement, demand management, forecasting, sales and operational planning. They also study broader management challenges too, such as finance, economics, people management and leadership.
There is a strong digital flavor to many of the programs, which cover analytics and robotic process automation, which is increasing transparency, responsiveness and agility. Participants learn how to streamline logistics and create value for their company, employing innovative technologies to boost business performance.
The variety of content means the executive programs attract both supply chain managers and executives in other functions who recognize that supply chains have a big impact on overall performance.
Often, the programs balance theory with practice. One some courses, the participants use simulations, applying solutions to real-world business challenges.
Students learn how to connect supply chain design to business strategy and financial planning. Ultimately, participants will use supply chain management to improve organizational performance. That’s the bottom line.
See the Top 10 Executive Courses in Supply Chain Management below.
One option is the “Supply Chain Management” program offered by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, in Illinois. The week-long course takes a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating management, strategy, marketing and “decision sciences” into supply chain design and management. Participants apply models and solutions to real-world challenges of logistics, outsourcing, inventories and more. In essence, they learn how to design supply chains that boost profitability.View School Profile
Another option is the “Achieving Supply Chain Transformation” program offered by Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business in Pennsylvania. Participants learn how to analyze and use different strategies for supply chain optimization, as well as how to build resilience into supply chains to prepare for uncertainty. They also learn how to connect supply chain design to business strategy and the financials. It’s all about improving organizational performance.View School Profile
Although called the Mini MBA in Digital Supply Chain, the program at Rutgers Business School in New Jersey is in fact an executive education course. The majority of the participants are running entire organizations and need to upgrade their knowledge of supply chains, which are crucial to effective organizational performance. The program covers ten subjects such as supply chain analytics, automation, finance and economics.View School Profile
Vlerick Business School in Belgium runs the Executive Master Class in Supply Chain, which covers supply chain planning, strategies, resilience and sustainability, in addition to the broader management subjects of people management, leadership and finance. The variety of content means the program attracts a diverse range of participants who include both junior supply chain managers and executives in other functions.View School Profile
The Olin Business School at Washington University in St Louis runs the Supply Chain Management Certificate program. The central themes include the digitization of supply chains, which is increasing transparency, responsiveness and agility; and the need to manage risks to build more agile and resilient supply chains. Participants learn how to balance supply and demand, streamline logistics and create value for their company.View School Profile
In the UK, Cranfield School of Management near London puts on the Supply Chain Management Program for executives. It focuses on the digital revolution in the field of supply chain management, and how businesses can use innovative technologies to improve the impact of supply chain management on business performance.View School Profile
In France, INSEAD puts on the Supply Chain Management executive education course. Run over eight days in Fontainebleau, the program covers the challenges facing supply chain managers, from globalization to digitization and greater customer demands. Participants learn how to optimize supply chains, making them more sustainable and able to deliver significant business impact.View School Profile
The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania runs a new program called Designing and Managing the Agile Supply Chain for the Future. It was launched in response to COVID-19, to provide solutions to the challenges stemming from the pandemic as well as global instability, trade wars and higher tariffs. Participants will learn how to build a stronger and more resilience supply chain to overcome vulnerabilities.View School Profile
The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University offers the Value Chain Management Certificate Program, for executives responsible for supply chains. Among many subjects, the course covers the critical role of procurement in driving company value, as well as demand management, forecasting, sales and operational planning.View School Profile
Singapore Management University runs the Global Supply Chain Management Programme. It covers how supply chains are redefining product design and production technology for a competitive advantage. The program guides participants from the complexity and uncertainty of modern supply chains in Asia and explores the development of resilience.View School Profile
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