In our most recent Supply Chain Matters Quarterly Newsletter, we called attention to published reports that the hottest interest in business schools of late is not banking or finance, but rather a career in supply chain management. Both Bloomberg Businessweek and the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription or free metered view) published articles in June reflecting on this hot new interest.  They note that the complexities of managing globally extended supply chains is now fueling demand for people with concentrated supply chain academic backgrounds. But alas, there is a classic demand and supply problem and additional academic institutions are moving to satisfy current and future demand for such trained professionals. More than a half-dozen universities have recently introduced undergraduate majors, MBA concentrations, or entire degree programs dedicated to areas of supply chain management.

Bloomberg cites a study from the Georgia Center for Innovation and Logistics indicating that nearly 200,000 U.S. supply chain jobs will go unfilled each year through 2018 because of the lack for qualified talent. Because supply-chain graduates are in such high demand, they are garnering high starting salaries upon graduation. The WSJ noted that, at the MBA level, starting salaries average above $97,000, nearly $5000 above all other MBA’s.

Both articles made mention of up and coming Smithfield Rhode Island based Bryant University, which five years ago began offering a minor in supply chain management curriculum. Last fall, Bryant launched both an undergraduate and an MBA concentration major in supply chain management under the direction of program director Dr. Teresa McCarthy, University of Tennessee alum.  Thus far, 180 students are attending both of these programs. Needless to state, such business media citation has raised the visibility of Bryant.

For the past six years Bryant University has conducted a one-day Supply Chain Management Summit. This year’s 6th Annual Summit will be held on August 22, 2013 on the campus of the university.  With all of the recent visibility to Bryant, the Summit organizers have been able to recruit 21 speakers for this year’s event. Among some select speakers are senior executives representing Banneker Industries, Barrett Distribution, C.R. Bard, CVS, Dunkin Brands, GSM Metals, NFI Industries and Sikorsky Aircraft

Yours truly is an invited speaker as well.  My session is titled: Supply Chain Predictive Analytics- The Increasing Importance of Using Analytics in Supply Chain Planning and Response Management. My presentation will address the current converging forces in the areas of business, supply chain process evolution, and information and database technology that will lead to increased adoption of more predictive planning and decision-making capabilities across the extended supply chain.  

We welcome and invite Supply Chain Matters readers residing in the New England area, or who happen to be in the area, to consider attending this Summit.  Additional information and registration can be obtained by accessing the SCMS web site.

I’m looking forward to once again meeting members of supply chain management community at this regional summit. Hope to see you there.

Bob Ferrari